numptyDid you know that NUMPTY is actually a word?  My friend Peter has forever called me a numpty. I always thought it was an endearing term he gave me because I beat him at golf all the time. In fact NUMPTY is an official word recognized by the BBC on their page KEEPING UP WITH ENGLISH. It is defined as such – “N-U-M-P-T-Y. Numpty. Gentle word. Very gentle word. It feels to me like ‘silly billy’ or ‘you novice!’ It means somebody who displays a lack of knowledge or a lack of awareness.” Well I have had numpties up to here this week! In fact so fed up am I of the numpties that I have decided to out a few.

It started this morning with K – I AM A NUMPTY – RUDD. Announcing that Western Australia had finally signed up for the much-vaunted NDIS he said, “There are unique features to the WA scheme but I think it will be good for everybody, particularly those suffering with disabilities.” Of course Mr Rudd is the same numpty that patted a disabled woman on the head. Well HE has done it again. Well Numpty Rudd I would just like to point out that people with a disability do not suffer from a disability. In fact for the most part we all live jolly good lives. We are poor, certainly, because Australia wont cough up the money it can afford to ensure we are fully included members of Australian society. This is largely because Australia’s disability policy is written by numpties. BUT we do not suffer. We suffer from ignorant and patronizing attitudes but generally not from our disability. Let me say this clearly – YOU NUMPTY.

This week I was told by a colleague that the cost associated with my communication needs, albeit interpreting, was entirely my responsibility. My colleague is a nice fellow but his boss is clearly a numpty. My colleague was organizing a meeting to see how we could all work together to improve local employment outcomes for people with a disability. Knowing that I have two decades of experience, largely within the employment sector, he asked if I could share my wisdom.

“Sure”, I said, “ .. Just book the interpreters and I am there.” My colleague was quite happy to do so. He checked with his manager who said no. His manager said cos it was work my employer was responsible and therefore my employer has to pay. I pointed out that the meeting was:

1)    Organized by THEM

2)    Outside the boundaries of my region

3)    That they were getting my considerable knowledge for FREE.

4)    That under the DDA that they had certain obligations before saying no to a person which include CONSULTING to identify REASONABLE ADJUSTMENTS.

5)    That they were a DISABILITY PROGRAM and ACCESS is their business!!!

I also pointed out that if a person in a wheelchair comes along that they would most certainly find an accessible building that has a ramp and that all their new buildings are required to have access for people in wheelchairs and that the said ramps were paid for by them, not the person in a wheelchair. Said I, “Now lets be realistic, a person with a wheelchair is not expected to carry a ramp under their arms or pay for their own ramps are they?”  Why then I asked, “ Am I expected to pay for the interpreters for a meeting that you are organizing for your region, as part of your program and when I am providing my considerable knowledge for free?”  My colleague, credit to him, knew that I was entirely correct. He said that he would get back to his manager. The said manager is still dilly-dallying. All I can say to the manager is YOU NUMPTY! For crying out loud, it’s a program that focuses on improving ACCESS. Practice what you preach! NUMPTY, NUMPTY NUMPTY!

The queen, king and champion of all numpties are the glorious management of Townsend House. They, of course, are responsible for the rather pathetic and ineffective services of Deaf Can Do. The services are irrelevant to the Deaf community, duplicated elsewhere and running at a heavy loss. The solution? Well it is to sell the beautiful and historical home of the South Australian Deaf community at 262, turf the Deaf community out on the street and then channel the money into the services of Deaf Can Do. Deaf Can Do services will then eat up all them profits from 262 and the Deaf community will be left with nothing. Numptiness at its best! (OK! I know that they said that they would find a new home for the Deaf community but, given their track record, don’t hold your breath.)

Too add insult to injury the numpties went and spent $11 000 to send their senior management team to Sydney for a business conference. Having told the Deaf community that the financial situation was so dire that they had to sell 262 they sent themselves off on a Junket. It was a two day Junket that cost them $11 000. Meanwhile the South Australian Deaf community is holding a candlelight vigil in front of 262 to show just how much the building means to them. Around the clock people are volunteering their time to attend the vigil in all weather. So what do the management do. Do they pay respect? Do they acknowledge the heartache and pain that their decisions are causing the Deaf community? No! They spend $11 000 on a two day junket while expecting us to believe that they are going broke! NUMPTIES!

But wait there is more. These same people want to become a service provider that people who are deaf or parents who have deaf children can tap into. They want to sell themselves as an EXPERT to provide early intervention services and get paid for it from NDIS funds. Here is what they are providing:

1)    Individual Speech therapy.

2)    Individual occupational therapy.

3)    Group occupational therapy.

4)    Early intervention, home, medical or centre visits.

5)    Early intervention groups.

6)    Technology support and training.

7)    Fund management.

This is an advertisement for CanDo4Kids which is part of the services that Townsend House provide. CanDo4Kids is the key service provider for deaf kids in South Australia. What is missing? Well there is no Auslan language development. This truly shows the respect that Townsend House have for the Deaf community and of their understanding of the power of sign language in a deaf child’s development. I suggest that if you are seeking services in South Australia for your deaf kids, seek it elsewhere. Surely this has to be the final insult!

Numpties – complete and utter!


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