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March – April 2018 Volume 12, Issue 68

NDIS Independent Pricing Review Report Released

The Board of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) today released the Independent Pricing Review (IPR) Report undertaken by McKinsey & Company, giving in principle support to all of the Report’s 25 recommendations.

Key recommendations made by the IPR include:

  • Adding a third tier to the complexity loading to account for higher level skills or experience of workers and additional training required;

  • Allowing providers to charge up to 45 minutes of travel time in rural areas;

  • Allowing providers to quote on the delivery of services in isolated regions;

  • Changing the cancellation policy to allow providers to recover 90% of their costs if a cancellation is made after 3pm on the day before the service;

  • Removing the annual $1000 travel cap for therapy supports and aligning the travel policy with the attendant care travel policy;

  • Changing therapy prices to better reflect different therapy types, and introducing a second tier of pricing for therapy assistants;

  • Introducing temporary overhead assistance equivalent to a 2% to 3% loading on the price for providers delivering attendant care for the next 12 months.

NDIS Information Page here.

McKinsey & Company Independent Pricing Review Report (PDF 2MB)

NDIA Response to Independent Pricing Review (PDF 643KB)

Disability News

Funding Announced for Disability Advocacy

The disability sector has welcomed the announcement of more than $5 million of federal funding for advocacy work, and called on the states and territories to look to the federal government’s example. Minister for Social Services Christian Porter and Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services Jane Prentice announced on Thursday the government would provide disability representative organisations with funding of $5.3 million to continue their advocacy work. It marks an increase of $875,000 and will ensure advocacy services for disability will continue to be funded until 30 June 2020.

The organisations to be offered a share of the $5.3 million funding were:

  • Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA) – representing children and young people (0-25 yrs) with disability;

  • First Peoples Disability Network Australia (FPDN) – representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability;

  • National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA) – representing people with disability from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (CALD), as well as non-English speaking backgrounds (NESB);

  • People with Disability Australia (PWDA) – a national organisation focused on disability rights and advocacy;

  • Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA) – representing women and girls with disability;

  • A consortium led by the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO);

  • National Disability Services (NDS) – representing more than 1,100 non-government service providers which provide support to people with disability; and

  • Mental Health Australia (MHA) – representing the Australian mental health sector.

Read the full Stand By Me article here.

Disability News

Autism in Australia

Autism spectrum disorder (also simply termed autism) is a persistent developmental disorder, characterised by symptoms evident from early childhood. In 2015, an estimated 164,000 people had autism, representing about 1 in 150 Australians. The number of people with autism in Australia has increased considerably in recent years, up from an estimated 64,400 people in 2009. Of those who were estimated to have autism in 2015, 143,900 were identified as also having disability (88%). The majority of people with autism (65%) had a disability with a profound or severe limitation in core activities [5]. Core activity limitation refers to needing help or supervision with communication, mobility or self-care because of a person’s disability or long-term health condition. Around 58% of people with autism and disability had severe or profound restrictions in communication, which involves understanding or being understood by others (Figure 2). Profound or severe mobility limitations affected just over half of people with autism and disability (52%). In 2014–15, around 43,500 people with autism accessed disability support services under the National Disability Agreement (NDA).

Disability News

Pioneers, Possibility and Peril: Surviving in the Hostile NDIS New World

It was only a few years ago that it wasn’t that obvious the NDIS would get to see the light of day. But it has and that’s fabulous, but the world we find ourselves in is not the world we expected when we started this journey. Even with the headwinds, we are seeing fabulous change at work. But, nobody in 2012 predicted the level of difficulty we currently experience with the NDIS. The Agency is not coping, the government is not coping; most of the providers in the sector are struggling to cope. It’s a very chaotic environment and the sheer volume of what needs to be done can be simply overwhelming. Read the full Disability Services Consulting article here.

Disability News

Trio of Disability Service Providers Announce Merger

A trio of leading disability service providers has joined forces to increase their impact in the lives of people with a disability across Australia and “take advantage” of what the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can offer.

House with No Steps (HWNS), The Tipping Foundation (TTF) and Victorian Person Centred Services Inc (VISTA) have announced they will merge from 1 March 2018. As a combined national organisation they aim to help shape the new disability services market across Australia in the best interest of their customers and all people with a disability. Read the full Pro Bono Australia article here.

