West Vic News
Autumn is approaching us.... Easter Eggs are already lining the supermarket shelves..
Everybody's fighting some kind of stereotype, and people with disabilities are no exception. The difference is that barriers people with disabilities face begin with people's attitudes — attitudes often rooted in misinformation and misunderstandings about what it's like to live with a disability.
Myth 1: People with disabilities are brave and courageous.
Fact: Adjusting to a disability requires adapting to a lifestyle, not bravery and courage.
Myth 2: All persons who use wheelchairs are chronically ill or sickly.
Fact: The association between wheelchair use and illness may have evolved through hospitals using wheelchairs to transport sick people. A person may use a wheelchair for a variety of reasons, none of which may have anything to do with lingering illness.
Myth 3: Wheelchair use is confining; people who use wheelchairs are "wheelchair-bound."
Fact: A wheelchair, like a bicycle or an automobile, is a personal assistive device that enables someone to get around.
Myth 4: All persons with hearing disabilities can read lips.
Fact: Lip-reading skills vary among people who use them and are never entirely reliable.
Myth 5: People who are blind acquire a "sixth sense."
Fact: Although most people who are blind develop their remaining senses more fully, they do not have a "sixth sense."
Myth 6: People with disabilities are more comfortable with "their own kind."
Fact: In the past, grouping people with disabilities in separate schools and institutions reinforced this misconception. Today, many people with disabilities take advantage of new opportunities to join mainstream society.
Myth 7: Non-disabled people are obligated to "take care of" people with disabilities.
Fact: Anyone may offer assistance, but most people with disabilities prefer to be responsible for themselves.
Myth 8: Curious children should never ask people about their disabilities.
Fact: Many children have a natural, uninhibited curiosity and may ask questions that some adults consider embarrassing. But scolding curious children may make them think having a disability is "wrong" or "bad." Most people with disabilities won't mind answering a child's question.
Myth 9: The lives of people with disabilities are totally different than the lives of people without disabilities.
Fact: People with disabilities go to school, get married, work, have families, do laundry, grocery shop, laugh, cry, pay taxes, get angry, have prejudices, vote, plan and dream like everyone else.
Myth 10: It is all right for people without disabilities to park in accessible parking spaces, if only for a few minutes.
Fact: Because accessible parking spaces are designed and situated to meet the needs of people who have disabilities, these spaces should only be used by people who need them.
Myth 11: Most people with disabilities cannot have sexual relationships.
Fact: Anyone can have a sexual relationship by adapting the sexual activity. People with disabilities can have children naturally or through adoption. People with disabilities, like other people, are sexual beings.
Myth 12: People with disabilities always need help.
Fact: Many people with disabilities are independent and capable of giving help. If you would like to help someone with a disability, ask if he or she needs it before you act.
Myth 13: There is nothing one person can do to help eliminate the barriers confronting people with disabilities.
Fact: Everyone can contribute to change. You can help remove barriers by:
- Understanding the need for accessible parking and leaving it for those who need it
- Encouraging participation of people with disabilities in community activities by using accessible meeting and event sites
- Understanding children's curiosity about disabilities and people who have them
- Advocating a barrier-free environment
- Speaking up when negative words or phrases are used about disability
- Writing producers and editors a note of support when they portray someone with a disability as a "regular person" in the media
- Accepting people with disabilities as individuals capable of the same needs and feelings as yourself, and hiring qualified disabled persons whenever possible
If you are interested in how the NDCO program could help in your local region/area please feel free to contact me.
Pam Anderson NDCO Region 16
Mobile: 0418 108 555
Inclusive Learning Conference 2016 - Early Bird Registrations Open
Friday 10 June 2016
Supporting Successful Engagement in Education and Vocational Preparation
Venue: Monash University Peninsula, Campus McMahons Rd, Frankston
Target: Professionals with an interest in learning and education for people aged 14 years and over with complex learning needs.
