Funding Application June 1998 – June 1999


Each year, Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) is required to submit an application for ongoing funding to the Office of Disability – Commonwealth Department of Family and Community Services. The application includesWWDA‘s achievements for the last funding period, as well as strategic direction and priorities for the next year. This is WWDA‘s application for funding for the period June 1998 – June 1999.Copyright WWDA 1998.


Contents

Section One: About Women With Disabilities Australia

Section Two: The Need for a Women with Disabilities Advocacy Organisation

Section Three: WWDA Achievements 1997- 1998

Section Four: Summary of Goals, Key and Continuing Strategies for 1998-99

Section Five: Proposed Budget July 1998- June 1999/font


Section One: About Women With Disabilities Australia

Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) is a broad-based and inclusive national organisation of women with any type of disability. WWDA seeks to ensure equal opportunities in all walks of life for all women with disabilities. It is currently the only national multi-diagnostic disability organisation with individual, grass roots membership. WWDA works in partnership with other disability organisations and disseminates information to women with disabilities, carers, service providers, government and the media. WWDA links women with disabilities from around Australia, enabling issues of common concern to be identified and addressed.

The objectives of Women With Disabilities Australia are:

  • to develop a network of women with disabilities throughout Australia to work together for their mutual benefit;
  • to advocate for every woman with a disability to have the opportunity for true involvement in all levels of society;
  • to develop leadership and the sharing of responsibilities to enable women with disabilities to take their place in whatever section of society they choose;
  • to change social attitudes, practices, and power relationships which discriminate against women with disabilities;
  • to lobby for the implementation of procedures and enactment of legislation which will advance and benefit all women with disabilities and combat sexism;
  • to inform and educate the public with a view to advancing the opportunities for women in the political, creative, civil and social fields.

WWDA has a comprehensive understanding of issues for people with disabilities, particularly women. WWDA has a commitment to providing employment and training opportunities for women with disabilities. This means that where possible, WWDA employs women with disabilities to conduct projects, undertake consultations etc. Women with disabilities manage WWDA projects and programs and provide consultancy services to the organisation as required.WWDA‘s philosophy asserts that women with disabilities be equitably remunerated for their work and expertise, including for their input into consultative and review processes; management and advisory committees, reference and working groups.

WWDA is managed by a National Executive Committee, which is elected each year at the Annual General Meeting. There are 12 members on the Committee, including at least 1 representative from each State and Territory branch. All members are women with disabilities. The National WWDA Office is managed on a day to day basis by an Executive Director, who reports directly to the National Executive Committee. The current National Executive Committee members are listed in Appendix 1.

There is a branch of WWDA in each State and Territory of Australia (6 States and 2 Territories), including a regional WWDA Group in Newcastle. All the State and Territory branches operate on a voluntary level. The national WWDAoffice employs 2 staff – one full time Executive Officer and 1 part time bookkeeper. The national WWDA office also provides opportunities for women with disabilities on JobStart and Disability Employment Programs.

The total membership of WWDA is currently, approximately 1400. Around 264 organisations are associate members of WWDA. There are no organisational members at this stage, because one of the criteria for organisational membership of WWDA is that a majority of the members of the organisation must be women with disabilities. Most organisations opt to join WWDA as associate members. The current individual membership of WWDA is made up largely of women with disabilities.

The State/Territory breakdown of WWDA membership is outlined below:

  • South Australia – 126
  • Queensland – 115
  • Tasmania – 23
  • Western Australia – 47
  • Northern Territory – 18
  • ACT – 359
  • NSW – 311
  • Victoria – 338
  • Newcastle – 110

WWDA membership is contained in a large database with searchable fields which include: name; address; organisation; contact details; state/territory.

WWDA has affiliations with around 264 organisations which are associate members. WWDA has, and continues to, establish partnerships and alliances with a range of organisations in order to better meet the needs of women with disabilities in Australia. WWDA has established links with a number of relevant international organisations and now has a recognised international presence. WWDA is committed to developing strategic alliances with organisations and fostering collaborative approaches to projects and activities. Some of the organisations WWDA works in partnership with, along with examples of the type of involvement WWDA has with these organisations, are outlined in Appendix 2.

WWDA develops strategies for change, in line with the Principles and Objectives of the Commonwealth Disability Services Act 1986. These strategies include linking service providers, promoting understanding of issues in service provision, ensuring the relevance of legislation and programmes to women with disabilities and monitoring their effectiveness. This is in the form of targeted campaigns, or ongoing representation in change processes such as the development of Standards under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.


