Policy Submission: Disability Care and Support
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JFA Purple Orange made this submission to the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into Disability Care and Support. Our submission includes commentary on specific questions identified in the Disability Care and Support Issues Paper, May 2010.
JFA Purple Orange believes that the present inquiry is urgent in the current environment. It is widely understood that people living with disability are poorly-supported in Australia, in terms of dearth of choice and the experience of exclusion. There is increasing demand for services due to changes in Australia’s population and demography. Further, there is national commitment to “ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities” through the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by Australia in July 2008.
In this submission we have attempted to address the full range of issues that the Productivity Commission has expressed an interest in. We have undertaken this by framing answers in response to the 100+ questions posed by the Productivity Commission.
As emphasised in a number of places throughout this submission, the main condition of our support for a National Disability Insurance Scheme is that the Scheme, in its design and implementation, is an entitlement-based, best-practice Individualised (Self-Directed) Funding model. This is important because we believe such a model will:
- Deliver authentic control to the person living with disability, and increase that person’s chances of moving out of cycles of disadvantage and towards an ordinary valued life. This is in line with the obligations established by the UNCRPD;
- Establish the right incentives, because purchases will be driven by people living with disability, who have the greatest stake in the effectiveness of those purchases;
- Shape more responsive and personalised service provision;
- Removes artificial, unhelpful criteria and interfaces. This will produce obvious savings, and will represent a much more accessible and respectful approach for people living with disability;
- Contribute to broader capacity-building so that our communities are more welcoming and inclusive of people living with disability;
- Mark a historic shift from a ‘passive recipiency’ model to an ‘active citizenhood’ model. As such it will stop the commodification of vulnerable people and instead uphold every citizen in Australia as having worth, potential and the right to a decent life.