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Disability, Medical Health Aged Care

Using the Sex Word to Push NDIS legislation again?

Mr River Night - National Disability Sector Advocate 3 mins read
Mr River Night; National Disability Sector Advocate

Available for Comment 

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Mr River Night 

Leading National Disability Sector Advocate

Co-founder at Developing Australian Communities 

Public Officer at the National Disability Leadership Organisation

Mr Night is physically located in Brisbane this week but is available to travel.

Mr Night is an adult Living with Disability, a National Disability Sector Advocate, carer, father and outspoken supporter for reform and improvements in the Disability and NDIS sector with a 30+ year career working across Disability, Youth Justice, Guardianship, Child Safety, Education, TAFE, Aged Care, Forensics Disability and Mental Health sectors.


“In previous years advocates and the sector had to defend on many radio, TV and national programs, what some politicians alleged were outrageous examples, where NDIS participants were using funding for sex workers and boat ramps, said National Disability Sector Advocate, Mr River Night. 


“The real story each time we hear people say NDIS funding is being used for sex and drugs, is that our politicians want to set up blanket yes and no rules for a scheme that is designed completely at its core, as an individualised funding program, that requires professional judgement and flexibility. 


“We saw the result of using sensational, crowd grabbing stories and minor exceptions when the last 2 Ministers for NDIS attempted this and it resulted in an epic failure to amend legislation in a constructive way. 


“The Australian public is not stupid. People may get their attention grabbed like a bunch of school kids that hear a funny word, when our leaders try to suggest that people with disabilities all over Australia are cashing in on prostitutes and extravagant items, but the reality is quickly made clear. There is no item to claim in the NDIS price guide for escorts, sex workers, drugs or boat ramps. 


"It is really quite an enigma when we live in a time of what some call extreme 'woke culture' that people still freak out when we mention sex and disability together. Maybe it just shows how backwards some people still are. 


“NDIS providers are required to provide ‘holistic’ approaches to service delivery. That includes, not just medical support but support for identity, community, relationships and all those things that every human being has a right to. 


“Avoiding sexuality as part of any full time, 24 hour support setting to people with complex and significant disability, is plain medieval and shows a huge lack of contemporary and educated insight into human services. I might understand this 60 years ago, but not now. 


“Individualised funding for holistic support services to humans means professional decision making and flexibility, not car manufacturing styled automation. The last things we need is NDIS to become the next robo-debt. 


“Removing professional decision making and the capacity for NDIS delegates to individualise funding for holistic supports, which are core to the scheme, reminds me of horror stories I hear overseas where insurance administrations staff make decisions about what hospital and health treatments are performed instead of qualified doctors. 


“When we see a push to black and white, yes and no, cookie cutter approaches, what we really do is hurt people. For example, a child that lives in the city with 3 gyms nearby, may not be approved for equipment to help with physiotherapy because they can go do their sessions at the gym. In contrast it is totally reasonable and necessary to fund some equipment for the child living in rural Australia with no access to any physio or equipment for hundreds of kilometres. 


With the largest Disability and NDIS event in Australia's history about to launch in Perth, the community is coming together to help work through the myths, the reality and solutions for our sector, with Developing Australian Communities, hundreds of provider organisations, advocates and thousands of people attending.


Contact details:

For interview or comment 

M 0401429403


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