Stream One: Inclusive practice in education
Steam Two: Vocational preparation and mentoring
Call for Presentation Papers Open 23 November 2015
Early Bird Registrations Open 1 February 2016
Call for Presentation Papers Close 22 February 2016
Early Bird Registrations Close 25 April 2016
Registrations Close 30 May 2016
For further information about the Inclusive Learning Conference 2016 go to http://www.ndcovictoria.net.au/region-14#events or contact
To register for this event go to
Sally Bailey National Disability Coordination Officer email@example.com (03) 9784 0400
For RSVP's and requested to be added to the membership please contact
Community views sought on services for autism spectrum disorder
The Victorian Parliament’s Family and Community Development Committee has invited community input to its inquiry into services for people with autism spectrum disorder. The Committee has called for people to have their say on the availability and adequacy of services provided by the Commonwealth, State and local governments across health, education, disability, housing, sport and employment services. The Committee also wants to find out the projected demand for services in Victoria. Submissions are welcome by Friday, 18 March 2016
For information about making a submission go to http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/fcdc/inquiries/article/2586
NDIS and MS
Experience in the NDIS trial sites show that many people living with multiple sclerosis will be eligible for this insurance. If you have any impairment that stops you from doing everyday things by yourself, you might be eligible for insurance support to help you achieve your goals - whether that’s to return to work, travel or just do all the everyday things others take for granted! - See more at: http://www.ms.org.au/support-services/national-disability-insurance-scheme/my-ndis-story.aspx#sthash.ImJd4ovq.dpuf
Understanding Disability – FREE Professional Development Opportunity,
The National Disability Coordination Officer Program Region 16 in partnership with Horsham Special School and Wimmera Rural Access Program extend this invitation to any interested professional or person in the Wimmera who would like to understand more about disability and what it means for learning. This initial session will include a walking workshop through Horsham Special School that will begin to connect the dots between brain development, environment and learning.
A forum session will follow the walking tour, with an opportunity for you to discuss and query topics concerning your work or life in regards to disability.
This workshop is FREE and is the first in a series which will include; Emotional Regulation, Language and Communication, Sensory Regulation and more. They will be delivered by education experts in the field and sponsored by the Wimmera Rural Access Program and Horsham Special School.
When: Friday 18th of March 2016
Where: Horsham Special School
17 High Street North, Horsham
Time: 1pm – 3pm
Registrations by Friday 11/3/16: Megan or Shannon (03) 5381 1475
Transition Action Networks – Western Victoria
The goal of these networks is to support young people with barriers to transition to remain engaged in or pursue education, training, employment and/or participate in activities within the community. The networks aim to do this by building partnerships between education and community service providers.
Please see below dates and times for meetings coming up…
Tuesday 16th of February 2016
Southern Grampians Transition Action Network, RMIT, 200 Ballarat Road, Hamilton 10am-12noon
Monday 22nd February 2016
South West Transition Action Network, South West TAFE, Hurd Street, Warrnambool 3.45 pm-5pm
Wednesday 24th February 2016
Sunraysia Transition Action Network, Mildura Club, Deakin Avenue, Mildura 3-4.30 pm
Wednesday 2nd March 2016
Geelong Transition Action Network, Deakin Cats Community Centre, Skilled Stadium, Geelong 3.30-4.30pm
Wednesday 9th March 2016
Colac Transition Action Network, Colac Specialist School, Wilson Street, Colac 3.30pm-4.30pm
If you are interested in participating or wish to establish a network in your area, please contact Pam on 0418 108 555 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
National Disability Services (NDS) Event Snapshot
2 March 2016
This workshop is for support workers and coordinators who support people with disability in the community. It combines theory with tools and examples to equip support workers to learn the skills to facilitate active community engagement.
3 March 2016
This workshop is part of the Improve-IT-4NDIS program, which will focus on IT planning for an NDIS environment.
4 March 2016
This workshop is part of the Improve-IT-4NDIS program, which will focus on IT planning for an NDIS environment.
5 March 2016
Spinal Life Australia's Assistive Solutions Expo will feature the latest innovations, equipment, aids and technology for people with a physical disability.