 

Section Two: The Need for a Women with Disabilities Advocacy Organisation

In Australia, approximately 18% of all women are disabled and more than 50% of people with disabilities are women (Mulder 1996). Over 50% of women with disabilities in Australia live on less than $200 per week, they are more likely to be institutionalised, less likely to own their own home, less likely to be employed and less likely to receive appropriate services than men with equivalent needs or other women (ABS 1988, 1993). Research indicates that women with disabilities are 2-12 times more likely to experience violence than their non-disabled peers. Approximately 50% of women with disabilities will be sexually assaulted during their lifetime (Sobsey 1988). Fifty percent of women with disabilities have been sexually abused as children, and 39%-68% of girls with developmental disabilities before the age of 18 will be assaulted (Roeher Institute, 1988). Research suggests that the more disabled a woman is, the greater the risk of her being assaulted (Sobsey, 1994; DAWN, 1988).

Despite these facts, women with disabilities in Australia have traditionally been rendered invisible by the women’s movement and they have also been rendered peripheral by the disability movement. It was for this reason that women with disabilities in this country believed that they needed their own political movement. WWDA was incorporated in 1995, although it had been operating as an unfunded network within another organisation for eight years previous to that.

WWDA was formed by a group of women with disabilities who believed that the needs and issues of women with disabilities in Australia were not being acknowledged or addressed. Australian women with disabilities were concerned to explore issues of sexuality and sexual identity; to challenge stereotypical images and oppressive mores relating to child-bearing and rearing; to integrate physical and social aspects of self-presentation with critical analysis of the dependent, non-assertive disabled woman which society ‘requires’. For many women with disabilities in Australia, these issues were seen as central, not adjunctive to the disability rights movement.

WWDA is dedicated to researching and articulating the reasons for the disadvantages which women with disabilities experience, and to working to initiate appropriate changes.


 

Section Three: WWDA Achievements 1997- 1998

WWDA is an organisation which is growing rapidly. The work WWDA has done over the past 12 months has lifted the organisation’s public profile considerably. On average, the National WWDA Office takes between 10-20 requests for information about the organisation each day. It is also inundated with requests for advice, information, expertise etc on a wide range of issues. Over the last 12 months, WWDA has developed an international profile and presence. This has been achieved by WWDA‘s representation and networking at international disability forums and international women’s forums, as well as WWDA‘s efforts to initiate and develop networks with overseas disability organisations through mechanisms such as electronic mail. WWDA‘s recent work in the area of violence against women with disabilities has received international recognition and this has contributed to WWDA‘s increased profile within the international disability community.

The projects WWDA has done in the last 12 months (particularly the work with women’s refuges around Disability Action Plans; as well as the National Violence Workshop) have contributed significantly to the increasing public profile and increase in new members. Every SAAP funded women’s refuge in Australia received a copy of WWDA‘s Disability Action Plan Project reports and many refuges then contacted WWDA wanting more information about the organisation. Several refuges also opted to join WWDA as associate members.

As outlined earlier, the WWDA National office receives between 10-20 incoming calls each day from people requesting information about WWDA. Some recent examples which highlight the diversity of these requests include:

  • letters from international organisations requesting information about WWDA and also asking WWDA to provide input into their current projects (examples of organisations include: People with Disabilities South Africa; Disabled Women’s Network Canada; World Disability Foundation; Global fund for Women);
  • letters and calls from individual women requesting information about WWDA as well as resource materials on issues of specific concern to them;
  • requests from researchers and other organisations undertaking research and activities where women with disabilities are sought for input (some recent examples include: the Cochrane Centre Injury Project; the NHMRC Rehab and Injury Project; NSW Disability Department Access Project; NSW Family Planning Project on Sexuality; Keys Young Research Project on Domestic Violence; Box Hill TAFE Disability Project; South Australian Health Commission DDA Project; Adelaide Women with Disabilities Lawn Bowls Team Travel Project).

WWDA works to respond to issues and needs identified by its members. It is a proactive organisation that works hard to effect systemic change for women with disabilities at all levels of society. To this end, it works closely with all levels of government in order to influence policy and legislation that incorporates the needs and issues of women with disabilities. It works closely with mainstream organisations to ensure that these organisations work towards eliminating discrimination against women with disabilities.

WWDA has made substantial achievements over the past year, and in particular over the past 6 months. These achievements have been outlined in brief here. A more detailed analysis is provided in Appendix 3 under WWDA‘s goal areas from its 1997-98 Strategic/Business Plan.


