Whipped Cream and Strawberries Disguise a Flat Pavlova
More Principles and More Strategies Impose an Extra Load for Families
Layers of whipped cream and sweetened strawberries readily disguise a flat pavlova, giving the illusion that what is at the base is the genuine product. So it is with the Disability Services Commissioner’s paper, Families and Services Providers working together, where more principles and more strategies – whipped cream and strawberries - are being promoted as the way for families and service providers to work more effectively together.
“Families and people with disabilities don’t need more principles and more strategies,” stated Max Jackson and Margaret Ryan, authors of a response to the Disability Services Complaints Commissioner’s paper on how families and service providers can work more effectively together. “Yet another document, such as the Commissioner’s paper, is not required. The products to promote what is necessary and mandated already exist in the disability sector. The principle product is the Disability Act 2006.”
The Disability Act 2006 has included in it a substantial list of principles and a very clear set as applying to how disability services providers are required, by law, to regard families. The Commissioner’s Paper fails to emphasise and promote this expectation.
The view of the Commissioner as to what families must do to be engaged – which translates into more paperwork and more plans and more meetings – is only adding to the weight that families already carry as they make their journey into, along and through the disability service system.
“Surely,” said Max and Margaret, “the aim of those who are paid to work in the disability sector must be to lessen the weight, not add to it. If for no other reason, this Occasional Paper must be rejected for the load its strategies add to families.”
“The Disability Services Commissioner must go back to the drawing board and put adherence to the Disability Act 2006 front and centre by writing an entirely new paper; or, if unwilling to do so, then withdrawing the current inadequate paper.”
“Not to do so will continue to consign families to being the ever-increasing load carriers, while at the same time letting the law breakers off the hook.”
16 March 2014
Contact: Max Jackson, Mobile 0413 040 654. Margaret Ryan, Mobile 0412 409 610.