submission to ACT Students with Disability Review

SOfASD made a submission to the ACT Students with Disability Review.

Executive Summary

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a distinct type of disability; it is not a sub-type of intellectual disability or developmental delay.

The number of autistic students, that is students diagnosed with ASD, has increased to a point where there are now more autistic students than students with intellectual disability. Between 30% and 50% of autistic students also have intellectual disability.

Disability advocate calls for end of segregated classes for disabled students in ACT schools

Andrew Brown

The director of a Canberra-based disability advocacy group is calling for more support to allow students with disabilities to be moved away from segregated classes and into mainstream classes.

Jan Kruger, the director of Imagine More, said segregated classes are setting disabled students up for failure, and urged for more funding to allow them to better integrate into mainstream classes with their peers.

Pensioner Education Supplement cut off? Here's some suggestions about what to do

Social media is reporting that many people who receive the Pensioner Education Supplement (PES) are being cut off in January despite having provided proof they are enrolled to study to Centrelink.

After discussions with Centrelink Staff it is very clear that the necessary staffing levels are not available to process the completed forms even when they are returned immediately by post or even handed directly to them at a Centrelink Office. This means that the "Computer" automatically cuts you off from that payment. The Pensioner then receives a letter saying their PES has been ceased because the person has completed their study.

Centrelink staff may tell you it is not necessary to ring them to complain and request the payment be reinstated automatically. This however does not match the instructions on the letters sent out which state if you disagree with their decision to call the Complaints number provided.

Another disappointing response from the NDIA

Below is the NDIA's disappointing response to a personal letter about the NDIS halting its intake in the ACT. 

As usual, the NDIA's response fails to answer the very simple question asked. And it fails to address the key issues raised in the letter.

What the response does show is that the original commitment to Australian's with disability, that the Commonwealth would fund any NDIS participants above the initial estimates, was a incorrect. The response shows that official lied about the initial NDIS agreement and progress of the NDIS in the ACT depended on a new NDIS agreement being struck in November 2016.

Urgent: funding for out-of-home support for children with disability

Ms R Steven-Smith MLA
Minister for Disability
GPO Box 1020,
Canberra, ACT 2601


Dear Ms Steven-Smith MLA

Please tell us, the organisations listed below, which government agency or agencies are responsible for funding supported accommodation for children with disability when they do not or cannot live at home? As this matter is urgent for several very vulnerable children, we would appreciate an answer in the next 10 working days.

Yellow Ladybugs helps girls in Canberra with autism connect

A volunteer-based community group is helping improve the lives of young autistic girls in Canberra through inclusive social meet-ups.

Last Sunday, 17 young girls and their parents attended their first Yellow Ladybugs event.

The group's ambassador — Jeanette Purkis, a prominent author and public speaker who was diagnosed with autism two decades ago — said it was important to have a group of this kind available in the region.

She spoke with a number of parents at the event, held at a trampoline playground, who had recently discovered their daughters had autism.

"My favourite conversation was a very poignant and teary one.

"I thought I'd go and talk to [a mother], and she said, 'Oh Jeannette, my daughter has never had a friend, and look at her now, she's talking to that girl and they've exchanged phone numbers and they are playing together'.

"She was so happy. We both had a bit of a cry."


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