 

Key Program Areas – Achievements

Program Area: Violence Against Women With Disabilities

The issue of violence against women with disabilities has been identified (and continues to be identified) by WWDA members as a major issue for them. WWDA has responded to the expressed needs of women with disabilities in relation to violence issues by undertaking a range of innovative projects, as well as lobbying government to effect policy and legislative change to protect women with disabilities who experience violence, in all its forms.

DDA Model Action Plan Projects
WWDA undertook 2 major projects during 1997 which focused on women with disabilities’ access to women’s refuges and violence services. Both these projects, funded by the Office of the Status of Women, were developed to assist government funded refuges and services around Australia to eliminate discrimination by developing and implementing Disability Discrimination Act Action Plans. Both these projects were very exciting for WWDA and a big step forward in the development of the organisation. One of the more empowering aspects of the projects was the fact that women with disabilities were involved all the way through and were in charge of the project. All SAAP funded women’s refuges in Australia have copies of the Project reports and WWDA is currently working with the Women’s Emergency Services Network (WESNET) to established a WWDA/WESNET Working Party which will work actively with women’s refuges and other crisis services to develop DDA Action Plans. The Working Group will also be aiming to develop best practice guidelines for these services, and also training modules for domestic violence and sexual assault workers regarding the needs of women with disabilities.

WWDA National Women With Disabilities and Violence Workshop
In February 1998, WWDA conducted a national workshop on women with disabilities and violence. This workshop was the first of its kind in Australia and brought together key experts from a range of sectors, including women with disabilities; domestic violence workers; disability workers; and researchers. The Workshop was funded by the Office of the Status of Women. Twenty six women with disabilities participated in the 2 day Workshop. This included: women with visual impairments; women with hearing impairments; women with acquired brain injury; women with intellectual disability; women with psychiatric disability; and women with physical disability. Over the 2 days of the workshop, the women participating identified gaps in policy, program and service delivery areas as well as developing detailed strategies to address the gaps. The Workshop also involved creative sessions; including painting a large banner; and a session which involved lots of music and dancing. The Final Report from this Workshop is currently being produced.

Women With Disabilities and Violence Information Kit
In early 1998, WWDA developed an Information Kit on Women With Disabilities and Violence. The development of this Kit was much needed, as there has been little or no research conducted on the relationship between gender, violence and disability in Australia. There was also very little information available on the issue in all medium. WWDA is currently producing the Kit for sale. Several of the Kits have been pre-ordered and this has occurred despite the fact that the availability of the Kit has yet to be publicised.

Model Domestic Violence Laws
In March-April 1998, WWDA lobbied the Government, through development of a submission, to include the needs of women with disabilities in its development of Model Domestic Violence Laws for Australia. This submission was developed after wide consultation with WWDA members, disability organisations, and women’s organisations.

WWDA Violence Network
Following the WWDA National Women With Disabilities and Violence Workshop, a WWDA Violence Network has been established. This Network consists of women with disabilities, academics and researchers, workers from the domestic violence, sexual assault and disability fields, as well as policy makers. All States and Territories are represented on the Network. The Network participates in developing submissions (such as the Model Domestic Violence Laws Process); initiating activities, sharing information, and working on joint projects. The Network is coordinated by the WWDA National Office and a Newsletter updating information is circulated to Network members every 2 months.

Women With Disabilities and Violence E-Mail Based Discussion Group
Following the WWDA National Women With Disabilities and Violence Workshop, a Women With Disabilities and Violence e-mail based discussion group has been established. The need for such a group was identified at the Workshop by participants. The e-mail group is currently being hosted and managed by a participant at the workshop, although negotiations are underway with a Queensland University who has agreed to take over the maintenance of the group once the numbers increase. The e-mail group has only been in operation for around 3 weeks at the time of writing this submission. However, already there are 15 organisations and many individual women with disabilities participating in the group. It is envisaged that this group will grow significantly in the next 12 months and will provide an excellent forum for discussion, debate, sharing of information, research etc.


 

Program Area: Information Technology

Women with disabilities in Australia have identified the need to be included in the information technology revolution, particularly the Internet (WWDA 1997). WWDA is currently undertaking work in order to investigate the specific requirements of women with disabilities (all disability types) which will enable and promote their access to the Internet and associated technologies.

National Disability Research Agenda
In January 98 WWDA applied to the National Disability Research Agenda to undertake needs based research with women with disabilities in relation to information technology. WWDA is awaiting a decision on this proposal.