Disability Issues In The Media

When Rabbits Become Roadkill: [NDIS Pitfalls for Service Providers]

2 years after his viral article A Rabbit in the NDIS Headlights, Roland explores we are still seeing go wrong in the sector and what can be done. Read the Disability Services Consulting article here.

Privatisation of Disability & Aged Care Poses New Challenges for NFPs Managing Their Workforce

As the disability and aged care sectors become increasingly privatised, not for profits face unique challenges integrating ex-government employees into their workforce, a leading not-for-profit lawyer has warned. The rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has led to the privatisation of some disability services, while a number of not-for-profit (NFP) providers have merged. There has also been direct outsourcing of aged care services to third-party providers, both private and not for profit. Read the full Pro Bono Australia article here.

Concerns mount over NDIS workforce shortages
Nearly 60 per cent of disability service providers say they find it hard to recruit support workers highlighting a labour market struggling to grow fast enough to meet demand for quality staff, a new survey shows. Read the full Community Care Review article

Urgent calls to tackle home care wait list

Providers, sector peaks and academics have expressed concern over the 89,000-long wait list for home care and urged the Federal Government to take further action to address the long-running problem. Read the full Community Care Review article here.

Frustrations Remain with NDIS Implementation in South Australia
Disability advocates remain frustrated with the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme in South Australia, despite the federal government making an “extremely overdue” announcement that $72 million would be provided for frontline NDIS services across the state.
Read the full Pro Bono Australia article here.

Funding a top aged care budget priority

Aged care providers are calling on the Federal Government to adopt the recommendations of the Tune Review in this year’s Budget, submissions show. Read the Australian Ageing Agenda article here.

CMHA call for NDIS Oversight and Coordination

Community Mental Health Australia (CMHA) President Liz Crowther has called for the Federal Budget to include investment in processes which maintain oversight, coordination and independence of the NDIS and mental health reforms to ensure people living with a mental health condition receive services and have access to processes which are appropriate. The recommendations came from inquiries examining the implementation, costs and pricing of the NDIS including the Productivity Commission NDIS Costs inquiry and the Australian Parliament Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS inquiry on services for people with psychosocial disability. Full article here.

Federal funding boost for home delivered meals

The Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt has announced an additional $8 million in funding for 232 meals providers through the Commonwealth Home Support Program. Read the full Community Care Review article here.

Understanding the NDIS Operational Guidelines
The NDIS Operational Guidelines are not half as hard to read as they may appear and are fantastic sources of practical information, writes Evie Naufal. Read the full Disability Services Consulting article here.

Home care system troubles ‘compounding’, says peak

Industry peak body Leading Age Services Australia is calling on the Federal Government to address a series of significant implementation issues arising from the latest home care reforms. Read the full Community Care Review article here.

2017 was a ‘Dismal’ Year for Human Rights in Australia

2017 was a “dismal” year for human rights in Australia, according to a report card which found the country significantly lagged behind in areas including disability rights, Indigenous rights and the rights of refugees and people seeking asylum. Read the full Pro Bono Australia article here.

Call to embed exercise in residential care

It’s time for exercise to be normalised for aged care residents, write Louise Czosnek, Dr Tim Henwood and Martin Bending. Read the full Community Care Review article here.

Community Care Review newsletter free subscription. This is a valuable publication, well researched by a team of professional journalist. Keep up to date in all developments and issues in community and aged care. Subscribe here

Featured Organisation

Centre of Research Excellence in Disability and Health

The Centre of Research Excellence in Disability and Health (CRE-DH) aims to identify cost-effective policies that improve the health of people with disabilities in Australia.

While 15% of the world’s population have a disability, they have largely been ignored by public health research, practice and policy.

Research clearly shows that on traditional indicators of health, Australians with disabilities fare particularly badly in global terms – they have the lowest relative income and one of the lowest levels of labour force participation of all the OECD countries.

An Australian with a disability is more likely to be unemployed, live in inadequate and unaffordable housing, have not completed school, and live in financial stress. They may face discrimination in all aspects of their lives including their experience at school, with the health system, getting a job, and their family situation. All of these aspects contribute to their poorer health. Reducing these inequities would substantially improve the health of Australians with disability. Improving their health will also increase the overall health of the population, and significantly reduce health and welfare expenditure.

