The National Disability Strategy (NDS) 2010–2020 is a plan to make the lives of people with disability better. The NDS strategy talks about what can be done to make Australia more inclusive and accessible.

The Strategy is based on ideas from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN Convention). The UN Convention sets out the rights of people with disability. It explains how people with disability should be treated fairly.

As the previous strategy will finish at the end of this year, Governments across Australia are working together to create a new strategy and they have put out a position paper so that individuals and organisations can provide their input.

WWDA have written their response to the NDS Position Paper to ensure the voices of women with disabilities across Australia are heard.

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Our response from WWDA is structured in ten main sections. 

1. Background

  • Provides background to the development and implementation of the NDS 2010-2020.
  • Highlights the progress reports provided on the NDS 2010-2020 and lack of evaluation of outcomes.
  • Provides key recommendations from the Senate Inquiry into the NDS 2010-2020.

2. The CRPD, Gender and the NDS

  • The requirement to incorporate the fundamental principle of equality between men and women.
  • Details the obligations of Australian governments to specifically address the rights of women and girls with disabilities.

3. NDS Purpose, Vision and Outcome Areas

  • Proposes a new vision for the NDS that better encapsulates the intent of the NDS in advancing the human rights of people with disabilities. 

4. Guiding Principles

  • Detailed information on the proposed ‘additional’ guiding principles for the new NDS.

5. Improving Community Attitudes

  • This section argues that a ‘stronger emphasis on improving community attitudes’ must include and address ableism, including ableist government systems, structures and practices that enable discrimination against people with disability to flourish.

6. Improving Accountability of Governments

  • Highlights that all governments are ultimately responsible for NDS implementation by virtue of Australia’s obligations as a signatory to the CRPD.
  • Suggestions as to how determining the roles and responsibilities of governments could be improved.

7. Organisations of People with Disability and Self Advocacy

  • The role of organisations of people with disabilities, and the role of independent advocacy in realising the purpose and vision of the NDS.
  • The crucial role of independent advocacy, including individual, systemic and self-advocacy.

8. Reporting to the Public on NDS Progress

  • How Australian governments can better report NDS progress to the public.

9. Targeted Action Plans

WWDA suggests seven thematic based targeted Action Plans be developed under the new NDS. These are:

  1. Sexual and Reproductive Rights;
  2. Segregation of People with Disabilities;
  3. Indefinite Detention of People with Disabilities;
  4. Legal Capacity and Supported Decision-Making;
  5. Inclusive Education;
  6. Poverty;
  7. Disaster and Emergency Planning, Management and Recovery. 

10. Mechanisms & Strategies to Engage with People with Disability

  • WWDA offers 19 practical suggestions as to how people with disabilities, and the disability community, can meaningfully participate in the delivery and monitoring of the CRPD and the new NDS. 

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