Disability services call on Gov to reverse funding cuts
People’s voices “need to be heard”.
IDEAS (Information on Disability Education & Awareness Services), one of Australia’s longest established independent information providers for people with disability, has launched a campaign calling on the NSW Government to reverse their decision to cut funding for IDEAS in 2018, and instead support the right for Australians with disability to access independent information.
IDEAS, a community organisation currently servicing over 500,000 people, aims to support Australians with disability to make informed life choices through access to independent information and resources. IDEAS’ vision is to create a world where people with disability live full, independent lives of their own choosing.
With the introduction of the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme), the NSW Government plans to pull funding for IDEAS and other state-based organisations in June 2018. ‘The hugely important resources and support services IDEAS provides for Australians with disability are now in danger of closing,” said the organisation.
In NSW, advocacy and information services like IDEAS are not covered under the NDIS. Diana Palmer, CEO of IDEAS, is urging the NSW Government to reverse their decision to stop funding IDEAS before the cut-off date in June 2018.
“People with disability in NSW and across Australia have the right to access independent information and ensure that their rights and voices are heard – but it won’t happen if we don’t have advocacy and information services like IDEAS,” she said.
“Since the rollout of the NDIS, IDEAS has seen an increase in the amount of people looking for independent information and support services, whether it’s what supplier they use to assist them, what social activities are available in the area, or sourcing accessible travel destinations. This important information is what the Government wants to take away from the people who need it most, including people with disability in rural and regional Australia.”
Dougie Herd, a well-known NSW disability advocate, said that the valuable information IDEAS provides is unparalleled.
“To live the best life possible as a person with disability, nothing is more important than information that’s reliable and comes from a trustworthy source. IDEAS has been providing this vital information for decades. It’s an organisation that understands the needs, hopes and wishes of people with disability and their families. It would be a tragedy if we lost that valuable resource, because it’s desperately needed.”
IDEAS has launched a petition on Change.org and is encouraging as many people as possible to behind it. The petition will be presented to the NSW Government on 3rdDecember, the International Day of People with a Disability.