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commentary on NDIS deep dive into autism data - July 2019

Here is my quick/cursory commentary on the ASD data that the NDIS provided 30/7/2019.

Overall, I welcome this increased reporting on the NDIS. Reporting like this helps identify how the NDIS can improve for autistic Australians. Article 31 of the UN CRPD requires the dissemination of relevant statistics but other Articles of the Convention indicate the NDIS should consult better about what information is monitored and reported.

Issues that arise include:

NDIS introduces onerous and inequitable eligibility requirements for autistic children

On the 23/5/2018, the Minister for Social Security wrote to autism organisations to "assure" them that there would be "extensive consultation with stakeholders and the community" before making any changes to NDIS eligibility (see http://a4.org.au/node/1761).

Three days later, on the 26/5/2018, the NDIS tweeted that it "updated our website" and provided a link to https://ndis.gov.au/people-with-disability/access-requirements/completing-your-access-request-form/evidence-of-disability. The web page has new eligibility requirements. Autism stakeholders were not consulted about the changes to the NDIS eligibility process that appeared on that webpage.

Hanson's view of autistic children is simply Australian law

The disability sector in Australia strongly condemns Senator Hanson for her recently expressed view that schools should "get rid" of autistic students from mainstream classrooms; see Pauline Hanson says autistic kids should be removed from mainstream classes and Senator Hanson needs to go back to school.

However, people should understand this issue better.

Autistic children in Australia have no right to education

Bob Buckley

I am not a lawyer, so you cannot rely on my opinion; make sure you should get professional advice in relation to this subject.

The US Supreme Court is about to hear a case about the quality of education for an autistic student - see http://www.bazelon.org/In-Court/Current-...

incredible numbers of 'school students with disability'

Bob Buckley

Recently, the Education Council released its first report based on data collected for the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data: School Students with Disability.

The report describes 18% of school students as having disability. This rate of disability among school students in the major states (see Table 3 in the report) aligns remarkably closely with the average disability rate (18%) in the Australian population. But this level of disability is far more students than other reports of children with disability.

Government persists with same old disability vilification strategy ... expecting a different employment result

Yet again, the Government is kicking people off welfare benefits hoping that they will move into jobs (see Crackdown throws thousands off disability support pension).  This pathetic repetition of oft tried and always failed approach comes from a Government that is crowing about innovation: it clearly shows Governments cannot come up with a new approach. 

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