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20 March 2019

In this edition

Message from Gerrie

Hello all,

There have been a number of activities and consultation opportunities since my last message and I'm pleased to share them with you. 
Earlier this mon
th, I attended a workshop to begin designing the SA Disability Industry and Workforce Strategy with over 80 key representatives from across government and the disability sector. 

The workshop started a 90-day project, led by the Department of Industry and Skills, to develop a forward-thinking approach to creating and identifying opportunities for growth and job creation within the sector. I will keep you informed as the strategy progresses over the next few months.     
I'm pleased to let you know that consultation on the inaugural State Disability Inclusion Plan opened this week.

I would encourage you all to take the time to provide your feedback on the plan, to help improve access and inclusion for people with disability, by visiting the YourSAy webpage before 26 April 2019. You can find more information below on how to participate.     

Last week, the Commonwealth Government announced plans for a Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. If you haven't already, consider sharing your views on the scope of the Royal Commission by completing the Terms of Reference survey before Thursday, 28 March 2019.  

Many of you will know that Lynn Young, Executive Director, Accommodation Services will be leaving the department on 29 March 2019, with Joe Young taking on the role of Executive Director, Strategy and Accommodation Services. I would like to thank Lynn for her many years of service and dedication to improving the lives of people with disability, and for her support personally over the last couple of years. 

Finally, I am looking forward to seeing many of you at our next NDIS Transition Check In, on Tuesday 26 March. This will be a great opportunity hear from you directly and discuss how we can best continue to work together in the NDIS environment.

If you have any questions, comments or a suggestion for the next edition of this newsletter, please email

Gerrie Mitra 
Group Executive Director 
Disability and Reform, Department of Human Services

Latest news from DHS

Consultation now open on State Disability Inclusion Plan

The State Government would like to hear from people with disability, their families and carers and anyone interested in promoting the inclusion of people with disability in South Australia.
The State Disability Inclusion Plan is one of the key pillars of the Disability Inclusion Act 2018 and will set whole-of-government priorities and strategies for achieving a more inclusive South Australia in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 

As passionate advocates for people with disability, their families and carers, your feedback will be invaluable in creating SA’s first State Disability Inclusion Plan.

There are a range of consultation opportunities available, with an easy-to-read copy of the State Disability Inclusion Plan (PDF, 2.7 MB) to help more of our disability clients participate.

These opportunities include:
  To explore what consultation option works best for you and your clients, please visit the YourSAy webpage before 26 April 2019.

Domiciliary Equipment Service (DES) update

A market sounding process for the Domiciliary Equipment Service (DES) is now complete.
This process involved registration of interest, request for information periods and industry briefing sessions – providing interested organisations with information about DES and the overall market process.
A market approach has now commenced, with a new provider to be selected later this year.

Changes to Disability Community Services (DCS) offices

All Disability Community Services (DCS) metro offices are now closed.

Only a very small number of clients are still transitioning to the NDIS and they will continue to be supported by the DCS complex services team, which will continue for a short time beyond March 2019. 

NDIS Local Area Coordinators are best placed to assist new clients seeking to access the NDIS. 

Join the Disability Engagement Group (DEG)

Would you like to participate in consultation opportunities to help inform government policy and provide advice on disability issues?

We are always looking for more organisations in the disability sector to join our Disability Engagement Group (DEG). Your experiences and expertise provide great insights that help shape future policies and programs.   

As a DEG member, you can choose to participate in a broad range of consultation opportunities based on what interests you.

To find out more or to register, please visit the Disability Engagement Group webpage

Latest news from NDIS

Grants open to support NDIS providers meet regulatory requirements

The Support for NDIS Providers Program is offering $4.3m in grants this year, to fund projects focusing on supporting providers to meet their Quality and Safeguarding Framework requirements

These grants will also help support smaller providers, and those facing the challenges of operating in rural and remote Australia, or in areas where there are limited choices for NDIS participants. 

I would encourage you all to consider applying for a grant before 29 April 2019.

Information on grant eligibility criteria, guidelines, and how to apply is available on the GrantConnect website

$6.5m to provide advocacy support for NDIS participants

The Commonwealth Government has committed an additional $6.5m for NDIS Appeals providers and the National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP) Decision Support Pilot.

This increased funding for advocacy and support services, helps the NDIA to deliver fairer decisions and ensure NDIS participants can access support when seeking a review of decisions in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. 

The NDAP Decision Support Pilot will now be extended to 30 June 2020 to provide decision-making support for people engaging with NDIS who have limited decision-making capacity. 

This funding boost is expected to provide decision-making support to help a further 300-400 people transition to the NDIS. 

To find out more about both programs, please visit the Department for Social Services website.   

More new announcements from the Commonwealth and NDIA

Since our last newsletter, there have been a number of other announcements from the Commonwealth Government and NDIA that may be useful for your organisation:      

General news

Online safety program helps Australians with cognitive disability stay safe

Australians living with cognitive disability will now have better access to online safety education, with the ThinkUKnow online safety program launching an accessible easy-read guide.

This easy-read guide gives Australians with cognitive disability a greater understanding of how to navigate online challenges, such as online grooming and cyber bullying, by providing practical tools and resources to stay safe.

For more information or to access the easy-read guide, visit the ThinkUKnow website

New funding to support school students with disability

Under a new Commonwealth Government funding package, more than $28 billion will be provided from now until 2029 to better support school students with disability, with new learning resources for teachers, school leaders, support staff and parents.

Locally, the State Government has also invested $10.3m in disability funding to create 180 new places in special units and classes across government high schools.

To read more about these new funding initiatives, you can download the Commonwealth Government factsheet or visit the South Australia Education Department website.  

New SA soccer league for people with intellectual disability

Football Federation SA (FFSA) and Bedford have partnered to launch the Bedford Community League, set to kick off in late April 2019. For the first time in SA, people with intellectual disability will be able to compete in a weekly competitive soccer league.

Since the announcement, the FFSA have been overwhelmed by the positive response from people with disability and the broader community. 

The FFSA will be hosting a free 7-a-side competition at The Parks Football Centre on Sunday, 7 April, 1 pm to gather interest and promote the new league.  

For more information on the event or new league, please contact or phone 8340 3088.

The Bedford Community League will allow people with intellectual disability to compete in a weekly soccer league. 
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