Merry F#*king Xmas

meanIt was a really merry Xmas for the leaders of many of our Disability Peaks this year. The Abbott government, showing all the compassion that it is renown for, announced that many Disability Peaks had been defunded. This just three days before Christmas. For many that worked within these peaks either as CEOs, administrative workers or project officers,  Xmas came with the knowledge that they were about to be out of a job.

For those not in the know, Disability peaks are those organisations that advocate to the Government on behalf of people with a disability and their families. In the Deafness sector these peaks were Deaf Australia and Deafness Forum. Through the skilled advocacy of these organisations many programs have come about such as the Auslan for Employment Scheme that was later expanded to include live captioning. We have also seen steady progress and improvement in captioning and telecommunication access among other things.

Sadly both Deaf Australia and Deafness Forum are among the peaks that have been defunded. They are currently in for the fight of their life to stay afloat. In the short-term they are unlikely to have their funding restored. They will both need to work very closely together to ensure the needs of Australians who are Deaf and hard of hearing are heard. They must carry on without funding. A merger is on the cards.

This Government has no clue as to what it is like to live in Australia with a disability. It seems to not care that Australia performs horrendously in providing support for people with a disability. Why else would 45% of people with a disability live in poverty? People with a disability are among the most vulnerable in Australia yet the Government has them firmly in its targets. Meanwhile mega rich mining and media moguls continue to get tax breaks and abuse the system.

Cruelly one of the Governments targets is single parents. Currently as soon as a single parent’s child turns 8 years old single parents are being forced on to Newstart. They are being made to look for work. This requirement in itself can be very unfair but if your child has a disability it becomes even more so.

My friend is the mother of a child who is deaf and also has autism. She has been forced on to Newstart. My friend already works five days a week but with limited hours. Luckily she works at her son’s school but must be on call to deal with any adverse behaviors that might happen. Last week, as an example, her son head-butted a glass pane door of his classroom because he could not get in. It smashed and he cut his face all over. Said my friend, “ He was damn lucky not to have cut his eyes or a major blood vessel. Bled like a stuck pig. Added 20 years and too many grey hairs to count.”

While this sort of incident is extreme her child’s challenging behaviours are common enough. It means that my friend has to be available at call. She requires a flexible work environment which she, luckily, currently has. Her family is not close by to support her apart from her elderly grandparents who are unable to offer support. Her ex-husband has his own health issues and the bulk of her sons care falls almost solely on her. She gets no respite care from the Government because she cannot get this unless she is, going to hurt my children or myself.” The NDIS is currently not an option either because its not due to be introduced to her area until 2016, if at all.

At home she also has to deal with meltdowns. She is trying to assist her deaf child with language development. She is assisting her child with his education that is inevitably interrupted and challenged through autism and deafness. She is also trying to give fair attention and love to her other child. On top of this add the additional expense of broken objects and laptops that can be the product of behavioural meltdowns.

My friend does not get carers payment from the Government because – I don’t provide constant care in the home because he goes to school” She gets carers allowance that she must split with her ex-husband. This provides her with the princely sum of $56 a fortnight. Previously she got single parenting payment but now she has been shafted to Newstart she has lost $205 a fortnight.

AND to top this off, because she has been shafted to Newstart, she is expected to apply for ten jobs per week. This single mother who can be called from work at any time to care for her child, who has the sole care of a child who is both deaf and autistic, a child that has challenging behaviour at home and school that requires her constant vigilance, who also has the sole care of another child … This mother is expected to look for ten jobs per week! Why? Because the Government thinks she is a LEANER and somehow has the capacity to not only look for ten jobs a week but also work full time. As she so eloquently put it – “How f#*ked is that?”

This is what the Abbott Government wants from people who have next to nothing! Meanwhile the worlds richest woman, Gina, is floating on her luxury yacht, sipping an adult beverage whilst getting tax breaks left, right and centre. To top this off Dr Death Morrison has been appointed Minister of Social Services and our advocacy peaks have been defunded. AND the NDIS is about to be used as a pawn for the Government to push through its unfair welfare cuts! Indeed – How f#*ked is that?

 Merry F#*king Everyone!

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12 thoughts on “Merry F#*king Xmas

  1. No, I agree with government in defunding many of these organisations as they serve no purpose.

    Good to see some more left-wing bullshit posted on here.
    Why should an organisation be funded by the government for the organisations purposes of advocacy and lobbying?

    Sorry, DA and DF are useless.

