NEDA Knows

A Monthly Bulletin

The National Ethnic Disability Alliance
Issue 24 - August 2021
A Note from our CEO
Dear friends,
On Friday 09 July 2021, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC, Minister for Government Services and Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) met with all state and territory disability ministers. It was decided in the meeting that the federal government’s controversial plan to introduce NDIS Independent Assessments will not go ahead as it was rejected by state and territory ministers.
This is a big win for our people and our sector, and we would like to thank all those who campaigned for this to happen.
I would like to thank Minister Reynolds for having had frank and open discussions regarding the Independent Assessments with many of us.
I would also like to thank our stakeholders from all around the country who worked together on this campaign to ensure that this reform would not become legislation.  Many advocates from all points of the disability community worked tirelessly at groundsroots level within their communities and campaigned with local and federal ministers and senators.  
I spoke to our President, Margherita Coppolino and  as a person with disability, she warmly welcomed the Minister’s announcement: “At NEDA, we are very proud of the disability sector working as one to ensure that the NDIS continues as it should, that our "choice and control" remain intact. I would like to thank all the peak bodies, both Disabled People’s Organisations and Representative People’s Organisations, that worked together to make this win happen”, she said.
It is understood that the NDIS will face some obstacles in the future as the need increases, and we, like our friends within the disability sector, want the NDIS to continue and support some of the most disadvantaged people in Australia. 
We hope to continue our honest communications with Minister Renyolds to ensure the permanency of the scheme, and we look forward to working with her to enhance the lives of those who are eligible for the scheme.
Thank you all. As always, I value your feedback. Please follow us on social media and send us your thoughts and ideas on our work by emailing

Kind regards,
Dwayne Cranfield

Independent Assesments

As highlighted in our CEO’s note, Independent Assessments (IAs) were scrapped in early July, after NDIS Minister Reynolds failed to secure the support of state and territory disability ministers for the plan. 

To read the official announcement (media statement) from the Minister, go here -
If you wish to view archived information on IAs and how they were proposed to work, visit this webpage from the NDIS -

Our Royal Commission

The DRC has published its hearing schedule for the months of August, September and October. You can view the schedule here.

The schedule is subject to change for a number of reasons, including COVID-19 restrictions.

It will be updated as more information becomes available.

Next Hearing
The next DRC hearing (Public Hearing 15) will be held on 12 and 13 August 2021 in Brisbane and will deal with "Satellite hearing: Criminal justice and the NDIS."

DRC Fast Facts (from the DRC website)
2,787 Submissions received
9,977 Phone enquiries
13 Issues papers published
605 Responses to issues papers
470 Private Sessions held
DRC Counselling - Blue Knot Foundation
There are services available to support you through any difficult feelings you might be having because of the Royal Commission. Some of these are provided by the Royal Commission. Others are provided by independent, external providers that have been funded by the Australian Government. More information is available at
Your Story Disability Legal Support
Have you heard about “Your Story Disability Legal Support?” Your Story Disability Legal Support is a free service that empowers people with disability to safely share their story with the Disability Royal Commission and connect with local support services. They work in partnership with communities to deliver a person centred, trauma-informed and culturally safe legal service.
To know more, visit
DRC resources for culturally and linguistically diverse Australians
NEDA has developed DRC resources - factsheets and videos in different languages. They have been made available to allow you and your families and carers to understand:
  • What is the DRC?
  • What is Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation?
  • How can you a make a submission?
  • Your rights when making a submission
To know more, visit our DRC webpage or go to our YouTube channel.