Web site

Some recent publications:-

Krnjacki L, Priest N, Aitken Z, Emerson E, Llewellyn G, King T & Kavanagh A. Disability-based discrimination and health: findings from an Australian-based population study.  Aust NZ J Public Health. 22 November 2017.

Carey G, Malbon E, Reeders D, Kavanagh A & Llewellyn G. Redressing or entrenching social and health inequities through policy implementation? Examining personalised budgets through the Australian National Disability Insurance Scheme. International Journal for Equity in Health  2017; 16:192

Dickinson, H & Carey G. Managing care integration during the implementation of large-scale reforms: The case of the Australian National Disability Insurance Scheme. Journal of Integrated Care, 25(1), 2017.

Malbon E, Carey G & Dickinson H. Accountability in public service quasi-markets: The case of the Australian National Disability Insurance Scheme. Australian Journal of Public Administration, March 2017.

Llewellyn G, Vaughan C & Emerson E. Discrimination and the health of people with intellectual disabilities. In Hatton, C., & Emerson, E. (eds) Health Disparities and People with Intellectual Disabilities. International Review of Research in Developmental Disabilities, Vol 48, pp. 43-72. New York: Elsevier.

GLOBAL – for casual staffing Specialist in Disability, Mental Health, General and Home Care staffing services FREE PHONE 1800 009 292

Disability News

Advocacy Under Threat as NFPs Engage in Self-Silencing

Australian charities are self-silencing for fear of risking their financial security or attracting political retribution, according to a new report.

“Civil Voices” Report, an initiative by Pro Bono Australia and the Human Rights Law Centre, has found civil society organisations are feeling pressured to take a more cautious approach to advocacy in order to sustain and protect their other functions and services. It found “public debate in Australia is not as healthy as it ought to be in a developed liberal democracy”. “The more the silencing of civil society is normalised the higher the risk becomes to the overall quality of Australian democracy.” Pro Bono Australia founder Karen Mahlab AM said she hoped Civil Voices would stimulate conversation and reinforce the importance of charities’ rights to advocate.


The Civil Voices report is available online at

Disability News

Small business enterprise models of disability employment

The focus of this project is specifically on adults with intellectual disabilities who have high support needs and experience almost complete exclusion from employment, much more than other disability groups. The research studied four case studies, based in Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, where five young people with intellectual disabilities are working in Small Business Enterprise (SBE) models of employment, which are family-inspired small businesses that provide employment opportunities for relatives with disabilities. These SBEs were distinguished by their focus on the needs and interests of each individual, the importance of building community connections and relationships, and flexible and innovative approaches to addressing the economic challenges of the SBEs. To the best of our knowledge, this may be the first systematic study of SBEs and the Report’s conclusions are particularly important for future evolution and development of this approach. Download the report here.

Disability News

Dementia care

Flinders University have undertake several research and development projects in the area of dementia care and they are accessible online at here.

The resources include:

Clinicial Guidelinesfirst national clinical guidelines (PDF 866KB) for people with dementia in Australia. These guidelines will provide health and aged care staff in community, residential care and hospital settings with access to recommendations reflecting current evidence on dementia care (PDF 120KB) to better respond to the needs and preferences of the person living with dementia.

Residential care for older people with cognitive decline

Consumer Choice Index – 6 Dimension (CCI-6D)

With the recent introduction of consumer directed care in the Australian aged care sector, there is growing emphasis on providing people living in residential aged care with increasing levels of flexibility and choice in their care, which is hoped to lead to improved quality of life and wellbeing.

The CCI-6D measures six key characteristics of quality care which were derived from these interviews. The CCI-6D can be used by aged care organisations to properly evaluate the success of innovations to improve care from their consumers’ perspectives.

CCI_6D_User_Guide (PDF 2MB)

CCI_6D_Showcards (PDF 160KB)

Consumer Choice Summary – Consumer (PDF 517KB)

Consumer Choice Summary – Industry (PDF 1MB)  

Disability News

People With Severe Mental Illness Struggling With NDIS Transition

Concerns have been raised that people with severe mental health issues are “falling through the gaps” of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, as the government has acknowledged transition problems exist for many participants of a psychosocial disabilities support program. Read the full Pro Bono Australia article here.

