Thursday, 11 December 2014

Disabled work for free

 "Stumble outa bed, get myself fed, catch the morning train, get to work, work all day (with breaks, of course). 
Finish work, get loads a praise and feel great about my achievements and grateful for being given an opportunity to prove myself!! Does this sound familiar to you? Most of us go through this (or similar routines)  and  this is where the story starts to separate.


If this was you, how would you feel if that was the end of the story? 
You have done a great job, see you tomorrow...

"We LOVE having you work here BUT...
WE CANT PAY YOU, in fact  WE are doing YOU

a favour by having you here in the first place, 
we are helping you to work."

What these businesses fail to mention is that, as they offer this grand opportunity to have the poor misunderstood person earn some more in the self esteem bank of life, 


How do think this would fly with mainstream people?
yet we don't bat an eyelid when it happens to people with disabilities in the name of Community Service???

Does anyone remember what happened to the indigenous community of Australia, when they were exploited for their cultural artworks by greedy and self centered art gallery thieves, who wouldn't pay them, but in turn offer them scraps of food or by them a tv? then sell their artwork for THOUSANDS of dollars. We as a nation didn't stand for it, its now law and is a criminal act to do so.

"Why is this any different?"

I call it JUST NOT FAIR!!!!!

This doesn't happen all the time, but it does happen a lot more than people know.

We parents keep quiet about it because if we make waves, there is always some-one else wanting the opportunity to work for nothing. What I find unfair is getting people with disabilities working for no money (or $5/day), under the veil of being a Community Service, but charging clients/customers full price for their product and this money going to pay the managers, other staff & admin, who are paid full wage for their services.

The other trick is to hire some-one with a disability for as long as the Gov subsidises their wages - hence the employer is getting cheap labour, and then sacking them once the government money matter how efficient they are...then going back into the 'disability stable' and picking another grateful person to work for 6 odd weeks.

"My girl really wouldn't care if she never got paid, she just LOVES to work"

But seriously does that make it right? Should employers be allowed to get away with 
a corporate lack of responsibility, when it comes to disability?

Don't get me wrong here, I firmly believe in volunteer work and I believe EVERYONE should do some type of volunteer work BUT my concept of volunteer work is where there is no money change hands between the end user and the employer (except in OP-shops or soup kitchens & the like, where they cover their costs & put directly back to helping the  vulnerable people).

And to make this worse, we have people like my 'friend' Richard Dawkins wanting to abort these people because they are not economically viable.





Thursday, 4 December 2014

Work and Disability

When I talk to young ­people living with a disability about their goals and aspirations … (they) invariably ­include contributing in a workplace, to achieve their goals some ­people may need access to ­support services to be able to get to work, other people may need additional training or study for a particular role. “For others, it’s about ­overcoming a current period of ­incapacity and being supported
through employment ­services to secure a job.”
Kevin Andrews MP

This statement really rings true to me.

A few months ago, I had a very productive meeting with Michael Sukkar MP and we discussed the issue of the Government making people on the Disability Support Pension (DSP) go get a job. He commented that this was not aimed at people like Miss Chloe, who has a very obvious disability, but more-so at those on the pension who are not really disabled. Those who may have needed support from an accident or such and now are capable of getting back into the workforce, but haven't tried. Those who are deliberately routing the system...and others who could do modified work.
Although I was deeply relieved I wouldn't have to jump through, yet another flaming hoop to get basic support for Miss Chloe, I was also a bit concerned.

I believe (and mentioned this to Michael) that the Government are actually focusing in the wrong area of disability. I believe whilst necessary to go after those people who are routing the system to conform is important, it is not the most cost effective way to reduce the money spent on disability pensions. 

"These people make a profession
out of ripping off the system
and just move on to
another area to rort. "

I actually think the Government would be more productive working with people like Miss Chloe and those mentioned in Kevin Andrews above quote who are desperate to work and contribute financially to our society.

This need to be done through education of the employers and much higher standards within the employment agencies for people with disabilities.


Here are some of my own ideas, about how to get people
with a disability into the workforce:

"It can be effectively achieved by re-educating society and SHOWING employers what these people are capable of." 

