The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
The Forum - On Line Opinion's article discussion area


RSS 2.0

Main Articles General

Sign In      Register

The Forum > Article Comments > Breaking the disability deprivation cycle > Comments

Breaking the disability deprivation cycle : Comments

By Andrew Bartlett, published 6/10/2006

Principles agreed on to address the grave needs of people with disabilities still await action

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. All
Andrew Bartlett’s thumbnail sketch of the disability industry in this country is virtually irrefutable: the decades of indifference and neglect of some the most vulnerable citizens of our class-divided society is diabolical.

Tragically, the good Senator’s choice of words and broad concepts such as ‘government(s)’, CSTDA etc has effectively precluded him from raising any question of accountability for this appalling state of affairs. For instance sentences such as "Without such indicators, CSTDA aims and objectives cannot possibly be known and the needs and wishes of those with a disability will remain a matter of assumption and guesswork.”

True! … But by Whom? Who failed to provide indicators of the quality of life of people with disabilities and their desperately needed supported accommodation choices, respite facilities, education and employment opportunities? Which particular, well-rewarded individuals or class of individual ‘players’ are responsible?

"Governments are currently saving billions of dollars ... by relying on the community sector and carers to provide essential services and support for people with a disability.”

Indeed they are – some $33 billion according to their own ‘official’ calculations. But saving for whom? … or what? In other words, Who benefits or profits from such ‘savings’? How much of such ‘savings’ are diverted into the pockets of wealthy shareholders and obscenely over-paid ‘executive’ employees of huge national and foreign corporations in the form of ‘tax breaks’, industry assistance packages and other ‘incentives’? ... Corporate Welfare! How much has been diverted to fund Australian involvement in military misadventures in far-off foreign countries that pose little or no threat to our nation?

How many of the well-rewarded ‘executive’ public servants … sorry, Public Managers, within the various bureaus such as Treasury, Finance and Human Services have received performance bonuses for ‘cost savings’ derived from ‘deinstutionalisation’ and ‘restructuring’ the disability industry?

Moreover, the regular announcements these days by State and Common-wealth Treasurers of record, multi-billion dollar budget surpluses exposes the hypocrisy and flawed ‘ethics’ of those who ‘manage’ our beleaguered disability industry and the broader polity in which it is embedded.

Posted by Sowat, Saturday, 7 October 2006 2:25:50 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Governments are saving millions by relying on community carers?

This is no doubt so, but it implies that caring for disabled people is a Government responsibility in the first place. Why should this be so?

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that disabled people should be cast adrift, nor am I blind to their need. But we do have to have some really clear thinking about disability, where it begins and where it ends.

All people are equal and have equal rights. But we know this is not really true, just a nice ideal. Some people, including those who have to care for disabled children or relatives or friends are dealt out with an awfully unequal hand. But, in my opinion, to lambast Governments for their failure is merely a populist rant.
Posted by Fencepost, Saturday, 7 October 2006 7:07:45 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
One aspect of being born with, or aquiring a disability is that you can't hang it on a nail at knock off time and put it back on next morning. It's with you 24/7,at work,play,or sleep. Technology has brought some relief, but theres a lot to be done yet. I was a 'welfare to work' proponent in 1972 when I left school and felt I could contribute something (I wasn't sure what) instead of claiming a full disability pension I was entitled to. Lessons I have learnt :1. Never mention that I have a disability at job interviews ( some diabilities are not visible). 2. Some work 'mates' will treat you like a lesser human being. 3. Being able to complete an equal amount of work as an able bodied colleague sometimes brings jealousy. 4. Forget about getting promoted. 5. Be prepared for name calling and 'jokes' being played on you. 6. Be prepared to be isolated from the other workers. 7. Develop a very thick skin.
I'd like to report that things have improved but then I notice that a few years ago, an epileptic association spent a couple of million dollars trying to convince the general public that those with epilepsy have human qualities. We are disabled, not necessarily dumb. We want to live,love, and laugh too
Posted by aspro, Sunday, 8 October 2006 2:15:08 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Onya Fencepost!

