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Australians will now get more help to access the Disability Support Pension

Many autistic people indicate to us that they experience difficulty accessing the Disability Support Pension (DSP). Maybe, a new service will help.

A new online resource has been established to help people navigate the sometimes complex process of accessing the Disability Support Pension.

By Jarni Blakkarly

Natasha Thomson says for the two-and-a-half years it took her to get on the Disability Support Pension (DSP), it felt like every aspect of her life was being scrutinised.

‘Life was a battle until my child was diagnosed with a lesser-known form of autism’

By Claudia Tanner

Pathological demand avoidance (PDA) – characterised by avoiding everyday demands and expectations to an extreme extent – is increasingly, but not universally, accepted as a profile that is seen in some autistic people.

When Francesca Manca’s son Simon was diagnosed with autism, she felt some relief that this would mean she would get the right support for him.

Comment on DSS National Disability Strategy options paper

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia responded to DSS's Options Paper on continuing the old National Disability Strategy (NDS) which they call a "new" strategy.

DSS's Options Paper shows no evidence of input from the disability community, especially input that says the previous strategy didn't work and substantial change is needed.

It also shows that it does not understand human rights in Australia but still tries to take a human rights perspective.

‘Love on the Spectrum’ Cast Guide: Who’s Who in Netflix’s Autism Dating Show

Love on the Spectrum is a new Netflix dating show that follows a group of seven singles and two couples, all on the autism spectrum, as they either look for love or celebrate the love they’ve found. The show was a big hit when it debuted in Australia in late 2019, and now it’s found an international home on Netflix.

Test case settlement great news for autistic children

Catherine Blundy’s discrimination test case against The Lakes Christian College has settled, with the school agreeing to measures to better support autistic children.

In reaching settlement, Catherine, her mum Hannah, and the College have made the following statement:

Hannah Blundy and The Lakes Christian College have agreed to resolve Catherine Blundy’s claim against the College currently before the Federal Circuit Court.

UOW joins autism research co-production plan to 'give voice' to those on spectrum

Agron Latifi

Traditionally, most research about autism is conducted by people who are not themselves on the autism spectrum.

However Dr Amanda Webster, from the School of Education, and her fellow University of Wollongong researchers, are involving autistic people in all aspects of the research process, from deciding research questions, to data collection and analysis, to translating the findings into real-world outcomes.

Carers left to go it alone

Tate Papworth

For many residents a return to lockdown is tough.

For carers and those with a disability it’s a return to the toughest of situations.

Keilor Downs resident Despina Havelas is a full time carer for her 19-year-old son Kon.

Kon requires Ms Havelas’ support due to his Autism.

She has long been an advocate for better carer support within Brimbank and said prolonged periods of isolation have exacerbated the issues.

From greeter to checkout operator, South Lake teen embracing responsibility of his first job

Ben Smith

CADEN Sharp probably did not expect his first job to go so well, but he has embraced the extra responsibility it has provided him with.

The 19-year-old is loving life after securing a part-time role with Coles in South Lake at the start of this year, following a successful work placement with them.

Mr Sharp lives with autism and secured a work placement with his local supermarket after working with BizLink to find employment options, having not previously held any permanent positions prior to his current role.

NDIS review of ECEI pathway - FoI 19/20-1047

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4) sent a Freedom of Information request to the NDIA on 17/2/2020. See below for A4's request.

On the 26/3/2020, the NDIA, despite the original letter from Ms Faulkner informing A4 of the NDIS's "review to consider and identify enhancements to the ECEI tailored pathway", notified A4 "that the relevant area of the NDIA is unsure what specific review is referred to in your request". They say "We understand the difficulty in articulating what specific documents you seek access" (see the email thread below up to 22/5/2020).

Last chance to take part in autism survey

Australians with autism, their families and carers are being urged to have their say about their experiences of living with the condition in a nation-wide survey, due to close on Monday 29 June.

The survey was developed by the Australian Autism Alliance, a network of organisations representing people with autism, in response to information sought by the Federal Government's Select Committee on Autism. 

Spotlight to shine on gender clinics

Children’s hospital gender clinics offering contentious hormone drugs for troubled teenagers who declare themselves “born in the wrong body” face an audit and review of their treatment approach.

The Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council, which brings together the top health officials across the nation and today discusses the gender clinic controversy for the first time, has requested states and territories to carry out the audit and review, and report back by July 17.

'Violence, abuse, neglect': three Melbourne special schools in probe

Adam Carey

Three special schools in Melbourne will be investigated over a series of allegations of “violence, abuse and serious neglect” of students with disabilities over the past 10 years.

Victoria’s Department of Education and Training has launched an investigation into multiple claims of mistreatment of vulnerable children at Marnebek School in Cranbourne East, Jackson School in St Albans and Southern Autistic School in Bentleigh East.

For some Australians with autism, going back to 'normal' life after coronavirus isn’t so welcomed

Sophie Lamberts

Working from home, communicating via a computer, social distancing ... In a world turned upside down by coronavirus, some people on the autism spectrum have prospered, and returning to how things were is now a source of anxiety.

For some adults with autism, it seems strange that the marvels of working from home and social distancing are only being recognised in the wake of a pandemic. 

Autistic-majority IT services company celebrates Autistic Pride Day

Sara Barker

Auticon, a social IT enterprise that employs more than 200 people on the autism spectrum, is today celebrating Autistic Pride Day, highlighting the value and success that its consultants have achieved in the IT field.

Auticon offers services across business analytics, artificial intelligence, software development, cybersecurity, as well as quality assurance and testing. 

Autism review concerns NDIS users

Professor Andrew Whitehouse.

Professor Andrew Whitehouse.

As the National Disability Insurance Agency awaits the findings of research it has commissioned into autism support and treatment, members of the autism community are concerned the report may never be made public. By Rick Morton.

The National Disability Insurance Agency has been working for months on a secret report that will lock in the evidence base for different autism interventions and support packages, but advocates fear it could be used to cut costs if it is not made public.

Training to support people with autism into work

12 June 2020
Minister The Hon. Anne Ruston MP, joint with Senator Hollie Hughes

The Morrison Government is delivering on its election promise to support people with autism into employment.  

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston today announced two new training projects as part of the Government’s suite of disability employment initiatives. 

Doughnut bakery and social enterprise Krofne, Whitmur Advisors and GenU Training have received $200,000 to work together to develop two accredited training courses for the hospitality industry.


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