Nurses (Disability, Mental Health & Paediatric) & Residential Support Workers. Work the shifts and roster you want. Agency work gives you control of your life. Why not join our Global team now. Contact Global for an appointment.
Free phone: 1 800 009 292

Disability News

Specialist homelessness services annual report 2016-17 (web report)

The specialist homelessness services 2016-17 web report is the sixth annual report from the Specialist Homelessness Services Collection (SHSC). It describes the characteristics of clients of specialist homelessness services, the services requested, outcomes achieved, and unmet requests for services during 2016-17.

Key findings:

  • 288,000 people were assisted by specialist homelessness agencies in 2016-17

  • 2 in 5 clients had experienced domestic and family violence

  • 1 in 2 people seeking homelessness services in 2016-17 had received services previously, in the past 5 years

  • 11,600 more people were housed in public or community housing following support

  • 8,300 more people were housed in private dwellings following support

  • Housing the homeless: 4 in 10 were housed in social housing, 6 in 10 in private dwellings

  • Housing the homeless: 11,000 were housed in social housing, 16,000 in private dwellings

  • 261 requests for assistance were unable to be met each day

View web report: Specialist homelessness services annual report 2016-17

Books & Publications

Australia’s welfare 2017

Australia’s welfare 2017 is the 13th biennial welfare report of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. This comprehensive report provides an authoritative overview of the well-being of Australians, examining a wide range of relevant topics. In 2015, the welfare workforce represented 4.1% of the total workforce in Australia, an estimated 478,000 workers. The number of workers has increased by 84% since 2005. Read the full Analysis & Policy Observatory article here or download the report here.

Intellectual Disability Rights Service: Legal Service Facts Sheets

Ageing and homelessness: solutions to a growing problem

This Mission Australia report compiles existing research and data to present an overview of the current issues around ageing and homelessness in Australia. The report explores the precursors and drivers of homelessness for older people, and also provides solutions and recommendations to respond to the growing problem. Access report from APO Analysis & Policy Observatory site here.

Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia: A Guide for Families

Karen Watchman. The questions and concerns that arise when a relative with an intellectual disability is diagnosed with dementia can be overwhelming. This understanding guide acknowledges and answers questions on the progression of dementia, medication, short-term and long-term care plans, and presents need-to-know information in an accessible way. 2017. ISBN: 978-1-84905-677-9 UK Publisher.

NDIA Annual Report 2016-17

The Annual Report outlines what the Agency has accomplished during the year. The reports show how they managed their resources to improve the lives of people living with disability. You can download an accessible version below:

Visit our digital (HTML)  version of the Annual Report 2016-2017.

A Guide to Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
The prognosis for individuals with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is improving, with some men with DMD living into their 30s and 40s. More vital than ever, this book helps teachers and parents to support children and young people with DMD with their education and transition into adulthood. Edited by Janet Hoskin. Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Information.

Autism and Enablement

Matt Bushell, Sandra Gasson and Ute Vann. Occupational Therapy Approaches to Promote Independence for Adults with Autism. 2017. ISBN: 9781785920875 UK Publisher.

New consumer guide for accessing the NDIS

Policies & Guidelines

Being a planner with a person with disability and complex support needs

This Planning Resource Kit, developed by The Intellectual Disability Behaviour Support program at UNSW Sydney, is intended to strengthen existing good practice and to provide guidance for engaging a person with complex support needs in planning. The kit is aimed at workers in planning or related roles, such as case managers or service coordinators, who engage with people with complex support needs. The Planning Resource Kit focuses on the planning process which is envisaged as a three-stage process:

  • Stage 1: Pre-planning

  • Stage 2: Planning conversations

  • Stage 3: Plan-to-action

Each of these stages is described in this kit with explanatory notes and a case study example to assist the user to apply the concepts to their planning role.

The Planning Resource Kit is designed to be used in conjunction with other planning tools and resources appropriate to the person, the planner, the service sector and the broader context in which the planning is undertaken

For further information about the Kit, including plan training and evaluation, contact

The development of this resource kit was funded by the NSW Department of Family and Community Services.