7 - 8 March 2016
The NDS VIC Conference will be held on Monday 7 - Tuesday 8 March 2016 at the Pullman, Albert Park, Melbourne.
8 March 2016
This workshop will examine costing and pricing for small and medium disability service organisations. The workshop will utilise relevant cases and consider the impacts of NDIS, My Way and the Delivering Community Services in Partnership Policy.
9 March 2016
This workshop will demonstrate the use of the Costing and Pricing - The Curtin / NDS Tool by applying a case study of a typical medium sized disability service provider.
10 March 2016
This forum has been designed to provide coordinators and team leaders with the information and skills necessary to thrive in the new disability sector.
Visit the NDS Website for more information and see more events: http://www.nds.org.au/events
Disability-related Events Calendar 2016
Each year the Australian Network on Disability compiles a list of key disability-and health-related campaigns and events scheduled throughout the year. See more: http://www.and.org.au/pages/disability-related-events-calendar.html
1-29 - Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month - Ovarian Cancer Australia
1-29 - REDFEB - Heart Research Australia
4 - World Cancer Day - Union for International Cancer Control
7-13 - Feeding tube awareness week - ausEE Inc.
18 - International Asperger's Day - Asperger Services Australia
26 - Wear Red Day - Heart Research Australia
1-31- Bandaged Bear Appeal - The Children's Hospital at Westmead
1 - International Wheelchair Day - International Wheelchair Club
4 - Bandaged Bear Day - The Children's Hospital at Westmead
6-12 - World Glaucoma Week - Glaucoma Australia
14-20 - Brain Awareness Week - BrainAware
10-13 - World’s Greatest Shave – Leukaemia Foundation
21 - World Down Syndrome Day - United Nations
TBC - Arthritis Awareness Week - Arthritis Australia
26 - Purple Day for Epilepsy Awareness - Epilepsy Australia
2 - World Autism Awareness Day - United Nations
7 - World Health Day - United Nations
11 - World Parkinson's Day - Parkinson's Victoria
TBC - Osteopathy Awareness Week - Australian Osteopathic Association
28 - World Day for Safety & Health at Work - International Labor Organization (ILO)
27 - International Guide Dog Day - Guide Dogs Australia
1-31 - Jelly Baby Month - The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
1-31 - Neurofibromatosis Awareness Month - Neurofibromatosis Association of Australia Inc
1-31 - Miracle Month of May - Miracle Babies Foundation
6 - World Asthma Day - Asthma Australia
4-10 - Tourette Syndrome Awareness Week - Tourette Syndrome Association of Australia
1-7 - Heart Week - Heart Foundation
1-7 - National Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Week - MND Australia
12-18 - International Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) Awareness Week - ME/CFS Australia
8 - Get Smart (Mother's Day) - Thyroid Foundation - Protect Your Baby's Brain
TBC - Schizophrenia Awareness Week - Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW
15 - World Autoimmune Arthritis Day - International Foundation for Autoimmune Arthritis
15-21 - Support Allergic Friends Everywhere Week - Anaphylaxis Australia
17 - Australian Network on Disability's 7th Annual National Conference, Sydney
19-25 - Spinal Health Week - Chiropractor's Association of Australia
26 - World MS Day - MS Research Australia
26 - Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea – Cancer Council
27 - 65 Roses Day - Cystic Fibrosis New South Wales
22-28 - Kidney Health Week - Kidney Health
29 - Wear White at Work for International White Wreath Day (Suicide awareness) - White Wreath Association
TBC - Macular Degeneration Awareness Week - Macular Degeneration Foundation Australia
TBC - MS Walk & Fun Run - Multiple Sclerosis Australia
1-7 - Thyroid Awareness Week- Australian Thyroid Foundation
13-19 - International Men's Health Week - Men's Health Information and Resource Centre
17 - City Mile Dash - Cancer Council NSW
21 - MND (Motor Neurone Disease) Global Day - MND Australia
26 - Red Nose Day - SIDS and Kids
29 - World Scleroderma Day - Scleroderma Australia
10-16 - Diabetes Awareness Week- Diabetes Australia
TBC - Stress Down Day - Lifeline Australia
29 - Crazy Hair Day - Cystic Fibrosis NSW
28 - World Hepatitis Day - Hepatitis Australia
5 - Jeans for Genes Day - Children's Medical Research Institute
7-13 - National EOS Awareness Week - AusEE Inc.
