Posted December 05, 2011 07:51:16
On Wednesday morning bodies about Australia woke to some account that afraid them.
A address appear by PricewaterhouseCoopers told us that bodies with disabilities active in Australia accept the atomic affection of activity amid bodies with disabilities anywhere in the developed world. We rank 27th out of the 27 OECD countries.
That sounds like a bit of an abstruse concept, so let me acquaint you what those countries are; Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, the United States and us, Australia.
So, in agreement of the affection of activity of bodies with disabilities, we’re aftermost on that list. Dead last.
Australians with disabilities are additionally added than alert as acceptable as those after disabilities to be active a or beneath the abjection line. In agreement of application opportunities for bodies with disabilities, we rank 21st out of those 29 categories; 39.8 per cent of us are employed, compared to 79.4 per cent for bodies who don’t accept disabilities.
As an Australian with a affliction myself, did this abruptness me? Nope.
We’ve accepted for decades that Australia supports bodies with disabilities with the complete minimum we charge to get by. If you accept a affliction and don’t work, you can affirmation a affliction abutment alimony and while Today Tonight would accept us accept the DSP is affluence of money to abutment a bank habit, nicotine addiction and some appealing austere alcoholic tendencies, that’s far from reality.
It is, admittedly, a little bit added money than the dole. The added banknote absolutely isn’t abundant to pay for things like medication, wheelchair tyres, taxis to get to medical accessories or aliment to accumulate your adviser dog alive.
We additionally apperceive that bodies with disabilities are unemployed for a array of reasons. Namely a abridgement of admission to education, the congenital environment, claimed abutment and equipment. And yes, there are additionally some bodies with disabilities who, alike if they had all these things, could not work. In a affluent country like Australia, it is not absurd that we abutment this baby allotment of people.
I am the aboriginal to accept that I am one of the advantageous ones. Growing up in rural Victoria I managed to escape a appropriate academy arrangement that trains adolescent bodies with disabilities in “life skills” and not bookish ones. I am tertiary accomplished and accept a accomplishing career. Yes, a career. In the affliction community, we rarely allocution about careers. Adolescent bodies with disabilities abound up to anticipate that maybe, if they’re lucky, addition ability accord them a job, but to aspire to a career? That’s allurement too much.
I am not active a or beneath the abjection band like bisected of my adolescent Australian’s with disabilities. I’m a allotment of that advantageous 39.8 per cent who are employed. Having a activity like abundance should accept annihilation to do with luck in a country like Australia.
Two weeks ago on my cafeteria break, a woman approved to accord me $10. I was bistro some sushi that had amount me about that much, and attractive at Twitter on my phone. I was dressed for work; not in a suit, but absolutely not in tracksuit pants. Back I leave for assignment in the morning I like to anticipate I attending nice. I don’t like to anticipate that I attending like I’m in charge of bodies giving me money on the street.
This woman, who didn’t assume abundant earlier than I am, didn’t apperceive annihilation at all about me. And I’m abiding she meant actual well, but in aggravating to accord me her tenner, she told me that she knows affliction is affiliated to poverty. She told me that she knows bodies with disabilities absolutely generally alive a or beneath the abjection line, that we’re actual acceptable to be unemployed, that alike afore this address was released, she knew how boxy it is to alive with a affliction in Australia.
And this woman, about misguided, was aggravating to do article about it. There’s article absolutely absolutely abstruse in that; that one woman is aggravating to accomplish a baby aberration back her Government will not. I didn’t booty her $10, but I did booty a few account to babble to her about why she was aggravating to accord it to me, and to acquaint her a little bit about what I achievement the approaching of bodies with disabilities in Australia will attending like – a country that provides the things bodies charge to alive abounding lives and accord to their nation.
The befalling to be a abounding contributor to the abundance of this nation, socially and economically, is one I booty actual actively because I see too few of my aeon after it.
Another address appear this year by the Productivity Commission told us all some alarming stories; conceivably best memorably, that of Lillian Andren. I’ve anecdotal Lillian’s adventure before, but the shock of it never subsides for me. Nor should it.
Lillian was afflicted in an blow in a pond pool, and was accordingly not acceptable for TAC or WorkCover insurance. Her injuries accomplish her amoral and clumsy to get about on her own. Lillian has addition appear to her abode three times a anniversary to abetment her with showering. And Lillian, with her three showers is absolutely actual lucky. Best bodies alone get two.
At the Productivity Commission audition Lillian abounding in Brisbane, she said:
The adorable irony is that to accept that third battery per anniversary I charge accept circadian bender issues. So the arrangement allows me to sit for four canicule a anniversary in my own urine to accommodate me three showers a week…
The Productivity Commission address assured that the accepted arrangement that supports bodies with affliction is hardly a arrangement at all, and that we charge to body a new one from scratch.
I don’t see how, in a country like Australia, we can accept these two letters sitting in advanced of us – one that tells us there are bodies who accept to sit in their own urine for four canicule a week, and addition that tells us there is no added country in the developed apple area this is the case – and abide to avoid the problem.
The PricewaterhouseCoopers address was appear aftermost Wednesday. It’s already been bristles canicule too long.
Stella Adolescent is the editor of ABC’s Ramp Up website.
Topics: community-and-society, disabilities, poverty
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