Policy Submission: Revision of the National Standards for Disability Services
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JFA Purple Orange submitted this review for the National Standards for Disability Services in June 2010.
The NSDS were implemented in 1993 for the purpose of ensuring Commonwealth and State funded disability services provide people living with disability with opportunities to participate in their community and achieve positive outcomes.
The most important contextual point we can make is that people living with disability are citizens first and foremost, and as such belong at the core of our communities.
This means that the NSDS must have proper regard for the rights of people living with disability to live active, inclusive lives in community, and to promote and uphold this citizenhood in the design and commissioning of disability services.
Further, this means that commissioning of service arrangements must ensure that people living with disability have genuine opportunity to access, and maintain, presence within the local community, and to enjoy active participation in mainstream community life alongside non-disabled people.
To provide for anything less would mean that our disability service settings are undermining the right of people living with disability to a decent, valued life.
The Julia Farr Association recommends that the standards demand and uphold the place of people living with disability as valued citizens at the core of our communities.
The Julia Farr Association recommends replacing the term ‘service’ with the term ‘support’ throughout the standards.
This may seem like a small issue but our opinion is there is a fundamental difference. The term ‘service’ tends to be agency-centric and can set the scene for the service to be an end in itself – “We’ve provided a service, job done”. The term ‘support’ is person-centric, and sets the scene for arrangements that are a means to an end, which is a lifestyle of choice and citizenhood.
The Julia Farr Association recommends changing the name of the standards to reflect the valued status of people living with disability in the delivery of the supports they need. We believe the name of the standards should be:
- NATIONAL STANDARDS FOR SUPPORTING PEOPLE LIVING WITH DISABILITY (NSSPLWD)