“Our Voices Our Lives”- WDV’s 2018 State Election Platform
In order for women with disabilities to be equal citizens we have a right to be free from violence, to have the respect of people with whom we interact, to have meaningful employment and training and to have access to the community and to the services we need.
You can add your voice to the campaign by:
- Using the template letters developed around each of the five asks in our election platform, filling in the blanks, and sending it to your local member
- Be active on social media: WDV has created placards around each of the five asks in our election platform. We encourage you to take a photo or a selfie and tweet using the hashtag #OurVoicesOurLives
Visit a Member of Parliament (MP) in person:Introduce who you are.
Let your MP know that you are a voter, and will be voting in this state election.
Talk about why an issue is important to you.
It’s OK to bring a support person with you
It is powerful to tell your story.
You might want support after talking about your story, and here are some places you can contact:
WIRE (Women’s Information and Referral Exchange Inc.):
Phone: 1300 134 130
Phone: 1800 737 732
Violence against women with disabilities
Women with disabilities are more likely to experience violence than women in general, or other people with disabilities. In light of this, it is critical that there is a focus on the specific needs of women with disabilities in the policy and practice of
Women with Disabilities Victoria advocates for
- all parties to support the implementation of the Family Violence Royal Commission recommendations
- a clear plan with dedicated funding for specialist disability supports in family violence and sexual assault workforces, including:
- a practice advisor in every Support and Safety Hub (Orange Door)
- specialist case managers for women with disabilities experiencing family violence
- incentives to train and recruit people with disability into the workforce
- training for all family violence workers in the rights and needs of all disadvantaged groups
- funding for the Making Rights Reality Program to improve legal, counselling and crisis supports for people with disabilities who experience sexual assault across Victoria
- retention of the Disability Family Violence Crisis Fund for women and children
Be active on social media: WDV has created placards regarding the prevention of violence against women you can download. We encourage you to take a photo or a selfie and tweet using the hashtag #OurVoicesOurLives
Talk to an MP in person:
- Women with disabilities are twice as likely to experience violence as women and girls without disabilities.
- Gender-based and disability-based discrimination increase the risk of violence for women and girls with disabilities.
- We are more likely to experience violence than women without disabilities and men with disability.
- The most prevalent form of violence experienced by Victorian women is family violence.
- Violence can include impairment related violence and unethical practices in care service settings.
Action: I am asking that you will take action to ensure that all political parties support the implementation of the Family Violence Royal Commission (FVRC) recommendations.
Access to inclusive health care for women with disabilities
- the continuation of mental health services in Victoria. A significant number of Victorians experiencing psycho-social disability or will not qualify for the NDIS and will be left without appropriate services under the proposed reforms.
- Training for health and allied health services to understand the particular needs of women with disabilities.
Be active on social media: WDV has created placards regarding inclusive healthcare for women with disabilities. We encourage you to take a photo or a selfie and tweet using the hashtag #OurVoicesOurLives
Talk to an MP in person:
- Women with disabilities experience high levels of disadvantage in all areas of our lives.
- Disadvantage affects our mental and physical health, causing greater unmet health needs than women without a disability.
- Barriers prevent women with disabilities from accessing timely and effective healthcare
- We have reduced access to health information, screening, prevention, and care services
- We are often excluded from decisions that affect our health care and treatment.
Action: I am asking that you will take action to increase funding for community mental health services in Victoria and funding of training for health services to understand the needs of women with disabilities.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
As the NDIS rolls out, it’s important that there are no gaps for people with disabilities, and especially women, who face multiple layers of disadvantage when systems fail. This is a critical time to make sure that the voices of people with disability are heard loud and clear.
WDV advocates for:
- WDV to be a sustainable organisation with adequate core funding to represent the voice of women with disabilities
- continued Victorian government support for disability advocacy services more broadly. Many Victorians with a disability do not qualify for NDIS support. They are even more in need of advocacy to access mainstream services such as health, education and housing. Furthermore, participants applying for the NDIS may require the support and advice of advocates to ensure they receive the support they need from the NDIS.
- continuation of disability services in Victoria for people with disability will not qualify for the NDIS and will be left without appropriate services under the proposed reforms.
- expanded funding to implement and monitor the progress of the Victorian State Disability Plan “Absolutely Everyone”
- regular community attitude surveys to monitor changes in attitudes to people with disability in Victoria
Be active on social media: WDV has created placards regarding the National Disability Insurance Scheme. We encourage you to take a photo or a selfie and tweet using the hashtag #OurVoicesOurLives
Talk to an MP in person:
- About 10% of people with disability nationally will get support through the NDIS.
- It is important that there are no gaps for people with disabilities, and especially women, who face multiple layers of disadvantage.
