Revised May 2014
The Greens NSW believe that:
1. Consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, all people have the right to participate fully in all aspects of civil, political, social, economic and cultural life, regardless of their differing abilities.
2. There are a variety of medical, societal and environmental reasons why people’s individual abilities differ. Disability arises when society fails to accommodate these differences and creates or fails to remove barriers to equitable access for all.
3. People with abilities differing from the commonplace are disabled by social, economic and physical barriers that remove the opportunity for them to fully participate in some or all of these aspects of life.
4. The Greens NSW value the diversity in abilities among individuals and the diversity of contributions that people with disabilities make to our society, and believe our society is greatly diminished without the contributions, insights and benefit of people with disabilities.
5. It is the role of government to seek to dismantle disabling barriers in order to ensure that all people have the same rights and opportunities made available to them. The empowerment of people disabled by lack of equitable access to take control of their own lives is a basic human right and as such demands adequate funding and support from all levels of government.
6. Greens NSW policies reflect this commitment to valuing diversity and address specific initiatives to remove disabling barriers in each policy area.
7. It is a primary responsibility of governments not only to ensure equality of opportunity but to provide funding to work towards equality of outcome in all areas including education, health, housing, mobility, employment, transport, and sporting, cultural and social engagement.
8. People who experience physical, intellectual, cognitive and/or psychiatric disability, and their families and carers, have the right to actively participate in all levels of policy, service planning and delivery and evaluation, including their own.
9. Society should be free of harassment, abuse, vilification, stigmatisation, discrimination, disadvantage or exploitation on the basis of disability.
10. Carers play an important part in supporting people with differing abilities and have a vital role in helping them to achieve a higher quality of life and must be supported in their caring role to ensure their health and wellbeing.
11. The Greens NSW acknowledge that the NSW and Commonwealth governments have made a commitment to the delivery of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The implementation of the NDIS must deliver adequate, accessible, efficient and equitable services that are individualised, self-directed and age-appropriate for all people with disabilities, and ensure that no-one is worse off than they are under the existing system.
The NSW Greens will work to:
12. Support a well-funded and resourced operational service sector to meet the needs of people with disabilities, including the full establishment and implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme that provides fully-funded lifetime care and support, as proposed by the Productivity Commission’s recommendations from the Disability Care and Support inquiry in 2011;
13. Support increased funding to ensure that all people with disabilities have access to a range of high quality, age-appropriate, community care and accommodation options to support a person-centred approach to meeting people with disabilities’ accommodation needs, including supporting the implementation of access-ready buildings to provide adequate and functional opportunities for life-long in-home living and the provision of funding for equipment to provide at-home care;
14. Support a full and effective implementation of the National Disability Strategy 2010 – 2020, including ongoing review of performance in the removal of barriers in the six key policy areas: (i) inclusive and accessible communities; (ii) rights protection, justice and legislation; (iii) economic security; (iv) personal and community support; (v) learning and skills; and (vi) health and well-being;
15. Promote the development of a NSW Disability Justice Strategy that focuses on ensuring (i) the safety of people with disabilities and freedom from violence, (ii) effective access to justice for people with disabilities, (iii) non-discrimination, (iv) respect for inherent dignity and individual autonomy, including the freedom to make one’s own decisions, and (v) full and effective participation and inclusion in the community;
16. Urgently expand respite care services and facilities, in-home and emergency support and crisis accommodation;
17. Reform existing relevant legislation to ensure adequate protection of people with disabilities via monitoring, investigative powers and enforcement;
18. Develop and promote appropriate alternatives to the use of coercive measures and restraint in disability services;
19. Ensure that the special needs of people with disabilities from differing cultural and linguistic backgrounds, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disabilities, are met;
20. Require providers of disability services, including residential care, to provide services and amenities that do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status;
21. Determine the needs of people of all ages with chronic illness (through working with people with disabilities and chronic illness) and develop more appropriate ways of providing and coordinating services to ensure these needs are met;
22. Promote access to well-funded and resourced health services including provision of research funding, and greater integration and communication between health services, housing and community supports including for people with high and complex physical, intellectual and communication needs during hospitalisation, rehabilitation and reintegration into the community;
23. Ensure that young people with disabilities who are currently housed in residential aged-care facilities have the opportunity to access accommodation and supports that are age-appropriate and respectful of their individual needs;
24. Provide specialist services where needed, including counsellors, and recreational and social services and programs;
25. Provide, without cost and in a timely manner, equipment, facilities and support personnel to ensure people are able to participate in all aspects of community life, regardless of their differing abilities;
26. Ensure equitable and integrated community access, including the provision and maintenance of ramps, rails, toilets, information and communications systems and appropriate public and private transport options;
27. Ensure that people with disabilities have access to affordable and accessible communications technology and services that are appropriate to their needs;
28. Promote and enforce standards of universal design and access to public spaces and public and private buildings, and recognise community access as an essential human right, including funding for local communities to upgrade existing infrastructure to meet accessibility standards, and encourage businesses to provide adequate access to their services;
29. Promote standards and ensure greater integration across all public transport services to develop a universal transport system that removes all barriers across public transport conveyances, premises and infrastructure;
30. Ensure that state government transport services are adequate to allow freedom of movement and independence, including through the provision of equitable transport subsidies and concessions across all forms of transport for those with limited mobility;
31. Provide access to sufficient resources and services, including appropriate assessment services and early intervention supports, to enable children and young people with disabilities to participate fully in childcare and school education;
32. Provide adequately resourced pathways that support school leavers with disabilities to make the transition from school into meaningful employment, educational and vocational programs or other community- based activities;
33. Expand funding to labour market programs for people with disabilities and the development of a program of affirmative action for employment of people with disabilities, including government subsidies to support employers hiring people with a disability in meaningful work, and positive awareness campaigns to promote the benefits of workers with a disability;
34. Promote initiatives to increase employment levels of people with disabilities in the public service and government agencies;
35. Enhance provision of infrastructure and interpersonal support for people with disabilities in the workforce;
36. Provide further training, development and personal support to staff working in disability services and adopt workforce measures to increase the professional mix of staff and encourage young people to enter the disability services workforce;
37. Substantially increase pay and improve conditions and career structures for carers and providers of services for people with disabilities, fully funded from public revenues;
38. Provide parents, partners, relatives and friends who act as carers with eligibility for registration as carers and adequate support, including income, respite, ongoing training, and access to legal and service information as required;
39. Advocate for the rights of people with disabilities at all levels of government and across society;
40. Strengthen disability advocacy services and ensure people with disabilities are provided with adequate funding for independent advocacy services and access to free legal advice; and
41. Fund community education programs to promote public awareness and attitudinal change toward people with disabilities.