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Welcome to all readers of our eNews

Thank you once again for opening our monthly eNews as we keep you updated on the disability space.

We have some exciting news at IDEAS with our brand new website going live this week! Please visit our site at ideas.org.au and have a look around. We are seeking your feedback because as with any new product there are always small changes to be made. We would love to hear your thoughts, so please let us know what you think by filling out our website feedback form.

It's really hard for IDEAS and our customers right now. We just don't know if we will be able to answer people's calls after June 30. We are stuck in a waiting game caused by the election this coming Saturday, and the timing of the next round of NDIS ILC grants as well as the NSW Government choosing not to fund disability information services.

We welcome a commitment from Minister for Families and Social Services Paul Fletcher MP  that the Coalition, if re-elected, will spend $45 million to develop a national disability information gateway, including a website and 1800 number, to assist all people with disability and their families to locate and access services in their communities."

We also recognise that Senator Carol Brown has shared that "Australian Labor Party believes that advocacy and being able to access the right information is vitally important and we look forward to working with IDEAS if we are lucky enough to win the election."

We've had promising discussions with both major parties about the need for independent disability information services, but until a new Federal Government is formed, nobody can commit the essential immediate funding to keep IDEAS operating. Our doors will close and years of expertise lost unless bridge funding is not invested on Day 1 of the next Government - so we need both camps to be ready to act.

In the meantime, we will keep fighting to save what our callers "lifesaving service" and continue to answer the phones and to help people with disability by providing with them free, accurate and independent disability information to enable people to make informed life choices. Please let your local MP or candidate know that IDEAS is a service you believe needs to continue beyond June 30.

Thanks for your time, and we hope you enjoy this edition.

Diana Palmer
IDEAS Executive Officer

Hi, my name is John Dickinson and I am a Community Engagement & Event officer for IDEAS. I cover a large area encompassing the Sydney metropolitan area, parts of southern NSW and parts of western NSW out to Dubbo and all areas within.   

For me, Western NSW is a great part of the world with contrasts in real beauty and stark harshness of environment. It also has a population rich in diversity and friendliness.  

It has been an eye opener for me around how a big part of the community, those with lived experience of disability struggle daily with either an avalanche of information or none at all. 

The NDIS system, while great in theory, has taken more time than anticipated to realise positive outcomes for both people with disability and service providers in the sector.  As I talk with hundreds of people on a monthly basis I hear stories of how things have changed, how choice and control is becoming a reality - these are great news stories.  

However there are still those people, both funded and unfunded who need more help than ever...

Read more - Community Engagements Conversations...

Contact John and the rest of the Community Engagement team at  commed@ideas.org.au

Call Centre Update

Every day, people with disability rely on IDEAS. The IDEAS call centre extended our opening hours in 2019, and we take enquiries between 8am to 8pm AEST in 2019. 

We are living in a digital age but not everyone is comfortable or confident in their ability to get disability information using a computer. 

According to the Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII), Australians with disability* have a lower level of digital inclusion compared to other Australians.  In general, Australians with low levels of income, education, and employment are significantly less digitally included. The two groups who were most digitally excluded in 2018, with ADII scores well below the national average, were people aged 65+, and people with disability. 

Factors that continue to lock people out of accessing disability information on the internet are ‘do you have the technology and the data allowance?’ and ‘how confident are you searching for information?’ 
Photo of a mother and son with a quote that reads "My LAC recommended I change services but I didn't know who to go so she recommended IDEAS. The lady was so helpful, I think I was on the phone for over an hour until we found someone who was right for my son."
IDEAS Information Officers provide disability information in many critical areas of people’s lives, such as accommodation, employment, transport, respite care, recreation and sport, support groups, independent living, and support for specific types of disability. 

We check the information before we share it. There are no paid listings and no advertisers. There are no conflicts of interest. We are about real choice, so we will do the research so when we answer a query we have three options for every query. 
  • Wonder who will call us today looking for help & information?
  • A Dad looking for a speech therapist now that his son has an NDIS package?  
  • A support worker trying to find an inclusive soccer team for their client? 
  • A Local Area Coordinator seeking advice about an accessible venue...? 
For all people with a disability, no matter where you live in Australia we believe that you should have access to great, free, fact checked, independent information - when you need it! 
Subscribe to the IDEAS Newsletter

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Edwin's Story
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Disclaimer: IDEAS does not endorse any particular product or service included in this email. This information is provided as it may be of interest and benefit to some readers.
Copyright © 2019 IDEAS NSW, All rights reserved.


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