8 - Top 8 Challenge Day - AusEE Inc.
15-21 - Brain Injury Awareness Week, "Bang on a Beanie" - Brain Injury Australia
20-27 - Hearing Awareness Week - Deafness Forum of Australia
26 - Daffodil Day - Cancer Council Australia
1-30 - Dementia Awareness Month - Alzheimer's Australia
1-30 - Prostate Cancer Awareness Month - Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia
1 - Gold Bow Day - Australian Thyroid Foundation
12-18 - National Stroke Week - National Stroke Foundation
10 - World Suicide Prevention Day (UN) - Suicide Prevention Australia
8 - R U OK? Day - R U OK?
11-15 - Idiopathic Hypersomnia Awareness Week - Hypersomnolence Australia
15 - World Lymphoma Awareness Day - Lymphoma Australia
18-24 - Parkinson's Awareness Week - Parkinson's Australia
21 - World Alzheimer's Day - Alzheimer's Australia
TBC - Headache and Migraine Week - Headache Australia (Brain Foundation)
21 - World Alzheimer's Day - Alzheimer's Australia
29 - World Heart Day - World Heart Federation
1-31 - Mental Health Awareness Month - Mental Health Association NSW
1-31 - Breast Cancer Awareness Month - National Breast Cancer Foundation
1-31 - Dogtober - Assistance Dogs Australia
1-31 - Girls Night In - Cancer Council Australia
4-16 - Down Syndrome Awareness Week & Buddy Walk - Down Syndrome Australia
7 - Light The Night - Leukemia Foundation
7 - Hat Day for Mental Health - Rotary Australia
TBC - National Amputee Awareness Week - Limbs for Life
TBC - Nation Week of Deaf People - Deaf Australia
TBC - Great Strides Day - Cystic Fibrosis Australia
9-15 - Mental Health Week - National Mental Health Commission
TBC - Haemophilia Awareness Week & Red Cake Day- Haemophilia Foundation Australia
9 - World Sight Day - Vision 2020 Australia
10 - World Mental Health Day - United Nations
12 - International Arthritis Day - Arthritis Victoria
TBC - Loud Shirt Day – (to benefit deaf children) – Hear and Say Centre
20 - World Osteoporosis Day - International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF)
TBC - Pink Ribbon Day - Cancer Council
TBC - National Bandanna Day - CanTeen
1-30 - Movember- Movember Foundation
1-30 - Lung Health Awareness Month - The Australian Lung Foundation
TBC - Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week - Independence Australia
TBC - National Psychology Week - The Australian Psychological Society
TBC - National Walk to Work Day - Diabetes Australia
14 - World Diabetes Day - Diabetes Australia
15 - White Cane Day - Vision Australia
16 - World Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Day - Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease
TBC - Assistance Dogs Australia Awareness Week - Assistance Dogs Australia
1 - World AIDS Day
1 - Red Ribbon Appeal - runs in conjunction with World AIDS Day - ACON Sydney
3 - UN International Day of People with Disability - IDPwD
TBC - Pathways13 Conference, Canberra - Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training
ANZ Graduate and Internship Program and Students with Disability
Rob Crestani from ANZ’s Abilities program has put out a request for people with disability to apply for the ANZ Graduate Internship Program. The 2016 ANZ Graduate Program application period will begin on February 24th and finish on March 20th. Application can be made online at www.anz.com.au/about-us/careers/graduate-intern-program .