Delivery of outcomes under the National Disability Strategy 2010-2020 to build inclusive and accessible communities

This Senate Community Affairs References Committee inquiry focused on one aspect of the Disability Strategy, the accessibility and inclusiveness of the Australian community for people with disability. A lack of accessibility creates external barriers that are not a function of a person’s disability, but are a function of how well, or poorly, the community interacts with and provides support for that person’s life. During 2008–2009, the Australian Government commissioned the National People with Disabilities and Carer Council to undertake extensive consultation, resulting in the report Shut Out: The Experience of People with Disabilities and their Families in Australia (Shut Out report). The findings of this report informed and ultimately resulted in the development of the Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) National Disability Strategy 2010–2020 (Disability Strategy). This inquiry provides an opportunity to examine if and how the Disability Strategy is driving change to improve those life indicators. Read the full article at APO Anaysis and Policy Observatory here.

Sector capacity prospectus: Australian community housing sector 2017-18

Aged care diversity framework

Australia’s Aged Care Diversity Framework is a timely and important step towards a more inclusive future for aged care services in Australia. Whether barriers to appropriate aged care are perceived or real, they must be addressed to meet the diverse needs of the community. Read the full article at APO Anaysis and Policy Observatory here.

Parliamentary committee launches residential aged care inquiry

A new Commonwealth government inquiry is investigating the quality of care in residential aged care services, instigated by federal health minister Greg Hunt.

Quality & Safeguards Guidance Tool for NDIS Providers in NSW

THE NDIS have published a new tool to help understand quality and safeguarding requirements for NDIS service providers in NSW. The tool provides useful links and resources related to registering as a NDIS provider in NSW.
See the related fact sheet which outline how NDIS participants will receive quality supports and be kept safe under the NDIS in NSW.

Understanding the Responsibilities of the NDIS and Primary Health Services

The NSW government have published a guidance document on the responsibilities of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and primary care providers who help people access the NDIS. The guidance identifies the separate functions between health services and the NDIS.

Directories Online

Sport & Recreation School Holiday Camps
Young people with disability can experience all the fun and excitement of a holiday camp with Sport and Recreation’s inclusive holiday camps. Ten per cent of places at each holiday camp are reserved for young people with disability. It’s easy for disability service providers to book. Visit the school holiday page, choose the camp you want and then contact our Client Service Centre on 13 13 02 to reserve your place. Prior to camp our Program Coordinator will work with you to ensure the best camp experience for all.

Disability News

Positive Cardiometabolic Health For People With Intellectual Disability

People with an intellectual disability (ID) experience poorer health and higher mortality rates than the general population. A major contributor to this health inequality is the high rate of cardiometabolic disease experienced by people with an ID. Cardiometabolic risk factors for people with an ID differ from the general population; they include higher rates of psychotropic medication prescription and polypharmacy, and certain genetic syndromes associated with ID.

Positive Cardiometabolic Health for People with an Intellectual Disability: an Early Intervention Framework (the Early Intervention Framework) has been adapted from a well-accepted, generalist monitoring framework to address the specific cardiometabolic health needs of people with an ID. The Early Intervention Framework guides medical professionals through cardiometabolic risk screening, provides intervention strategies tailored to people with an ID, identifies specific syndromes with altered cardiometabolic risk profiles and links to accessible resources for clinicians, people with an ID and carers.

University of NSW Department of Developmental Disability Neuropsychiatry (3DN) resource at

Do Your Clients Have Annual Health Checks and a Health & Fitness Plan?

Consider the attached reports

Grant & Fund Raising News

Giving Australia 2016: business giving and volunteering

This second of five research reports from Giving Australia 2016 focuses on giving and volunteering by small, medium and large businesses that represent a significant contribution to the Australian not-for-profit sector. Business volunteering in the workplace is increasing, with 63% of large companies having a workplace volunteering program, 30% of mid-sized businesses, and 6% of small business. Almost 90% of large businesses reported allocating more resources to volunteering, compared to 10 years ago. Access the report from Analysis & Policy Observatory here.