Government  can do this by creating programs or marketing, that make employers aware they actually have a huge new area of employment that will suit many people with an intellectual disability. Many of our youth today are not interested in going through 12 years of education and Uni, to be told they need to sweep floors and stack shelves and to menial tasks.  And many employers are struggling to have these positions permanently filled....These positions are ideal for many people with ID.
By changing the structure of how the Government pays the disability employment agencies to a system where they are rewarded for training and achieving longer than 6 week employment for their client and ensuring the fit between employer & employee works.

"By educating non-profit organisations that people with a disability are not great slave labour."

I am sure they feel they are doing the right thing by these people by providing them with something to do during the day and helping their self-esteem, and they are right!!!

BUT, I believe, if they are paying some-one to use the disabled persons services ie:
a customer in a cafe is paying for a meal and the person with a disability brings that meal to them...then surely the disabled person is entitle to some sort of monetary reward?....just like the rest of the population. 

"I confess I get  tired of community organisations 
using people from the disability population 
to enhance their organisations, 
but don't believe they are worth 
any sort of remuneration."

The Government needs to look at ways that

"People who want to work 
and find work are able to work as many hours as they like WITHOUT losing their healthcare card." 

This is a massive fear for many people with disabilities who have medical issues. What happens if I get a job and lose my benefits? I am going to go out on a limb here & say, the healthcare card should be available to ALL people with a permanent disability - just because they have more expensive needs to the general population.

By removing this massive fear to MOST families and people with disabilities, you open the way for them to be free to chase their goals of working for money.

“Often it is about finding an employer who recognises the contribution that an individual can make to their business and that employer providing some flexibility to meet the needs of the individual,” Kevin Andrews MP

Kevin Andrews, I believe you are on the right track BUT do you have the courage to investigate any of the above suggestions and reduce the pension through positive and long term steps, instead of changing deck-chairs on the Titanic????

I am more than happy to help, I'll book you in my diary,
Lets get together and work a plan.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

We all deserve to be understood.

 'it doesn't matter what people with Ds are called or whether information
out there is right or wrong...
just put your energies 

into loving your child'.

I am a member of a few Down syndrome facebook sites - both local and international,
and this statement is a very interesting yet concerning pattern,
and it is one that is growing.

Firstly, I am very capable of loving my child AND learning AND unlearning without compromising that love.

"The more I put into my bucket 
of love & knowledge, 
the deeper my bucket becomes 
& I have never, ever lost any love from continuing to fill it!"

Secondly, for me, the more I learn and then in turn, teach others about Down syndrome, the more I understand Miss Chloe and the more I am able to give her. AND the more others learn to GET HER

Although she is Chloe to me, she also has Ds and that is my reality. I am grateful for my deep acceptance of this fact, as it has enabled me to work and adjust to her peculiarities.

For me, I have had to learn to dual-parent with Chloe.
she operates in 2 modes.

1 - classic Ds & 2 - Classic family-of-origin. For a very long time, I parented from
mode 1 - family-of-origin, cause that was what I knew, but when my girl was in Ds GOD, was there WAR!!!.

So, I got learning everything I could about Ds personality traits & how to manage them.
My girls actually has a very subtle shift from one to the other and I have learned to notice the signs, and to watch for it.

She has a change in her eyes. From these learnings and my ability to be flexible with my parenting ways, has become much more  of a peacefull person,  and we have much less conflict.

One of the strongest examples of this is when Chloe is in family-of-origin mode, it is possible to reason with her - or at least offer her a consequence and she will think about it & decide if it is worth it or not. 

When she is operating in Ds mode, there is just no reasoning with her AT ALL & she doesn't care about the consequences. I have learned at these times to not go on & on at her, but to give her a little time till she makes the 'shift'. 

I can also sometimes 'shift her' through making her breath deeply & doing a quickie meditation with her. Now had I decided she was 'Just Chloe' and treated her as such, I reckon I would have had a breakdown.

I am finding it fascinating how many opinions there are in the world of Ds around what the 'proper name' is for Ds, and whether there are varying degrees of it. 

Seriously, if the people who live in this 'land' can't agree, 
HOW are we ever going to confidently 
educate the general public????

I am not going to use this blog to air my knowledge , however I want to just get people thinking about how we can possibly expect to demystify Ds in the 21st century, when we can't even find common ground on a few very basic Ds facts??

So, as a wrap-up, it is BECAUSE I love and in my heart truly accept & embrace all of who she is, that I learn as much as I can about the syndrome and try to correct others in the general public & medical profession...