Policy and Research
Access to real learning: the impact of policy, funding and culture on students with disability
An inquiry into current levels of access and attainment for students with disability in the school system, and the impact on students and families associated with inadequate levels of support. Australia, as a nation, has allowed educational outcomes for students with disability to be poor as a consequence of failing to consider what outcomes we want for children with disability. Without defined goals or outcomes for students with disability, there has been long-term policy confusion around expectations of the school system in general and individual students in particular. What is needed, therefore, is greater consideration given to what would be the optimal educational outcomes for students with disability, and then an effort made by governments at both commonwealth and state/territory level to put into place the policies, practices and funding that would lead to these outcomes.
Building teacher capability for inclusive education
As a part of the Victorian Governments Department of Education and Training strategic direction, building teacher capability for inclusive education requires all Victorian teachers to undertake some professional development in the area of disabilities and special needs. For further information go to
For learning diversity resources go to
Final Report on the 2015 Review of the Disability Standards for Education 2005
The Standards are required to be reviewed every five years in consultation with the Attorney-General’s Department. Urbis were engaged by the department to undertake the 2015 review of the Standards. The 2015 review recognised progress has been made since the 2010 review in raising awareness of the Standards with educators through various initiatives and resources.
The Final Report on the 2015 Review and the Australian Government initial response are now available. The Australian Government initial response outlines how the Australian Government intends to address each recommendation. https://docs.education.gov.au/node/38936
Post School Transition, the Experiences of Students with Disability
This report is based on the direct experience of young people with disability. It highlights key issues from current research, legislation and consultation with key stakeholders. It concludes with recommendations for improving outcomes and options for post school transition of students with disability.
Recognising Ability: Business and the Employment of People with Disability
Business Council of Australia launched Recognising Ability: Business and the Employment of People with Disability, a report which looks at the role business can play in driving greater workforce participation and inclusion for people with disability.
Supporting tertiary students with a disability or mental illness: good practice guide
Through the implementation of the principles outlined in this good practice guide, teaching staff and disability services staff in tertiary institutions will be better positioned to provide additional supports for students with a disability or mental illness. Based on two research reports, which consider the perspectives of students, disability services workers and teaching staff, this guide offers a wide range of individual and institution-level learning supports with the aim of improving the educational experience and rate of course completions for students with a disability or mental illness.
Supporting tertiary students with disabilities: individualised and institution-level approaches in practice
Experiencing disability or ongoing ill-health can be very disruptive to an individuals' education and training outcomes. These students may need additional support to help them successfully complete their studies. This research explores the complex factors affecting the implementation of learning supports to assist students with disabilities or ongoing health conditions. It focuses on two types of learning support: individualised reasonable adjustments; and institution-level learning supports, the latter being available to all students. The report provides examples of best practice for the provision of both types of learning supports and notes that often a combination of these may be appropriate.
Amendments to VET FEE-HELP
The Higher Education Support Act 2003 (the Act) was recently amended by the Higher Education Support Amendment (VET FEE-HELP Reform) Act 2015 and will enact new measures from 1 January 2016 to further strengthen the scheme.
The amendments will:
• Strengthen the debt remission process for students under VET FEE-HELP
• Strengthen the assessment criteria for, and ongoing scrutiny of, all training providers
• Ensure student debt is incurred in line with course delivery, and establish increased protections for students
• Establish minimum pre-requisite and prior education qualification, including demonstrated literacy and numeracy requirements.
• Freeze the total loan limit for existing providers at 2015 levels
• Introduce new entry requirements for training providers wishing to offer VET FEE-HELP loans
• Move to payment in arrears for certain providers
• Pause payments to providers for new enrolments where there are concerns about performance.
For information, please refer to the following website: - https://www.education.gov.au/vet-fee-help-reforms
Students wanting to know how these changes affect them, please visit the Study Assist website at www.studyassist.gov.au
Complaints about providers can be made to the National Training Complaints Hotline 13 38 73 - https://www.education.gov.au/national-training-complaints-hotline-1
Document Accessibility Toolbar (DAT) beta an exciting new resource from Vision Australia!
An innovation that revolutionises the ease and speed of creating accessible documents in Microsoft Word, the Document Accessibility Toolbar (DAT) supports individuals and organisations to embrace accessibility as ‘business as usual’ at no cost.