WWDA Internet Training Workshop
In May 98 WWDA wrote to the Office of the Status of Women requesting a small amount of funding to conduct an Internet Training Workshop with members of WWDA‘s National Executive Committee as an adjunct to their Annual General Meeting in September this year. WWDA was able to secure $5,000 from OSW for this workshop, which will be held at the YWCA Training Network in Melbourne. This is an accessible venue and offers computer and Internet training at reasonable prices.

Office of the Information Economy
WWDA is currently preparing a project proposal to the Office of the Information Economy (Online Access for People With Disabilities Grants Program). The project WWDA is proposing will be to do several things within the one project – the main areas will include:

  • working with major relevant projects already funded through the Networking the Nation Project to assist them to ensure that their Project is accessible for people with disabilities;
  • develop an ‘Access Tool Kit’ which can be used by organisations undertaking telecommunications projects, including infrastructure development. This Access Tool Kit will also be made available to funding programs such as Networking the Nation to use as a guide when assessing project applications.

WWDA believes that a project such as this will be of great benefit in attempting to effect systemic change for people with disabilities. The Project will also work cooperatively with the Sunrise Research Laboratory (Melbourne Institute of Technology). This Laboratory is currently developing Standards and Guidelines for World Wide Web design to improve access for people with disabilities.


 

Program Area: Leadership and Mentoring

Leadership is a major issues for women with disabilities in Australia. Lack of training opportunities, employment and education mean that women with disabilities have few chances to develop leadership skills. In most states of Australia, education for women with disabilities is not compulsory. As an organisation, WWDA is very committed to promoting leadership and mentoring for women with disabilities in Australia. In early 1995, WWDA was represented at the International Women’s Conference held in Beijing, and in 1997, WWDA was represented at the International Leadership Forum for Women with Disabilities, held in Washington. These two international meetings identified the need for leadership training for all women, including women with disabilities.

In October 1997, WWDA conducted a National Leadership Workshop for women with disabilities in Australia. Several of the recommendations from this Workshop identified the need for WWDA to develop strategies and processes which would foster leadership for women with disabilities. It was identified by women with disabilities that a mentoring package and program was needed in order to foster and develop leadership skills for women with disabilities in Australia. WWDA has recently applied for funding from the Global Fund for Women to develop such a package.


 

Program Area: Service Development

Over the last few months, WWDA has undertaken work in order to diversify the organisation’s funding base. WWDA has developed several submissions for funding and has several more submissions planned. The submissions which have been developed have been in response to areas of need as identified by women with disabilities through consultation processes undertaken by WWDA.

Funding Submissions
In the last six months, WWDA has written a number of funding proposals. These have included the following:

Networking the Nation Submission – In April-May 98, WWDA commenced development on a proposal for funding to look at the telecommunications needs of women with disabilities in remote areas and to provide education and training in the use of information technology (particularly the Internet). WWDA has met several times with the Networking the Nation secretariat and is currently developing the proposal further for consideration in early June.

National Disability Research Agenda Grants Program – In January 98, WWDA developed a proposal to the National Disability Research Agenda Grants Program (Office of Disability, Department of Health & Family Services) for an information technology research project. The aim of the project is to work with women with disabilities (all disability types) to investigate the specific requirements which will enable and promote their access to the Internet and associated technologies.

Commonwealth Office of the Status of Women – Women’s Non-Government Organisations Grants Program – In May 98, WWDA developed a submission for funding to the Women’s NGO Grants Program, managed by the Office of the Status of Women.

Queensland Department of Families, Youth & Community Care – Disability & Violence Project – WWDA developed a detailed submission for this project late last year. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in securing the project. However, the successful applicant (a Queensland based consultant) has been liaising closely with WWDA regarding the project.

Global Fund for Women – In May 98, WWDA developed a submission for funding to the Global Fund for Women. The Global Fund for Women focuses primarily on female human rights and provides a small grants program for women’s organisations which are based outside the United States.

Commonwealth Office of the Status of Women – In May 98, WWDA developed a funding proposal to OSW to fund an Internet Training Workshop for members of WWDA‘s National Executive Committee. This proposal was successful and WWDA secured $5,000 for the project.

Department of Health & Family Services Office of Disability – In May 98 WWDA developed a proposal to the Office of Disability to develop a WWDA Resource and Information Kit. WWDA is awaiting a decision on this proposal.

Office of the Information Economy – WWDA is in the process of developing a submission to the Office of the Information Economy. The project WWDA is proposing will be to do several things within the one project – the main areas will include:

  • working with major relevant projects already funded through the Networking the Nation Project to assist them to ensure that their Project is accessible for people with disabilities;
  • develop an ‘Access Tool Kit’ which can be used by organisations undertaking telecommunications projects, including infrastructure development. This Access Tool Kit will also be made available to funding programs such as Networking the Nation to use as a guide when assessing project applications.