- Those applying for the NDIS may need the support and advice of disability advocates – and to have their awareness of the NDIS raised.
- Many Victorians will need support to use mainstream services in the community.
- Disability advocacy services must continue to be funded to help people with disability access mainstream services.
Action: I am asking that you will take action to ensure that there is funding for support services for people with disability who will not quality for the NDIS and expand funding to implement and monitor progress of the Victorian State Disability Plan
Access to mainstream services
Accessible Public Housing
For women with disabilities, access to housing is a key factor in ensuring safety and access to opportunities for work, study and community inclusion. WDV advocates for:
- the introduction of minimum standards of accessible housing for private residences under the Australian Building Code Board.
- all social housing developed and purchased in Victoria to achieve minimum standards of accessibility
- the inclusion of accessible public and social housing in all new property developments.
Accessible Public Transport
- public transport that meets the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport (2002), in particular, rural public transport, to reduce the economic disadvantage and social isolation of people with a disability.
Access to the internet in rural and remote areas
- a low cost internet access program for low-income people with a disability and capacity building support for people with disability who low or no internet literacy.
Be active on social media: WDV has created placards regarding access to mainstream services.We encourage you to take a photo or a selfie and tweet using the hashtag #OurVoicesOurLives
Talk to an MP in person:
- For women with disabilities, access to adequate housing and public transport are vital for ensuring safety and access to services.
- As women with disabilities, we are more likely to live in rental accommodation and unaffordable housing.
- Mainstream services like hospitals, public transport and public housing are often not accessible to us. This is not acceptable.
Action: I am asking that you will take action by providing public transport that meets the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport and introduce minimum standards of accessible housing for private residences under the Australian Building Code Board.
Leadership opportunities for women with disabilities
- increased opportunities for women with disabilities to participate in accessible leadership programs
- the Victorian Public Service targets for employment of people with disability includes targets for the employment of particularly disadvantaged people with a disability, for example, women.
- the Victorian Government’s purchasing program (social procurement) includes a focus on employment of women with disabilities
- free TAFE places allocated to women with disabilities
Be active on social media: WDV has created placards regarding increased leadership opportunities for women with disabilities..We encourage you to take a photo or a selfie and tweet using the hashtag #OurVoicesOurLives
Talk to an MP in person:
- Nearly 1 in 5 Victorian women has a disability.
- We encounter discrimination on many levels; this restricts our opportunities for equal participation in economic, social, educational and political life.
- As women with disabilities, we also experience higher levels of disadvantage than men with disabilities do when it comes to employment and income levels.
- However, what we can do far outweighs what we cannot. We need better services and more opportunities so that we can engage in public life.
Action: implement Victorian Public Service (VPS) targets for employment of marginalised people with disability, including women; expand the Victorian Government’s purchasing program (social procurement), with a focus on women, and provide free TAFE places for women with disabilities.
We are proud to support –
Victorian Council of Social Services (VCOSS)’s Empowered Lives campaign.
We are supporting the Victorian Council of Social Services (VCOSS)’s Empowered Lives campaign.
Empowered Lives is a report, outlining the key issues facing Victorians with disability. It sets out achievable actions the Government can take to provide more opportunities for people with disability.
It has been developed by people with disability, advocates and organisations across the Victorian disability community.
VCOSS Policy Tracker
The Victorian Council of Social Service has created a social policy resource called the VCOSS Policy Tracker, which tracks the pledges made by the ALP, Labour and The Greens. This is for your information only as we believe knowledge is power and would like our members to feel empowered when they vote in the upcoming election.
Gender Equity Victoria (GEN VIC) #VICVOTESEQUITY election advocacy campaign
Gender Equity Victoria (GEN VIC) is the Victorian peak body for gender equity, women’s health and the prevention of violence against women.
The priority areas for Gen Vic are to advance gender equality, promote women’s sexual and reproductive health, prevent violence against women, and support the development of a sustainable peak body.
You can download their election poster and share a photo on social media.
- The Victorian Electoral Commission has developed a video guide which explains how to enrol, vote and stand as a candidate in an election.This video includes Auslan, a voiceover using plain English and captions.
- The Victorian Electoral Commission has created an app called Voters Voice to make voting easier for people with complex communication needs low literacy, low English language ability or those who use Auslan. It does not have information about each candidate or the capacity for users to vote through the app. It has four features:
- Information about enrolling and voting is available in plain English, Easy English, audio, video and Auslan. You can also ask for an enrolment form.
- For people who experience communication difficulties, the app allows people to save voting related phrases that they can play back to a polling officer on the day.
- A map of nearest voting centres and their accessibility features
- Text-to-speech capability- The app has a read aloud feature
- People who are blind or have low vision have the option to vote by telephone.