Giving Australia 2016: individual giving and volunteering

This is the third of five research reports from Giving Australia 2016, which provides insights on volunteering, including trends, innovations and challenges for those who are giving their time and money to a diverse number of causes. An estimated total of 932 million hours was volunteered during 2016. Those who volunteered (87.4%) also engaged in charitable donation. Access the report from APO Analysis & Policy Observatory here.

Australian charity revenue grows – Australian Charities Report 2016

The Australian Charities Report 2016, launched this week, has found that charities recorded total revenue over $142.8 billion, with the sector spending more that $137.1 billion pursuing their charitable purpose.

The Australian Charities Report 2016 analyses the annual reporting data from more than 52,000 registered charities, providing invaluable insights into the impact Australia’s charity sector has on the community. 

Visit the link to access the full report and interactive datacube.

Contribute To Research

Your chance to Contribute to Research
New Research Measures the Value of Volunteers for People With Disability 

A major new research project has been launched in a bid to measure the value of volunteers for people with disabilities and to identify models of best practice that will pave the way for volunteer services in the future. Read the full Pro Bono Australia article here.

Research & Demographic Reports

Misattention and problem solving in interactions between care workers and dementia care residents

The interaction of personal care workers with residents is the focus of this short Brotherhood of St Laurence report from research about regulation and dementia care. We conclude that best practice in regulated environments allows for the negotiation of professional distance, empathy and problem solving strategies. Access the report from APO Analysis and Policy Observatory here.

Mental Health Services Australia 2015-16

Australian Institute of Health & Welfare report provides a picture of the national response of the health and welfare service system to the mental health care of Australians.

Association of Folic Acid Supplementation During Pregnancy With the Risk of Autistic Traits in Children Exposed to Antiepileptic Drugs In Utero

Marte Bjørk, MD, PhD; Bettina Riedel, MD, PhD; Olav Spigset, MD, PhD; et al. This population-based cohort and Norwegian biobank study that included 104 946 children found that children exposed to antiepileptic drugs in utero had a significantly lower risk of autistic traits if the mother used periconceptional folic acid supplements. Maternal plasma folate concentration in gestational weeks 17 to 19 was inversely associated with the degree of autistic traits. Risk of autistic traits in children exposed to antiepileptic drugs in utero may be mitigated by periconceptional folic acid supplementation and folate status. JAMA Neurol. Published online December 26, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2017.3897 here.

NDIS Population Estimates

The NDIS Population Estimates Tool developed by National Disability Services (NDS) has now been updated with data from the 2016 Census and 2015 Survey of Disability Ageing and Carers (SDAC). The Tool is an Excel-based modelling tool which enables NDS members to estimate the eligible NDIS population in any combination of Local Government Areas. Research and data are essential to assist service providers to make investment and expansion decisions and to inform the government’s market stewardship function.  Available to NDS members here.

Disclosures in Nutrition Research: Why It Is Different

Nutrition research is among the most contentious fields of science. Although the totality of an individual’s diet has important effects on health, most nutrients and foods individually have ambiguously tiny (or nonexistent) effects.1 Substantial reliance on observational data for which causal inference is notoriously difficult also limits the clarifying ability of nutrition science. When the data are not clear, opinions and conflicts of interest both financial and nonfinancial may influence research articles, editorials, guidelines, and laws.2 Therefore, disclosure policies are an important safeguard to help identify potential bias. In this Viewpoint, we contend that current norms for disclosure in nutrition science are inadequate and propose that greater transparency is needed, including a broader definition of what constitutes disclosure-worthy information. Read the full Journal of the American Medical Association article here.

Treatment Outcomes in Patients with Newly Diagnosed Epilepsy Treated With Established and New Antiepileptic Drugs: A 30-Year Longitudinal Cohort Study

Zhibin Chen, PhD; Martin J. Brodie, MD; Danny Liew, MD, PhD; et al. This longitudinal cohort study followed up a succession of newly diagnosed patients with epilepsy presenting at a single health care center over 30 years. The seizure-free rate observed was virtually unchanged over the study period, and the probability of achieving seizure freedom declined for each unsuccessful antiepileptic drug regimen prescribed. Despite availability of many new antiepileptic drugs with differing mechanisms of action, outcomes in newly diagnosed epilepsy have not improved; developing new disease-modifying compounds to current add to seizure-suppressing drug treatments may be necessary. JAMA Neurol. Published online December 26, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2017.3949. Access article here.