Development of Organisational & Operational Policies and Procedures
Over the last 6 months, WWDA has commenced work on the development of organisational and operational policies and procedures to support and guide the work of the organisation. Operational policies are those which support the day to day activities of the organisation. They include policies and procedures for office management, staff selection, staff development and training, the use of volunteers, professional conduct etc. Organisational policies are those which set out the broader philosophical position of the organisation on a wide range of issues. Examples include: eugenics; euthanasia; health; housing; gender; employment; education etc. WWDA is currently working to further develop its organisational and operational policies and procedures.

Best Practice and Quality Improvement
WWDA is committed to striving towards best practice operations, both in organisational and operational practices, and also in the development of best practice approaches to projects and activities. At the organisational and operational level, WWDA‘s commitment to best practice can be evidenced by:

  • the development of a Strategic/Business Plan which sets out key and continuing strategies, targets and timelines, resource implications and indicators of performance for each goal area. Each goal area is supported by a goal statement. The Plan is detailed and the way it has been developed allows for accurate evaluation against measurable targets. The Strategic/Business Plan has been developed in consultation with the membership of the organisation and accepted and endorsed by the National Executive Committee. It has been developed to reflect the needs and aspirations of the membership, whilst taking into account resource restraints. Attainment of the Strategic/Business Plan is evaluated approximately 4 times a year in conjunction with the National Executive Committee. The Strategic/Business Plan also provides the framework for the WWDA Annual Report.
  • the development of organisational and operational policies and procedures to support and guide the work of the organisation.
  • staff selection, staff training and staff performance review and development are other areas where WWDA is committed to best practice operations. WWDA has a commitment to providing employment and training opportunities for women with disabilities. This means that where possible, WWDA employs women with disabilities to conduct projects, undertake consultations etc. Women with disabilities manage WWDA projects and programs and provide consultancy services to the organisation as required. WWDA‘s philosophy asserts that women with disabilities be equitably remunerated for their work and expertise, including for their input into consultative and review processes; management and advisory committees, reference and working groups. In this area, WWDA is able to demonstrate a model of best practice by linking its philosophical position on employment of women with disabilities to its practice. WWDA undertakes Performance review and development of its paid staff on an annual basis. This process enables staff to identify their training requirements and paths for future career development.
  • the development of roles and responsibility statements for members of the National Executive Committee. This provides role clarification and delineation for the NEC, particularly the Office Bearers and facilitates communication between NEC members.

WWDA is very committed to the development of models of best practice in its work with, and for, women with disabilities. Just some of the examples of approaches towards models of best practice in projects and other activities can be demonstrated by:

  • the establishment of Project Steering and Management Committees which are made up of women with disabilities;
  • the employment of women with disabilities as Project Consultants and Project Managers;
  • the provision of information in alternative formats in order to provide and promote equity of access to information for women with disabilities;
  • the development of a Model Process for the development of Disability Discrimination Act Action Plans – to be used by women’s refuges and other services as a model of best practice;
  • the development of strategic alliances with the Women’s Emergency Services Network (WESNET) to develop best practice guidelines for domestic violence sector workers when dealing with women with disabilities who have experienced violence (or who are at risk of experiencing violence);
  • the establishment of a National Women With Disabilities and Violence Reference Group, made up of women with disabilities;
  • conducting National issue based workshops which demonstrate models of best practice in relation to participation of women with disabilities;
  • the development of consultative structures and mechanisms which facilitate maximum participation by women with disabilities.

Development of State/Territory WWDA Groups
The WWDA National Office has continued to support the State & Territory WWDA groups in their development – some groups are stronger and more active than others and this reflects their varying stages of development. In general, the main issues for the groups at this stage appear to be:

  • expanding the membership of the groups;
  • developing group processes such as: managing a committee; conducting meetings etc;
  • working towards becoming incorporated bodies;
  • securing funding to implement projects and activities and also to assist in the development of the groups.

