4th March 2019
ADACAS had been chosen as one of five agencies across Australia to deliver support and assistance to people with disability who were victims of sexual abuse within institutions and who wish to make application for the National Redress Scheme.
The Honourable Paul Fletcher MP made the following media release earlier today:
The Liberal National Government has boosted support services for Australians engaging with the National Redress Scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse by $52.1 million.
Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher, said 39 Redress Support Services would be funded until June 2021 to provide survivors with vital support before, during and after the application process.
“Many of these service providers are already supporting survivors and the additional funding will help them continue their important work,” Mr Fletcher said.
Some 35 existing services are receiving funding until June 2021 and five additional grants are being offered to establish Redress Support Services in areas of specific need.
“Extending the reach of this network of services is an important further step to make sure survivors receive the assistance they need,” Mr Fletcher said.
“This includes remote and regional areas, services that support male survivors of institutional child sexual abuse, survivors with disability and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The new service providers being offered a grant are:
Last week, the Government posted its list of institutions that have not yet joined the National Redress Scheme, along with the names of institutions that have joined.
“My message to survivors is that we are with you; we understand coming forward was a brave step and we are committed to a National Redress Scheme that delivers support, an apology if desired, and a redress payment,” Mr Fletcher said.
19 February 2019
The ACT Disability, Aged and Carer Advocacy Service (ADACAS) has welcomed the decision of the Australian Parliament to establish a Royal Commission into abuse suffered by people with disability in the services run to support them, and beyond in the services and institutions which are provided to the community.
Senator Jordon Steele-John led a delegation of people with disability, representatives of Disabled Peoples Organisations (DPOs) and advocacy groups to Parliament to witness the passing in the lower house of his Senate-sponsored motion to hold a Royal Commission. Despite being passed with no opposition, and with significant support from the Greens and Labor, there is still doubt about the timing and detail of the Royal Commission, and whether it will occur at all in the form that was promised in yesterday’s debate.
“What is needed is a firm commitment from the Government to a timetable of establishing the terms of reference, driven by engagement with people with disability, and an understanding that the Royal Commission will look at abuse as it occurs now and has in the past, its causes and what mechanisms we can put in place across the community to prevent it in the future,” said Michael Bleasdale, CEO of ADACAS, who was in the gallery with other supporters at yesterday’s announcement in Parliament
“The Aged Care Royal Commission was called in the same week as the ABC exposed abuse in aged care settings, its terms of reference were set soon after, and four months later it is now underway. The equivalent scrutiny of abuse of people with disability has finally hit the floor of Parliament five years after it was called for, and after decades of evidence of abuse that occurs daily, with no commitment to a time line for getting it underway”.
ADACAS has provided advocacy support to people with disability for over 27 years, and the thousands of people who have been assisted have routinely experienced abuse, discrimination and disadvantage based on their disability. “Abuse occurs in a number of forms in a variety of settings. Physical and sexual violence have been reported for decades as occurring with shocking regularity in disability services. But bullying and discrimination occur in educational and workplace settings, forced sterilisations and denial of treatment are still reported in the primary health system, and in the community generally people with disability are still confronted by hostility and questions about their entitlement to participate”, said Mr Bleasdale.
ADACAS is calling for the Royal Commission to have broad terms of reference that will make explicit the extent of abuse suffered by people with disability at all levels of the community, that will consider its causes, and will make strong recommendations about how all services and institutions must change to ensure that our community is inclusive and welcoming of people with disability.
“The Aged Care Royal Commission is committed to looking at how the aged care system can be set up to meet the needs of older Australians, and how the community can change to treat its older citizens with the dignity and respect they deserve. The equivalent commission into the abuse of people with disability needs to have even bolder ambitions to address and eradicate the third-class treatment of our disabled citizens.”
22nd January 2019
The ACT Disability, Aged and Carer Advocacy Service (ADACAS) is a member of the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) and will be at the forefront in bringing their expertise to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, which commenced last week.
The Commission will be taking submissions until the end of June 2019, with an interim report due by 31 October this year, and Commissioners Tracey and Briggs will be expected to hand down their final report by the end of April 2020. The voices and testimonies of older people and their families who have been affected by abuse within the aged care system will be key to the success of the Commission, which aims to not only expose these practices but to make concrete recommendations on how Australia can deliver the services its older citizens expect into the future.
“ADACAS has over 25 years’ experience assisting older people who are experiencing abuse and neglect, as well as a range of issues regarding service quality,” Michael Bleasdale, CEO of ADACAS, said. “We are ready to support people who have been affected by abuse across the aged care system, in residential and home care, and who are considering making a statement to the Royal Commission or making an appearance at hearings.”