Disability Services National Minimum Data Set

Metadata information and data quality statement (DQS) DS NMDS 2015–16

New Inroads Against Multiple Sclerosis

Medical progress against multiple sclerosis (MS) took a major leap forward in 2017 with the approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of ocrelizumab, a drug that has shown success against 2 different forms of the disease. The year also brought further signs that it may be possible to biochemically reverse damage wrought by MS. JAMA. Article Published online December 13, 2017. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.14033. JAMA Article.

Featured Course

E-Learning for Disability Professionals

University of NSW Department of Developmental Disability Neuropsychiatry (3DN)

There are currently 11 e-Learning modules available for disability professionals, with further modules planned to be released early 2018. The modules include:

IDMH Introduction
Module 1: Why is it Important to Know about Mental Health?
Module 2: An Introduction to Mental Illness
Module 3: Mental Illness in Intellectual Disabilities

IDMH Practical Skills
Module 4: A Person-Centres Approach
Module 5: Recognising Common Mental Illnesses
Module 6: How to Support a Person with a Possible Mental Illness and Intellectual Disability
Module 7: Supporting Behaviours of Concern

IDMH Advanced Topics
Module 8: Enhancing Interagency Working with Health Professionals
Module 9: Treatments and Supports for Mental Illness
Module 10: How to Support a Person in a Mental Health Crisis
Module 11: Supporting Carers, Colleagues and Self-Care

The free e-learning resource can be accessed by a quick registration at

Online professional development is an easy way to access further education – especially valuable for shift workers – so we have researched some options and put them on our web site at

Education  Resources

Introduction and the specific laws on guardianship and administration

Intellectual Disability Rights Service Training Resource

The purpose of this publication is to provide legal practitioners, people with decision-making disability, their family, friends and support network, with a basic understanding of what guardianship and financial management (also known as administration) is, the alternatives to formal orders and what laws in States and Territories govern these areas. Please click on the link to download complete document- Guardianship and administration laws across Australia

NDS Participation Project: Learning Guides for Disability Support Workers

The Participation Project is a series of learning guides for disability support workers (DSWs). The aim is to ensure that disability support workers have a well-rounded understanding of the various perspectives that impact their role. The learning guides include activities linking learners to existing high-quality, online resources. As well, reflection activities prompt the learner to apply information to their own context and that of the people they support. A glossary and reference section help with understanding, and validation of the material presented. Service Providers can access information about the NDS DSW Learning Guides here.

Positions Vacant at Global Disability & Health Care Services

Disability Support Workers – Disability & /or Mental Health &/or Youth Work (Casual Work)   Free phone: 1800 009 292. Global is a leading staff agency offering a variety of shifts to care workers throughout the greater Sydney region, Hunter, Central Coast, Illawarra, Southern Highlands and Blue Mountains. Currently we are seeking experienced support workers to work with people who have a disability. Plenty of shifts available. Weekly pay. Choose your own days & shift availability. Must have previous experience in a similar role. Police Check Certificate & Working With Children Clearance Certificate, Drivers License and First Aid Certificate required. Ability to communicate effectively with people who have a disability is essential. Must be able to work as part of a team. For more information call 1800 009 292 or forward your resume along with contact details of two referees to:  

Registered Nurses & Endorsed Enrolled Nurses specialised in disability, mental health and general Free phone: 1800 009 292. Global is one of the market leaders in the public, private mental health, disability, and general health fields. Global can offer you plenty of shifts in private and public hospitals, disability, mental health services, dual diagnosis and disability special care areas. An agency founded and run by Registered Nurses, we can assist you in finding work in a variety of locations. Choose the hours and shifts to suit your lifestyle. Must be registered to practice in Australia.  Police Check Certificate & Working With Children Clearance Certificate, Up-to-date immunisation health card. Drivers License and First Aid Certificate required.  Excellent pay rates. Weekly pays. Why not forward your resume to  or phone to speak to one of our friendly consultants who can help you make that great career move. Free phone: 1800 009 292.