One of the precepts of Liberal Democratic government and a civilised society is protection of the more vulnerable among us. This was made even more essential with the rise of Capitalism some 3 centuries or so ago resulting in the advent of the modern State, following widespread social upheaval across most of Western Europe.
Failure by the ‘people’s representatives’ and the ‘civil service’ to administer the polity in a fair and just manner for all will inevitably result in an un-civil society, characterised by treachery, conflict and general backwardness.

Hope someone close to you never has a stroke, serious motor vehicle or industrial ‘accident’, has the misfortune to give birth to a child with complex deformities, or develops one of the many disabling forms of cancer or dementia.

Always remember, anybody can become a full-time family caregiver (unpaid Carer) at the blink of an eye … forced to give up PAID work and care for a spouse, child, parent or other close relative 24/7/365 for the princely “benefit” of $96 per fortnight Carers Allowance (the much more generous “benefit”, the Carer Payment of $502 per fortnight is means-tested!), without any hope of annual holidays, superannuation or the pleasures of ‘retirement’ … like every other ‘worker’! Of the 2.7 million family Carers nationally, 288,630 receive the “Allowance” and only 83,797 are in receipt of the Carer Payment.(2003-4 figures)

Contrast this with the $10.4 billion in Family Tax Benefit ‘A’ and the $12.8 billion in Family Tax Benefit ‘B’ (2003-4) doled out to Howard’s struggling Middle Class “Aussie battlers” to help raise their non-disabled children. Even millionaire families are able to dip into this honey pot; not that they desperately need it of course! And yet Howard, Abbott and Costello et al all claim to “govern for all Australians”. Yeah, right!
Posted by Sowat, Sunday, 8 October 2006 11:49:07 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Perhaps another populsit rant would be to lambast private enterpirse for not delivering on disabilitiy services Fencepost!

I really fail to see your point - where does the responsibility begin and end to your way of thinking?

DO you suggest that those dealt an unequal hand as you put it are just suffering "bad luck" - and while we do the serious thinking you suggest those with disabilties languish.

How about those who have been dealt a "good hand" simply have some oof thier chips taken away to offset the disadvantage of those with bad luck - giiven the randomness of Luck - that would be fair.

Right now families carry the burden of disability and the philosophy of the present government is that that is the natural order of things
Posted by sneekeepete, Monday, 9 October 2006 10:16:59 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
No matter which political party is in power, disabled will be forsaken as all political parties is akin to; Same code, different jersey. Maybe the minor parties are different but not being a political to ever hold government, they can afford to hold whatever policy they like no matter how loopy it may be.

Under the Howard Government, being disabled has definately become an eyesore on society where they, like the mentally ill, are lepers of modern civilisation. We saw the mentally ill thrown onto the streets in the late 1980's, now it is the disabled that have started living on the streets. Well, they and young families in increasing numbers.

Look at how people are checked for the Disability Pension(DSP). Even if 100 Specialists wrote in support of the applicant, it is a public servant with no medical learning who reach a decision on how the person looks on the day, not allowing for good and bad days and, the fact that many disabilities does not equal a major disfiguration of the face.

With "Howard's Way", we are seeing people on their death bed ordered to seek fulltime employment. Also, to receive the DSP, one must have a permanent illness yet with people being forced onto Newstart, their permanent illness eliminates them from being exempt from seeking work when they are sick. Should a person be hospitalised for epilepsy/asthma/MS/etc, for let's say, one month, they still must seek employment or lose their benefit. Yet if you suffer from a virus, you can take time off from seeking employment.

Clearly, this demonastrates that the Howard government is callous to people who are not of perfect health who are unable to perform a morning jog. Speaking to the average person on this, I have met many people who still support this policy on the basis that such people don't deserve anything.

What has become of Australia?
Posted by Spider, Monday, 9 October 2006 3:11:26 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. All

About Us :: Search :: Discuss :: Feedback :: Legals :: Privacy