Submissions are required to be made via a specific form which is on the Commission’s website, and there is a telephone number people can call if they have difficulty making a submission.
“For some people making a submission can be very difficult, and not only because of the technology they are required to use to tell their story and get their point across,” Mr Bleasdale said. “It can also be very confronting, so the Advocates at ADACAS can provide help on how to make these submissions, and support people who may experience distress.”
The Commission website advises people who are considering making submissions to seek legal advice if they are concerned that the information they provide may be defamatory. The Commission has also made provision for financial assistance for legal representation and associated disbursement costs for people who are called or granted leave to appear as a witness at the Commission and other related activities.
“It is vital that people who feel compelled to give testimony at the Commission have their rights protected, and are encouraged to give their version of events without fear of retribution,” said Ms Sonia Di Mezza, Deputy CEO, who leads ADACAS Aged Care Advocacy and Elder Abuse teams. “ADACAS will assist people in the ACT to access whatever legal and other supports they need to make their contribution to the Commission.”
People seeking assistance from ADACAS should call 02 6242 5060, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. More details regarding Older Persons Advocacy Network, can be found at: https://opan.com.au/.
17th January 2019
Voting for the Impact 25 2018 Awards have now opened, and we are happy to say that 3 of our amazing people have been nominated. Pro Bono Australia's Impact 25 awards honor leaders in the Australian social sector, as nominated and voted for by their peers. Congratulations for being nominated to Helen Connelly, manager of Supported Decision Making at Adacas, Caitlin Yazidjoglou and Sara Stanley, Advocates. Please follow the link below for more information and to vote. Voting closes Thursday 31 January at 5pm.
7th December 2018
We are very pleased to announce our very own Helen, Manager of SDM Projects, won the 2018 ACT Chief Minister's Inclusion Award for Excellence in Support Work. We are very proud of you Helen! Congratulations to Helen as well as to the SDM staff, and all ADACAS staff members who have supported Helen to take a lead in supported decision making activities.
Helen's speech: “It’s an extraordinary privilege to have the generosity of learnings that the people I work with share with me and everyone in the community. I feel incredibly lucky to have been included in the community all my life and am really passionate about making sure that this is the experience for everyone. Thank you very much”
On 27 September 2018 the ACT Law Society donated $7,870 to ADACAS. Our CEO, Michael Bleasdale, thanked the President, Chris Donohue, for this generous donation, announcing to the members’ present that the funds will go towards supporting our older clients to have a voice in the upcoming Royal Commission into Aged Care. We acknowledge the outgoing President Sarah Avery in nominating ADACAS to receive these funds.”
Great news: the ACT Government has provided ADACAS and Advocacy for Inclusion with some funding for independent advocacy. Thanks to the incredible advocacy of our amazing advocates, this important, human-rights focused work will continue
Michael Bleasdale starts today as the new CEO of ADACAS! We are very excited to get to know him and what he will bring to our service.
We have recently said farewell to longstanding CEO of ADACAS, Fiona May who we wish well at her new role as CEO for Playgroups Australia. The team at ADACAS is ably led during this transition by Sonia Di Mezza, Deputy CEO since 2012. We thank you all for your continuing support of ADACAS.
The outcomes from the most recent Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) grant rounds were announced last week. ADACAS and RKA are pleased to announce that the Respect Know Act project has received continued funding for another year. We look forward to working with decision makers, supporters and health professionals to enable more people to participate actively in their healthcare decision making.
The Standing Committee on Health, Ageing and Community Services is currently conducting an inquiry and will report on the implementation, performance and governance of the National Disability Insurance Scheme in the ACT. ADACAS had the opportunity to provide a submission to this inquiry and convey some of the issues with the implementation of the NDIS in the ACT and some of the concerns raised by our clients about it's implementation.
To read submissions from other ACT services and disability groups click on the link below.
Understanding Rights, Roles and Advocacy in the NDIS
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has created some great opportunities to increase your power and choice - but how do you make the most of it? Come listen to speakers from Clickability, Hireup, People with Disabilities ACT and ADACAS discuss giving feedback on services, how to negotiate with providers and what options there are in case you require support to make decisions or have your voice heard.
The event is on the 20th of April from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm.
Please register your interest using the link below:
Adacas provides help and support to people with disabilities, the elderly and their carers.
Advocacy is about helping a person to be heard in the decisions that affect their life. Advocacy aims to increase a person’s control over goods, services and quality of life
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