See Current Positions Vacant at

Conference Calendar

See a more comprehensive listing of conferences at our web site

March 2018
National Epilepsy Awareness Month. Epilepsy Australia. website

5 – 6 March 2018
NDS Queensland Conference. Brisbane. Details here.

5 – 6 March 2018
Co-occurring Mental Health & Alcohol and Other Drug Disorders. Sydney, NSW. ACWA-CCWT. Enrol.

6 – 7 March 2018
Quality in Aged Care Conference. Sydney. website

7 March 2018
Disability Justice Program: Navigating the Criminal Justice System. Sydney. ACWA-CCWT. Enrol.

7 – 8 March 2018
Mental Health Strategies for First Responders Conference. Melbourne, Vic. website

7 – 9 March 2018
FIA Annual Fundraising Conference. Sydney. Information.

12 March 2018
Dementia Management for Nurses. Waterloo, NSW. NSWNMA. Register

12- 18 March 2018
Brain Awareness Week. website

13 March 2018
Developing Community Connections for People with Disability. Bombaderry. Resourcing Inclusive Communities. Register here.

14 March 2018
Developing Community Connections for People with Disability. Wollongong. Resourcing Inclusive Communities. Register here.

15 March 2018
Working Together to Build Better Social Connections. Centre for Disability Studies, University of Sydney. Info.

15 March 2018
Get More Skills: A Good Life. Ulladulla, NSW. My Choice Matters. website

15 March 2018
Developing Community Connections for People with Disability. Gymea. Resourcing Inclusive Communities. Register here.

15 – 16 March 2018
Complex Trauma and Mental Health. Sydney. ACWA-CCWT. Enrol.

15 – 16 March 2018
Mental Health: Post Traumatics Stress Disorders & Acute Stress Disorders. Surry Hills, NSW. Ausmed. Information

16 March 2018
Developing Community Connections for People with Disability. West Ryde. Resourcing Inclusive Communities. Register here.

19 – 20 March 2018
Mental Health First Aid for Community Sector Workers. Sydney. ACWA-CCWT. Enrol.

21 March 2018
World Down Syndrome Day.

21 – 22 March 2018
eMedication Management. Sydney. website

22 March 2018
Advocacy and the NDIS. Sydney. ACWA-CCWT. Enrol.

23 March 2018
Personality Disorders. Sydney. ACWA-CCWT. Enrol.

26 March 2018
Go Purple – Epilepsy Awareness Day.

26 March – 6 April 2018
Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change. Sydney, NSW. ACWA-CCWT. Enrol.

28 March 2018
Refining Skills in Non-Clinical Mental Health Recovery Orientated Practice. Sydney, NSW. ACWA-CCWT. Enrol.

2 April 2018
World Autism Awareness Day.

5 April 2018
Dementia and Communications. Sydney. ACWA-CCWT. Enrol.

7 April 2018
World Health Day.

10 – 11 April 2018
Strengthening Community Service Communication & Engagement. Sydney. Criterion Conferences. Website

10 – 17 April 2018
Parkinson’s Awareness Week.

11 April 2018
World Parkinson’s Day.

11 April 2018
Defensible Documentation for Disability Support Staff. Frewville, SA. NDS. Information.

17 – 18 April 2018
Driving Performance in Aged Care IT. Sydney. Website

18 April 2018
Disability Inclusion Act NSW: Recognising and Responding to Abuse and Neglect. Sydney. ACWA-CCWT. Enrol.

18 – 19 April 2018
Moving Towards Integrated Mental Health Services. Sydney. Website

18 – 19 April 2018
4th Annual Aged Care Procurement Conference. Melbourne Olympic Park. Information

26 April 2018
World Guide Dog Day.

30 April 2018
Disability Justice Program: Involvement in the Justice System – Sociological Risk Factors. Sydney. ACWA-CCWT. Enrol.

1 May 2018
Relapse Prevention in Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drugs Field. Sydney, NSW. ACWA-CCWT. Enrol.

1 – 31 May 2018
65 Roses Month. Cystic Fibrosis Australia.

1 – 31 May 2018
Prader-Willi Syndrome Awareness Month. website


Many more Conferences and Workshops listed online at

To list your conferences on our Global Conference Calendar
– email details to



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