 

Program Area: Service Promotion

WWDA utilises a wide range of methods to raise its public profile and inform the broader community of its work. The organisation actively seeks out opportunities for disseminating information and recruiting new members. It endeavours to maximise every available opportunity to promote the organisation, its projects and activities. Some of the strategies WWDA employs to achieve this include:

  • initiating interviews, features and articles with the media (including radio, television & print media);
  • attending public events and forums;
  • attending government and non-government events, forums, meetings, and consultations;
  • representing the organisation on a wide range of government committees, boards, advisory bodies etc;
  • representing the organisation on boards of other organisations;
  • establishing and developing intersectoral networks;
  • making use of information technology such as e-mail to establish networks and disseminate information;
  • publishing reports, journal articles, newsletter articles, conference papers etc;
  • subscribing to relevant organisations;
  • initiating and fostering partnerships with other organisations at an international, national, state & territory level;
  • developing mailing lists and databases of relevant agencies and organisations and mailing out promotional material about WWDA (examples include: databases of all Federal members of parliament and parliamentary senators; database of non-government organisations; database of government departments etc);
  • participating in relevant Information Days; community expos etc;
  • conducting public launches of WWDA reports;
  • presenting papers at national conferences;
  • having promotional materials about WWDA available at national conferences;
  • having information on WWDA‘s projects and activities published in International publications (examples include: Global Fund for Women; Global Overview on Violence; World Institute on Disability);
  • inserting WWDA promotional material into mailouts of other organisations;
  • distributing WWDA pamphlets and membership forms to key points in the community (examples include: Centrelink offices; community health centres; pamphlet stands of other organisations; neighbourhood centres; doctors surgeries; public libraries etc);
  • distributing WWDA materials to schools and tertiary institutions (such as Disability Studies Departments; Human Services Departments; Social Welfare Departments etc);
  • publishing a WWDA newsletter 4 times each year and mailing this out to over 1600 individuals.

 

Program Area: Advocacy

WWDA continues to contribute to advocate for systemic change to reduce inequities and discrimination for women with disabilities. It does this through a range of mechanisms, including: participating in public debates (on topics such as euthanasia, access to court, public housing reforms, workplace diversity etc); presenting papers and attendance at conferences, publishing articles and addressing meetings; participating in government consultation processes; initiating and participating in research etc.

Over the last 6 months, WWDA has had input into a range of government and non-government consultation processes. Some of these include the following.

Model Domestic Violence Laws Submission
A major area of activity for WWDA over the last 3 months has been the development of an organisational response to the Model Domestic Violence Laws Discussion Paper and process, being undertaken by the National Domestic Violence Legislation Working Group (Attorney General’s Department). A consultative process was undertaken by WWDA to generate input from members into the development of a submission to the Model Domestic Violence Laws Discussion Paper. This involved organising with the Office of the Status of Women for copies of the Discussion Paper to be produced in braille, so that women with impaired vision could participate in the consultation process.

Department of Health & Family Services -Submission to the Development of the National Strategy for Ageing
WWDA was invited by the Minister for Family Services to participate in the consultation process being undertaken on the development of the National Strategy for Ageing Australia. A submission was developed by WWDA and submitted to the Minister for consideration.

Department of Health & Family Services – Improving Access to Employment Assistance for People with a Disability
WWDA has participated in the consultation process being conducted by the Department of Health & Family Services on improving access to employment assistance for people with a disability. A Focus Group of women with disabilities is being held on April 18 to discuss the issues and develop a response to the Discussion Paper which was released by the Department of Health & Family Services.

NSW Department of Ageing & Disability – Consultation Meeting
WWDA recently had input into a consultation process being conducted by the NSW Department of Ageing and Disability. The consultation was aiming to find out if gay, lesbian, and transgender people with disabilities (as well as those living with HIV/AIDS) have experienced discrimination when accessing services funded by the Aged & Disability Department. A WWDA representative from NSW attended the meeting which was held at the Anti-Discrimination Board in Redfern on March 18.

DDA Standards
WWDA continues to contribute to the DDA Standards Project. The organisation has input to the drafts of various standards and consults broadly with the membership on these Standards. WWDA also has representatives on several of the DDA Standards Committees.

Committees
WWDA members are given opportunities to represent the organisation on a range of Committees, Advisory Boards, Organisation Management Boards etc. Some of the current Committees etc on which WWDA is represented include:

  • Attorney General’s Working Group on DDA Standards
  • DDA Standards Project Deputy Convenor
  • DDA Standards Project
  • National Caucus of Disability Consumer Organisations
  • Building and Access Technical Committee
  • Building and Access Policy Committee
  • Ministerial Committee on Employment, Education Training and Youth Affairs, Task Force on DDA Education Standards
  • Australian National Training Authority Disability Forum
  • AUSTEL Consumer Consultative Forum
  • Consumer Telecommunications Network
  • Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Data Reference Group
  • Attorney General’s Human Rights Forum
  • Round Table Meetings (with Minister for the Status of Women) in each State
  • ABS Census Disability Committee

 

Section Four: Summary of Goals, Key & Continuing Strategies for 1998-99

N.B: A detailed WWDA Strategic & Business Plan, containing Goals, Key & Continuing Strategies, Targets & Timelines, Resource Implications and Performance Indicators was attached with this Application.


