Friday, 27 April 2012

Why I'm Not Drinking the Kool Aid.

The madness it seems continues unabated.

On Monday, Every Australian Counts have organized a ‘rally’ to promote the biggest policy catastrophe since ‘The Loans Affair’ of 1974. What they are ‘rallying’ for seems to be of little substantive importance. They want policy change and they want it now, dammit! It matters not that the NDIS amounts to eating a sandwich filled with diarrhea, sure it constitutes food for the starving, but it is sick and unhealthy.

Yet again, participants have no idea of the policy implications of the NDIS. The Government and the Opposition have blindly followed each other in backing the scheme, which as of yet has no policy infrastructure, and as is designed merely serves as a policy organ to promote corruption within disability service providers, many of which take advantage of suspicious loopholes to begin with. It matters not apparently that the chief 'ambassadors' of the policy do not have a disability, and Every Australian's self appointed 'patron' does not have a disability, and is a politician with no policy achievements or experience in the disability sector. He supposedly has more expertise than fellow supporter Graeme Innes, who is the Disability Discrimination Commissioner AND has a vision impairment! There is no doubt that Every Australian Counts cares about the opinions of those with a disability! 

On top of which the government funded disability information portal ABC Ramp Up (which I often contribute to) was used as a tool to propagate policy ignorance by having one of the scheme's supporters speak of the 'benefits of the NDIS', when in fact she did nothing of the sort.  As usual the article spoke nothing of the policy implications of what the proposed scheme will do. In fact, the only thing it does is articulate a glorified wish list of what an NDIS might, but won’t, provide. I want these wishes too, but it won’t happen as long as the current plans, or lack thereof, are implemented.

So while many of those in the disabled community drink the Kool Aid and ‘rally’ for an NDIS, I will do what the NDIS formulators refuse to do and follow through on a commitment with integrity:

If the policy is actioned, I will not accept any funding that is in any way NDIS related, unless the many flaws of the proposed policy are remedied. I will continue to refuse funding even if is detrimental to my standard of living.

I do not expect this one act to change anything in any way, but at least I will not be party to sheer incompetence and corruption. But it will achieve more than a 'rally' or the proposed NDIS combined.


  1. Fucking Brilliant ... I also won't be drinking Kool-aid, I will be having tooth pulled Monday, which i suspect is going to be far more enjoyable than the EAC 'rally' ... which i might add, they don't even get the basic principles of rallying right...

  2. If there is "no policy infrastructure"... then how can you identify the "many flaws of the proposed policy" which need to be remedied?

    I am under no illusion that the freedom of choice we seek may not be met in the first instance... but I do believe there will be room to fight for 'what was intended'.

    So many adult PWDs think kids get services/equipment/carer payments etc (we don't - there is always some tricky accounting or ruling from the Govt and Service Providers to deny you). Adult PWDs don't advocate for my kid - not one adult PWD has ever demanded better outcomes from service providers for my child, demanded to know why at 6yrs of age he still hasn't got off a wait list for his first wheelchair or been provided services to establish communication. So it might not be the 'golden egg' but sheesh, the acknowledgement is there that the system is broken - that gives more power to the consumers to push the system to do better. I don't need much help, I can get clever with second hand equipment, or make my own tech options to meet a need - but we do need a little bit of assistance. If nothing else, if assistance with vehicle mods come into the mix then just that alone will be life changing for my son!

    1. Quite simply, because 'infrastructure' is different from a 'plan' which is being promoted, and its one that is no where close to being implemented yet. And no, not all adults PWDs have access to 'benefits' (if you can call the DSP a 'benefit') I know many kids don't get benefits either, I was one of them. The PC report has no plans on how to implement the vehicle mods you speak of, (as one example) just an expectation that it will happen with no thought on how it will be done.

      Nothing has changed in my lifetime, and this will make things worse because advocates pretend there is a policy to benefit you, when (if it happens) it will only benefit them You have hope and expectation with unfortunately nothing concrete to back it up. That's the biggest disappointment of all.

    2. I don't think it's a naivety or misplaced 'hope and expectation'... it's a chance to use the 'mood for change' right back at the services who have stuffed the system and 'call them out on it'.

      Absolutely some people will get screwed over by the advocates (no change to current system), others won't know that there's more to life than the current system.

      I think many adult PWD would be surprised at the next gens perception, goals, vision and how we don't want one iota of what's on offer... but if it stays the same we can't 'trade out of it' for different - cause we don't get any services to trade. The NDIS is a potential tool not a solution.

      I think it's a shame a lived voice like yours is missing from the table. But then maybe, like the many PWD advocates who don't advocate for little kids, maybe they also choose not to advocate for those more vulnerable than themselves (particularly those with Int.Disabil.) - and that's a shame.

      Have you seen a system that works, asked questions as to how, why, what makes it work?

      Would you even bother to fix the broken system? For our son... we can't afford not to try to at least improve it.

  3. I've spent my entire life trying to fix a broken system. It is from these experiences that I am able to form those opinions above. Along with completing my PhD, I'm trying to formulate a system that is better than a NDIS with the skills I have, along with trying to answer the questions you have asked. Near enough is not good enough for me, I've had that for 28 years. In my opinion it is not good enough for anyone else with a disability either.

    1. Just wish you were a voice at the table now - just so damn hard to do it from the outside.

      Think I become a PhD widow from next year courtesy of my h'band... so all the best with yours...