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We are reviewing the Act

The Disability Inclusion Act 2014 (NSW) (the Act) started on 3 December 2014 – International Day of People with Disability. The Act replaced the previous Disability Services Act 1993.

We (NSW Department of Communities and Justice) are reviewing the Act on behalf of the Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services, the Hon. Gareth Ward MP.

We are reviewing the Act to make sure it has achieved what it set out to do. The review will also look at what needs to be changed to bring it up-to-date. The Act promotes the inclusion and participation of people with disability in the community in a number of ways. Currently it:

  • requires the development of a State Disability Plan
  • requires government bodies to prepare disability inclusion action plans, and
  • helps the Disability Council NSW to advise the Minister on matters affecting people with disability.

1.1 Current disability reviews and reforms underway in NSW

NSW Ageing and Disability Commissioner

The NSW Ageing and Disability Commissioner has a vision for every older person and adult with disability in this state. The Commissioner wants them to feel safe, respected and dignified in their home, and in the community.

The Commissioner will work closely with other government and non-government services to better protect older people and adults with disability. Especially from abuse, neglect and exploitation from someone they know. This could be from a friend, family member, neighbour or someone in the community.

Review of Disability Advocacy in NSW

The NSW Ageing and Disability Commission has just completed a review of disability advocacy across the state. This was conducted to better understand the purpose, functions and future funding needs of the sector. The report, and a summary of the new Disability Advocacy Futures Program, are available on the NSW Ageing and Disability Commission website.

Employment and inclusion within the NSW Government

People with disability face barriers to full inclusion in social and economic life. Increasing the representation of people with disability in the NSW public sector, and maximising opportunities for workforce participation, will mean more people with disability will be accessing employment opportunities and the financial and other benefits that come with this.

That is why NSW remains committed to increasing the representation of people with disability in the NSW public sector and is actively working toward the current Premier’s Priority of having a world class public service through key diversity targets, such as ensuring 5.6% of government sector roles are held by people with disability by 2025.

The NSW Government plays an important role in shaping the culture of teams and workplaces. We need to encourage full participation from people with disability in our workforce and to retain staff who may acquire a disability during their employment.

Restrictive Practices and Behaviour Support

NSW is responsible for the restrictive practices authorisation process for National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) registered providers operating in NSW and has recently developed a Restrictive Practices Authorisation Policy and the Restrictive Practices Authorisation Procedural Guide, to inform providers in NSW of their responsibilities regarding obtaining authorisation for the use of restrictive practices.

Information sessions have been held across NSW regarding the quality, safeguarding and reporting arrangements in place since 1 July 2018.

National Disability Insurance Scheme in NSW

NSW Government funding for specialist disability services is now provided through the NDIS for individual supports for people with disability.

On 25 May 2018, the Commonwealth and NSW governments entered into a Bilateral Agreement on the NDIS. The transition to the full scheme in NSW occurred in two stages from July 2016 to June 2018. The full scheme started in NSW in July 2018.

Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) NDIS

ILC is all about inclusion – it’s about creating connections between people with disability and the communities they live in. Unlike the rest of the NDIS, ILC doesn’t provide funding to individuals. ILC provides grants to organisations to deliver projects in the community that benefit all people with disability, their carers and families.

Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

On 5 April 2019, the Prime Minister, the Hon. Scott Morrison MP, and the then Minister for Families and Social Services, the Hon. Paul Fletcher MP, announced the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. The Commissioners have been directed to inquire into violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability. The inquiry will cover all forms of violence against, and abuse, neglect and exploitation of, people with disability, in all settings and contexts.

National Disability Strategy

The National Disability Strategy (the Strategy), developed by Commonwealth, State and Territory governments in partnership with the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), sets out a ten-year national plan for improving life for Australians with disability, their families and Carers.

The Strategy draws on the findings of extensive consultation conducted in 2008-09 by the National People with Disabilities and Carer Council and reported in Shut Out: The Experience of People with Disabilities and their Families in Australia (2009).

The Strategy will finish at the end of 2020 and governments across Australia are working together to develop a new strategy for beyond 2020. The first stage of consultation took place in April and June 2019. More consultation will take place in early 2020 and we encourage everyone to have their say on the priorities and actions for the next strategy.

There has been a lot of change to disability policy and service delivery since the current Strategy started in 2011. A recent independent review has shown that many parts of the current strategy are working well and the Strategy’s overall principles and goals are valuable and important. The review also showed there are still areas for improvement, particularly on how the strategy is implemented.

A new strategy reflects the changing policy environment and builds on opportunities available today as well as what may emerge over the next decade, this includes considering the findings from the Productivity Commission’s Review of the National Disability Agreement.

1.2 About the Act

The Act is about creating a society that values equality for, and inclusion of, people with disability in the community. It sets out a clear statement of objects and principles consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The Act:

  • gives people with disability choice and control over the supports and services provided to them
  • requires government bodies to prepare disability inclusion action plans
  • ensures the Disability Council NSW continues to represent people with disability
  • ensured people with disability received quality services and supports while the NDIS was rolled out.

You can find out more about the Act in this discussion paper.

About this discussion paper

This discussion paper is the first part of the review process. It provides information about what each part of the Act does.

We have included questions so you can tell us what you think about how the Act is working.

As identified in the section above, there is currently a lot of inclusion activity in the disability sector. This discussion paper is specifically asking about the Disability Inclusion Act 2014 (NSW).

1.3 How you can have your say

We want to hear from you.

It is important we hear from all different people to make sure the Act reflects what is needed to support inclusive communities. We encourage everyone to have their say, particularly:

  • people with disability
  • carers
  • disability service providers
  • members of the community
  • local councils.

Online survey

You can respond to the questions in this discussion paper by doing this online survey.

Written submissions

If you wish to send your feedback through a written submission, please email NSWDIP@facs.nsw.gov.au or post to:

Department of Communities and Justice, Locked Bag 4028, Ashfield, NSW 2131.

Workshops

We are also planning workshops and roundtable discussions. You can keep updated on these through the have your say page.

Closing date

All survey responses, written submissions and feedback from our workshops must be received by 5pm on 30 March 2020.

What happens with your feedback?

Your feedback will be considered and will inform a report on the review. The report will be tabled in NSW Parliament as required under section 51 of the Act.

Any formal feedback you give us will be available on our public website. You can let us know if you do not want your personal details or any part of your submission published. Please make sure you include your reasons why.

An automatically generated confidentiality statement in an email will not be considered as formal advice.

Please note: we will do our best to keep your information confidential if you ask us to do so, but we cannot promise this. Sometimes the law or public interest says we must disclose your information to someone else. An example of this is if someone requests information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.

More information

For more information about the review and how you can participate, please email NSWDIP@facs.nsw.gov.au or phone 02 9716 3429.

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Last updated: 16 Jan 2020