The DAT puts the power of accessible functionality into the hands of content authors, for the ultimate benefit of consumers with disability or age-related impairment.
Toolbox talk training package for all workplaces—beyond blue
Beyondblue’s ‘Mental health in the workplace’ toolbox talk training package provides workplaces in all industries with free resources to equip team leaders, or anyone managing staff, with the skills and confidence to deliver mental health toolbox talks to their staff. The package helps them to encourage conversations about mental health in the workplace, reduce workplace stigma and sup-port staff who may be experiencing a mental health condition. Go to webpage
Filmed over a period of eight years, Sharing Our Story follows the lives of five families as they progress through major milestones in their children’s lives and learn to manage the particular issues and challenges associated with raising a child with a disability.
Sharing Our Story
Sharing Our Story is a highly engaging adult learning tool aimed at tertiary students and service providers who regularly work with children with a disability. Sharing Our Story is designed to stimulate discussion and encourage a greater understanding of disability from a family perspective enabling professionals to work in partnership with children with a disability and their families.
Sample on you tube (https://youtu.be/Fj7icLvhLeE)
The Sharing Our Story kit includes two DVDs plus a training manual with suggested learning objectives, activities and prompts to generate discussion. The full Sharing Our Story kit is available for purchase for AUD 199.00 Inc. GST on 03 9818 2000, 1800 654 013 or email@example.com
Sane - Take the workplace mental health and wellbeing survey
Help us improve workplace mental health outcomes in Australian organisations by participating in the Mindful Employer survey. The Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing survey will provide us with invaluable insights that will help to inform our work and support workplaces. The survey will only take 10 minutes to complete and participation is strictly confidential. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MindfulEmployerProgram
NDCO Victoria Website
The Victorian National Disability Coordination Officer Program website has recently been u updated. The site provides a range of general information about post school support and transition options into education and employment for people with disability. In addition to this each region contains specific information about events and services in your local area.
National Disability Clearinghouse
Check out what’s New at the following link: http://ndoch.govspace.gov.au/news
Supports the NDIS will Fund in Relation to Education
This fact sheet provides information on what supports the NDIS will fund in relation to education and how to determine whether a support is funded by the NDIS or the school education system. http://www.ndis.gov.au/node/740
Supports the NDIS will Fund in Relation to Higher Education and Vocational Training
This fact sheet provides information on what supports the NDIS will fund in relation to higher education and vocational education and training (VET) and how to determine whether a support is funded by the NDIS or the higher education and VET system. http://www.ndis.gov.au/document/741
Supports the NDIS will Fund in Relation to Employment
This fact sheet provides information on what supports the NDIS will fund in relation to employment and how to determine whether a support is funded by the NDIS or the employment system. http://www.ndis.gov.au/document/743
Or Visit: www.ndis.gov.au for further information.
The NDCO Program works strategically to assist people with disability access, and participate in ‘Tertiary Education’ and subsequent employment, through a national network of regionally based NDCOs. There are 31 NDCO regions in Australia with 7 in Victoria. Each NDCO region has an Advisory Committee with representation from key regional stakeholders. In Victoria the NDCO program has also established a state network to work on collaborative state priorities.
Region 11 - Inner Northern Melbourne NDCO: Tania Perez TPerez@imvc.com.au Phone: (03) 9686 2354
Region 12 - Western Region NDCO: Gary Kerridge Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 0439 113 364
Region 13 - Eastern Melbourne NDCO: Effie Kapsalos Email: email@example.com Phone: (03) 9686 2354
Region 14 –Southern Melbourne NDCO: Sally Bailey Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (03) 9784 0400
Region 15 - Northern Victoria NDCO: Mark Cottee Email: email@example.com Phone: (02) 6055 6309
Region 16 - Western Victoria NDCO: Pam Anderson Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone 0418108555
Region 17 -Eastern Victoria and South East Melbourne NDCO: Andrea Evans McCall Email: email@example.com Phone: 0418 208 039