About this campaign
The NSW government will cease providing disability services in June 2018. Currently 40% of disability services are provided by the state government. They have misleadingly argued that state public disability services should be operated by private providers to facilitate the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). However, privatisation is not required to provide quality disability services. Other states will fully integrate with the NDIS while maintaining their own disability systems. Our public disability services already provide best practice care to people with high and complex support needs. Some of these people previously used a private provider but returned to the NSW public disability service when their needs were not met.
What are public disability services?
Public disability services are integrated services for people with disabilities, their families and carers in NSW. They provide a wide variety of services including: supported accommodation, centre based and flexible respite, case management, allied health supports such as occupational therapists, physiotherapists, dieticians, speech pathologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, behaviour support teams, nurses and clinical educators. Public disability services provide early intervention programs, places to live, programs to build work or leisure skills, support to live at home, help to manage challenging behaviours and breaks away from family for people to socialise with peers in centre based or flexible respite.
What will we lose if public disability services are privatised?
We will lose the largest, single provider of services and the safety net for some of the most vulnerable members in our community. We may lose a billion dollars worth of publicly owned property. We will lose experienced staff that have worked in the same group home with the same clients for decades. There will be no services to support people with a disability and their families who are experiencing a crisis. We will lose the guarantee that our state government will oversee and monitor the provision of services to people with a disability. 40% of people who use disability services already will lose their right to the provider of their choice.
Who uses public disability services?
Public disability services support the very young, the very old and everyone in between. It may be the baby who has siblings and loving parents, it could be a single person who has no family. The people who use public disability services are all individuals and have their own support requirements. However, they all share the same need for well regulated, well funded, well delivered services by people who care for them professionally and personally. They deserve the peace of mind to know that they will be treated respectfully as people, not as customers.