 

GOAL 1: To research, analyse and take action on issues of concern to women with disabilities falling within the policy priorities of WWDA, including: health, housing, links to the women’s movement.

Key and Continuing Strategies:

  • Conduct research; undertake analysis of research, develop reports, develop research based policy recommendations
  • Undertake consultation with women with disabilities, relevant services, government and non-government bodies, agencies and organisations.
  • Undertake regular planning and review process within the organisation.
  • Develop networks which support the WWDA priority areas.
  • Create debate and publicise research, reports, policies and projects undertaken by WWDA.

 

GOAL 2: To initiate systemic change activities in specific areas of concern to WWDA members: a) Increase the accessibility of services for women with disabilities who have been subjected to violence; and b) Promote access to information technology for women with disabilities.

Key and Continuing Strategies:

  • Develop a WWDA National Network on Violence Against Women With Disabilities.
  • Establish an e-mail based Discussion Group on Violence Against Women With Disabilities.
  • Undertake projects in the area of violence against women with disabilities: a) Conduct a research project on Violence Against Women With Disabilities; b) Implement where possible the recommendations stemming from the National Workshop on Women With Disabilities and Violence; c) Develop an Information Strategy on Women With Disabilities and Violence.
  • Continue to raise awareness of the issue of violence against women with disabilities.
  • Develop networks and working relationships with organisations and services in the violence sector.
  • Advocate for legislation, policy, services and organisations to be more responsive to women with disabilities who have experienced violence.
  • Research opportunities for WWDA to become more involved in information technology.

 

GOAL 3: To continue WWDA‘s high quality of input into systemic change initiated by other bodies.

Key and Continuing Strategies:

  • WWDA will provide representatives to Committees, Advisory Bodies etc that are in line with WWDA‘s priority areas.
  • WWDA will endeavour to ensure accountability of WWDA Committee reps to the NEC and the broader membership.
  • WWDA will investigate opportunities for mentoring and leadership activities and programs within the organisation.

 

GOAL 4: To continue to establish and support WWDA groups and national WWDA Networks around the country.

Key and Continuing Strategies:

  • Assist in the establishment of WWDA groups in the Northern Territory and Queensland.
  • Establish and maintain systems for regular and effective communication with State/Territory WWDA groups.
  • Work with State/Territory WWDA groups to assist them to become self managing through the processes of incorporation and self funding.

 

GOAL 5: To increase the membership and public profile of WWDA.

Key and Continuing Strategies:

  • Promote WWDA at local, regional, state, national and international levels using a wide range of methods including: dissemination of material and information on the organisation, its projects and activities; use of the media; presence at govt & non-govt events and forums; presence at public events and forums; representation on committees; publishing of articles in newsletters, journals etc.
  • Produce a high quality newsletter.

 

GOAL 6: To further develop and improve the organisation so as to best serve WWDA‘s membership and its aims and objectives.

Key and Continuing Strategies:

  • Undertake strategic planning processes.
  • Develop organisational and operational policies in line with relevant Service Standards, including: Disability Service Standards; National Mental Health Standards; Standards for Community and Other Primary Health Care Services (CHASP)
  • Develop models of best practice in WWDA‘s main program areas of: organisational development; violence; information technology; leadership; mentoring; participation.
  • Conduct an Annual General Meeting of the organisation.
  • Continue to develop the roles and responsibilities of the National Executive Committee.
  • Establish links and partnerships with similar, relevant organisations.
  • Maintain the WWDA mailing list database.

 

Section Five: Proposed Budget July 1998- June 1999

Personnel
Salaries for the equivalent of one FTE Executive Officer position and one .5 FTE Project Officer position, including on-costs = $68,000

Administration
Rental of Office Space @ $650 per month = 7,800
Teleconferences – 6 per year @ approx $700 each = 4,200
Telephone & Fascimilie- approx $300 per month x 12 months = 3,600
Telephone Line Rental Costs @ $1500 per year = 1,500
Internet & E-Mail Dial Up Costs @ approx $30 per month = 360
Office Insurance = 600
Volunteer Insurance = 300
Photocopying @ $200 per month = 2,400
Postage @ average of $45 per week (includes Post Box Hire Fees and Freight) = 2,400
Stationary = 2,000
Office Equipment = 600
Auditors Fees = 600