NDIS Consultations

The NDIS is asking for submissions on two consultations:

1. NDIS Home & Living Consultation
Closing date: 5pm, Friday 27 August 2021    
The NDIS is developing a new Home and Living policy that will inform the way they support NDIS participants to pursue their home and living goals. 
They are looking to build a deep understanding of the key topics and issues that need to be addressed in the Home and Living through a wide variety of consultation activities including: 

2. NDIS Support for Decision Making Consultation
Closing date: 5pm, Friday 27 August 2021
The NDIS is also developing a new Support for Decision Making policy, that will aim to:
  • increase the opportunity for participants to be actively involved in making decisions about their lives and to exercise real choice and control.
  • support development of participants’ capability in making decisions (and helping participants to explore and make those decisions).
  • build the capacity of decision supporters, agency staff and partners to recognise and enable the will and preference of participants.
  • strengthen a support for decision making approach in the appointment of nominees.
The NDIS is aiming to build a deep understanding of the key topics and issues that need to be addressed in the Support for Decision Making policy through a wide variety of consultation activities including an 
  • an online survey
  • online information sessions and 
  • targeted workshops with participants with complex communication access/support needs.

For more information on those two consultations, visit the NDIS Webpage.

Disability Gateway

The Disability Gateway will assist all people with disability, their families and carers to locate and access services across Australia.

NEDA is helping to translate the Gateway into different languages and having them reviewed by people from the culturally and linguistcally diverse (CALD) community.

We will be working in partnership with the multicultural community to translate the Disability Gateway into a multilingual platform, hence opening access to people from a multitude of cultural and linguistic backgrounds. We are collaborating both with people with a disability and people from CALD backgrounds, to ensure the website is as inclusive, accurate and culturally appropriate as possible.

Information on the Disability Gateway is now available in languages other than English, such as Chinese (Simplified), Arabic, Vietnamese, Italian and Greek (see below.)

More information in the factsheets below.

You can also :

- Visit or
- Follow them on Facebook.

If you need a copy of the factsheets, please send us an email on


EDAC Name Change

Our member organisation in WA, Ethnic Disability Advocacy Centre (EDAC) has moved to new premises. The relocation also marks the transition to a new name for the organisation.

EDAC will now be known as Kin - Disability Advocacy for Diverse Communities, 'a name chosen to better reflect the work the organisation does and the people it supports.'

Did you know?

EDAC (now Kin) was established in 1995 to support people with disability from non-English speaking backgrounds, their families and carers in accessing disability support services. 

Kin provides advocacy services for people with all types of disability including physical, sensory, intellectual and psychiatric conditions.

The new premises were inaugurated by the Hon. Don Punch MLA, Minister for Disability Services. Here are some pictures from the ceremony.

Disability Support Pension (DSP) Factsheets

Four factsheets have been developed by Services Australia to help explain the most common rejection reasons for Disability Support Pension claims. We have included JPEG versions below. Please email us at if you need PDF versions of the factsheets for distribution.

2021 Australian Census

Australian Census
Every five years, the Australian Bureau of Statistics counts every person and home in Australia. This is called the Census. The Census is on Tuesday 10 August 2021.

The Census form asks questions about things like your:
  • age
  • country of birth
  • religion
  • ancestry and background
  • language used at home
  • work
  • education.
When filling in the Census, you need to include everyone who is staying in your home on Census night. This includes international visitors and babies.
The Census includes everyone in Australia, including:
  • visa holders
  • international visitors
  • international students studying at Australian universities.
The Census doesn’t include:
  • Australian residents who are out of the country on Census night
  • foreign diplomats and their families living in Australia.
There is support available in your language: call Translating and Interpreting Services on 131 450. The Census website also has information about the Census in 27 languages including Auslan.  