      • its also good to know that you completely ignored the plight of the mother…. showing the same amount of compassion as this pathetic right wing Govt we have now.

    • I agree with you. I still struggle to understand the purpose and role of both Deaf Australia and Deafness Forum, other than to employ a small handful of deaf people within the organisation. The aims of both organisations are not clear, and the outcomes they intend to achieve (or have achieved) are not visible nor measurable, which is likely to be a factor in why they are given the chop. To the Government and Pollies, DA and DF appears to suck in a lot of money, but provide little output to Australian society as a whole.

      • i respect your view on that one. But over time if you look atvthe impact both organisations have had .. particularly in regard to employment, telecommunications access, captioning access and in Deaf Australia’s case the growthnin the recognition of Auslan and the interpreting profession the impact has been quite significant. Where they have failed is inntheir inability to fund a way to form one strong peak .. muchnof this is due to the fear that Deaf community issues woukd be swallowed up in issues concerning hard of hearing and not get recognition. But again I should point out the article is more about the gross unfairness of the current wekfare crackdowns on many people such as the mother concerned and less about the demise of the Peaks. That said I am not confident the new cross disability model will give fair recognition to all .. time will tell.

  2. No. What is pathetic is the handout mentality that the likes of you seem to adopt – it’s neither an entitlement nor a right.

    • Whats sad is the lack of compassion you show and also your lack of understanding of how economics works. You look after people and inevitably long term it becomes cheaper …Why because these people;e can keep their heads above water .. they buy essentials and it keeps the economy ticking over during bad times … U my friend are just an ignoramus… short and simple.

      • That’s a false economy akin to Clive Palmer’s “give everyone a few thousand” attempt at buying votes.

        You also ignore the fact that welfare needs to be funded by taxpayers, throwing money at people to prop up the economy is absolute rubbish. So would you like to claim that it was those on welfare that saved the country from recession? Since you’ve opened that door, let me question what value there is in the DSP which appears to offer little inducement for the recipients to become contributing members of society – the inflated cost of which is completely unjustified in its current form.

        Before you question my understanding economics, you may wish to obtain a fundamental understanding yourself.

  3. Read up on supply and demand and how it works. onendoes not confuse lookingnafter vulnerable with ” Give everyone a few thousand”

    Give everyone few thousand is what Howard and Costello did and wasted the mining boom. Looking after a single mother with a severely disabled child is no comparison.

    Remember 4000 per chld born .. one for yourself one for the country? product od yout right wing cronies. looking after the vulnerable lessens burden .. they cnnpaynfor housing, food, health etc etc … it means ultimately they rely less on thenGovernment because they cannliok after themselves perhaps uuntil they hit better times.

    give everuonena few thohsand is what Tony Abbotts paud parental scheme is. Uts what furst home buyers grants did and over heated the economy causing horrendous rise in housingnprices so Australia wentnfrom most affordable houses to opposite. Thats thenfalse economy you talk about … not looking after the vulnerable like my friend.
    There is a simpke philosophy .. in good times you save so that you cannhave a pool of funds to look after people in bad times. In bad yines you stimlate .. unfortunately your buddies on right did it in reverse and consequently we are now paying for it.

    i am all for cutting back on welfare and targetting those that dont need it. my friend is not one of them. thatsbthe whole problem with the current Govt they are tragetting savings at the.most vulnerble. this longnterm is only goingnto cost the country more as the country pays the price of cleaning up the mess of people falling through the cracks.

    As its been said by many people …

    The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities.~John E. E. Dalberg, Lord Acton, The History of Freedom in Antiquity, [1877].

    That is just decency and.nothingnto do with left or right wing .. and i.stand b what i said .. about your knowkedge of economics … diplomatically … it is lacking.

  4. Abe, I have to disagree with your previous statement. As someone who has worked in disability employment for a long time, it is the providers that lobby the Government and drive change for deaf people. DA and DF are totally out of touch and have done sweet FA to improve access, services or outcomes for deaf job seekers. They never speak to us, work with us or leverage our knowledge. Wasted opportunities.

    Get rid of them I say. Deaf people need to stand up for themselves.

    • Harsh … but agree consulting with members had never been their strong point. But improvements in Jobaccess such as Auslan for Employment, Workplace modifications etc were at least in part from their lobbying.

      As for Deaf people standing up for themselves .. all well and good but a coordinated approach to systemic issues such as education, captioning, interpreting at hospitals etc would be much harder if we were all just standing up for ourselves …

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