Publications
Printing of Newsletter (3 editions) @ $1,200 per edition = 3,600
Mailhouse Costs (Newsletter) @ $400 per edition = 1,200
Newsletter Text Entry & Layout @ $300 per edition = 900
Postage of Newsletter @ approx $600 per edition = 1,800
Purchase of Publications and Subscription Fees = 800

National Annual General Meeting (for 2 reps from each State plus 2 staff members)
Airfares = 6000
Accommodation 8 double @ approx $250 per room (2 nights) = 2000
Taxi Fares = 600
Catering = 700
Venue Hire = 400
Printing = 200
Attendant Care & Equipment Hire = 350

Conferences
Airfares x 2 = 800
Travel Allowance for 8 days @ $100 per day = 800
Personal Care and Equipment Hire = 1000
Transport = 250
Registration = 300

Travel
To 4 States = 2000
Travel Allowance for 18 days @ $80 per day = 1440
Transport for 18 days @ $40 per day = 720

GRAND TOTAL = $120,220


 

Appendix 1: National Executive Committee Members 1997-98

The WWDA National Executive Committee Members for 1997 -1998 are:

  • South Australia – Vicki Toovey (President)
  • South Australia – Chandra Sluggett
  • Western Australia -Maria McGrath
  • Northern Territory -Joyce Deering (Vice President)
  • Queensland -Madge Sceriha
  • Queensland -Rae Hurrell
  • New South Wales -Joan Hume
  • ACT -Di Palmer
  • Victoria -Keran Howe
  • Tasmania -Sue Large
  • Tasmania -Robyn Wilkinson
  • Policy Representative -Terry Fletcher

 

Appendix 2: WWDA Partnerships and Alliances with other Organisations

WWDA has, and continues to, establish partnerships and alliances with a range of organisations in order to better meet the needs of women with disabilities in Australia. WWDA has established links with a number of relevant international organisations and now has a recognised international presence. WWDA is committed to developing strategic alliances with organisations and fostering collaborative approaches to projects and activities. Some of the organisations WWDA works in partnership with, along with examples of the type of involvement WWDA has with these organisations, is outlined below.

National Caucus of Disability Consumer Organisations
WWDA is a member organisation of the Caucus. The Caucus meets 4 times each year and works collaboratively on activities and projects to promote the needs of people with disabilities. The Caucus liaises closely with governments and advises government on policy, programs and service delivery affecting people with disabilities.

Women’s Emergency Services Network (WESNET)
WWDA has established a good working relationship with WESNET. WWDA works collaboratively with WESNET on projects and activities relating to violence against women with disabilities, particularly disabled women’s access to women’s refuges and education of the domestic violence sector to issues facing women with disabilities. WWDA is currently working with WESNET to set up a WWDA/WESNET Working Group. Future collaborative projects are envisaged.

Disabled Women’s Network (DAWN) Canada
WWDA has established good links with DAWN. WWDA recently approached DAWN to work on a collaborative project in the area of violence against women with disabilities. This collaboration resulted in the production of an extensive annotated bibliography on the issue of violence against women with disabilities. WWDA and DAWN share resource materials and liaise regularly via e-mail. WWDA recently wrote a feature article about WWDA for publication in the DAWN Newsletter.

Network of Women’s Services (NEWS) (Families at Work, NSW)
WWDA is a member organisation of the Network of Women’s Services. This Network is coordinated by Families at Work in NSW and was funded through OSW in 1997 to link women’s organisations in Australia and disseminate information to these organisations on issues relating to women. WWDA wrote a feature article for inclusion into the first Network of Women’s Services Newsletter. This resulted in WWDA receiving several request for information about WWDA and its activities, as well as a number of women and organisations becoming members of WWDA.

CAPOW!
WWDA is as member organisation of CAPOW and is represented on the CAPOW Management Committee.

Australian Women’s Health Network (AWHN)
WWDA has good links with the Australian Women’s Health Network. The Acting Executive Officer of WWDA is a member of the AWHN Management Committee and the WWDA President is also a member of AWHN. The Australian Women’s Health Network is currently pursuing avenues for funding of its activities, including the establishment of a National Secretariat. WWDA is eager to work with AWHN on collaborative projects in the future.

Sunrise Research Laboratory (Melbourne Institute of Technology)
The Sunrise Research Laboratory is Australia’s representative on the International World Wide Web Consortium. It is currently working on a large project to improve access to the World Wide Web for people with disabilities. WWDAhas approached the Sunrise Research Laboratory to discuss the potential of undertaking a collaborative project on information technology for women with disabilities. Negotiations are continuing at the present time.