COVID-19 Information

SBS is now interpreting NSW COVID-19 press conferences live in languages other than English
SBS has launched a live translation service of the daily NSW government COVID-19 press conference in languages other than English to provide communities with access to critical health messages.
The media conferences will be translated in real-time into Arabic, Vietnamese, Mandarin and Assyrian, accessible via the SBS Arabic24SBS VietnameseSBS Chinese and SBS Assyrian Facebook pages, as well as SBS Radio.
The service will be introduced in additional languages shortly. 
Multilingual communities in Sydney’s West are being encouraged to get the COVID jab
Places of worship and other community hubs in Sydney’s West are being transformed into pop-up clinics to offer the jab. More in this story by the ABC. 
Petition – “Vaccines and COVID protection for disabled people now”
A petition, calling on the NSW and Federal Government to take urgent action and put people with disability first, and make sure they are protected from COVID has been started on
You can sign the petition here -

'People with disability were meant to be one of the first priorities for the vaccine rollout, but far too many of us are still not fully vaccinated.
The latest figures show that just over 30% of disabled people who live in group homes are fully protected. That is not good enough and needs urgent action.'

COVID welfare payments
If you’re affected by COVID-19, you might be eligible for a COVID welfare payment.
The payment you may be able to get depends on your situation. The eligibility rules are different for each payment.
To know more, go to 
New research shows racism during Covid-19 is rarely reported
New research has revealed that existing data under-represent the true extent of COVID-related racism. The vast majority of cases aren’t being formally reported and official reporting processes aren’t capturing or addressing the impact of racism on Asian Australians.
More in this article from The Conversation. 
COVID death of young Sydney resident
The death of a 27-year-old Sydney resident has prompted fresh calls from multicultural advocates for the Federal and State governments to deliver clear messaging on COVID vaccines.

Aude Alaskar, who came to Australia as a refugee a couple of years ago, died in his home in Fairfield after being in isolation for 13 days.

Multicultural advocates have highlighted several issues with NSW’s lockdown and the government’s messaging on vaccines:
  1. Confusion on vaccine safety and which vaccine was a better option for specific age groups: AstraZeneca or Pfizer.
  2. Many people, especially those living in Fairfield and Liverpool LGAs have been unable to book a vaccine: a lack of familiarity with technology and online booking systems have been a hurdle.
  3. Police presence in those areas have created a sense of fear and distrust in the government
  4. This has contributed to vaccine hesitancy in many communities.
  5. Some people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds have also flagged accessibility issues: many have been unable to travel to vaccine centres due to transport issues.

FECCA COVID-19 Community Grants

Multicultural communities can access small grants to help protect their communities against COVID-19. Grants of $2500, $3500, and $5000 are available.
Learn more about the small grants program. Visit

Disability News

The care worker charged over the death of Ann Marie Smith has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the Adelaide Magistrates Court.

Rosa Maione, 68, who also goes by the name Rosemary, was charged last year, four months after Ms Smith died from severe septic shock, organ failure, pressure sores and malnutrition.

54-year-old Anne Marie Smith, who had cerebral palsy, was found in what police described as "disgusting and degrading" circumstances, in her Kensington Park home.

NCCP comes to an end

End of National Community Connectors Project
The National Community Connectors project has now come to an end.
Community Connectors helped people from CALD and non-English speaking backgrounds to access the NDIS, providing support around understanding disability, applying for the NDIS and using NDIS plans.

“We have been overwhelmed with support for the NCCP. We wish to thank the National Disability Insurance Agency and our subcontractors in the ACT, NSW and WA for their commitment and excellent contribution in supporting CALD families access, navigate and utilise the NDIS” – Neha Prakash, NCCP Project Manager said.

Focus Group Discussion in Darwin

Our CEO, Dwayne Cranfield and our DRC Project and Policy Officer chaired a DRC Focus Group discussion in the Northern Territory in June, along with our member organisation Multicultural Council of the NT.
Dominic drew from both his personal experience as a migrant and a personal with multiple disabilities to talk about why it was important for people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds to share their stories of abuse, violence, neglect and exploitation with the Disability Royal Commission.
Please remember to view our DRC resources (factsheets and explainer videos), to help you your family, friends and community know more about the Disability Royal Commission.)
Ticker Talk
Last month, our President, Margherita Coppolino GAICD was part of a talk which also featured disability advocate Christian Astourian.

Margherita talked about how disability support for diverse communities can be improved, how self-advocacy can make an impact and how language services can be used to better serve the community. 

Background information on the talk
People with disabilities from non-English speaking backgrounds are accessing disability services up to two-thirds less than Australian-born people despite having similar rates of disability. The Ticker Talk episode unpacked "how we can further highlight what needs to be done to provide additional support and understanding."

To watch the full talk, go to

The episode is also available on YouTube -
Refugee Council of Australia Conference Panel

Dominic Golding, NEDA’s Project and Policy Officer was one of the panelists on the Refugee Council’s “centering community organising and grassroots work in the refugee sector” panel last month.

This panel was part of the Refugee Alternatives 2021 Conference which took place on 6 and 7 July 2021.

This session aimed “to highlight and increase participants’ awareness and understanding of migrant and refugee community building and organising in Australia.”

Other panelists included Tina Dixson from Forcibly Displaced People Network, Hava Rezaie from the Refugee Womens’ Rights Advocate and Idrissa Dumbuya - people seeking asylum in the African community.

Panelists “shared their knowledge and experience of how the deepest and most impactful social movement work is often voluntary, embedded in the daily activities of communities, and driven by the leadership of everyday people. They explored  the history and key elements of multicultural, multiracial community organising and grassroots work today, and taught participants how to center this work within the broader refugee nonprofit sector.”

You can view Dom's address, as well as other talks and presentations from the conference on the Refugee Council's YouTube account here. 

Victorian Disability Awards Nomination
Our President, Margherita Coppolino was announced as a finalist for the 2021 Victorian Disability Awards, under the "Lifetime achievement honour roll" category.

"The Lifetime achievement honour roll recognises exceptional individuals who have made a significant contribution over the past 20 years and demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the rights, participation and inclusion of Victorians with disability."

The Victorian Disability Awards is an initiative from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services which honours the contributions of Victorians who support, lead, educate and advocate for people with disability. The Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of individuals, teams and organisations that increase the rights and participation of people with disability.

2021 Winners are yet to be announced.
Congratulations El Gibbs
Congratulations to El Gibbs, our Disabled People’s Organisations Australia (DPOA) colleague, who has been nominated on the Pro Bono Advisory Board.

El, a passionate disability advocate and award-winning writer was nominated to represent our diverse disability community.

More on Pro Bono’s new advisory board here -
International Day of People with Disability
The ABC is looking for storytellers with disability to pitch ideas for IDPwD 2021

For International Day of People with Disability, the ABC is looking to commission a series of factual stories to be published and broadcast across ABC platforms.
Who: To be eligible, you must live in Australia, be over 18, have a disability and be available to work on your content between September and November 2021.
What: We want you to pitch a non-fiction, original story idea. It could be your lived experience, an issue you see affecting your community, a stereotype you want to dispel or a celebration of life as a person with disability.
You will be paid for your work.
How: Fill in the form below by midnight Monday, August 9, telling us about your idea, how you will produce it and your previous content-making experience.
What are we looking for? When you pitch your story idea, you will need to select a format that best suits what you want to do. The ABC is looking for story ideas that fit the following formats:
Video: 2 – 3 minute short-form video.
Audio: 2 – 3 minute package.
Written article: an 800-word feature article.
Social Media: Instagram or Facebook stories, or a photo essay, for example.
If you're successful, you will work with an ABC producer between September and November 2021 to produce the story.
If you are unable to fill out the form for any reason, please email with your idea.
National Homelessness Week

In Australia there are over 116,000 people experiencing homelessness on any given night.

Homelessness Week aims to raise awareness of the impact of homelessness on Australia via national and local community events, including providing information on the importance of housing as a solution and educating communities on how they can make a difference.

More at

Did you Know? 
About 47 per cent of adults with disability have experienced violence, yet the lack of accessible and inclusive services makes escaping violence extremely difficult for women with disability.

More here.

Image Source: Google

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