What do you think about the proposed amendments?

We want to introduce amendments to the Disability Inclusion Act 2018 (Act) to provide clarity for participants in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the sector about restrictive practices. 

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Consider the discussion questions and give feedback by commenting below.

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Christine Sydenham

14 Jan 2021

I am writing as a parent of a NDIS client.
My concern over current Restrictive Practices is that are used or interpreted across a wide range of disabled people regardless of their individual needs or safety concerns. This makes it extremely difficult for support workers to safely care for some clients who have no awareness of their own safety or present dangers. Our Autistic daughter who is also severely intellectually disabled and also has drop seizures and toe walks which makes her very liable to fall. Because staff have been trained in Restrictive practices not to hold her or restrain her they are constantly trying to round her up to guide her during her daily care and activities. Hence she is much more likely to fall . Also due to this situation she has learnt not to co operate with staff and is in more danger of having accidents. Surely Duty of Care and common sense is needed when caring for a huge variety of Special Needs Clients. Restrictive Practices need to be adapted to the clients needs. We have been waiting for months to have our daughter assessed by a Specialist Practitioner for a PBSB Plan but it seems there very few available only adding to the problem.

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Louise Davoren

04 Jan 2021

Still reading through the documentation. An area that seems to be very ‘grey’, including under NDIS is the use of physical barriers to protect both the pwd, and their carer. Cases in point
1. Non verbal level 3 ASD young male who absconds to access activities he enjoys - parents are regularly providing these opportunities. Child absconds when parents are asleep, despite all commonly used methods of securing the home. Child is found in locations of great risk. Parents had to fight to be permitted to add additional security measures to their home to ensure child’s safety.
2. ASD teen, Level 3, some communication. Sits in rear seat of family vehicle. Has tried to get out of moving vehicle if passing a place they want to visit right then and there - parents had to fight to be allowed to install more secure seatbelts in rear of vehicle.
Same child, about a year later having managed to find ways out of various additional seatbelts starts to reach over and grab steering wheel if wanting to go a different direction. Multiple near misses accident wise. Parents had to ‘fight’ for almost a year to enable a Perspex screen to be installed to minimise the risk.
3. ASD Level 3 non verbal teen showing episodes of extreme physical aggression towards familiar persons. Teen has undergone medical examinations to rule out any organic reasons, is working with an OT, and a BT. Is on medication prescribed by paediatrician. Mother (sole parent, and physically smaller than son) enquired as to the possibility of installing a security door on HER bedroom door whereby she could remain safe, yet still be able to communicate with her child, help him de-escalate, keep a visual on him. The door would only be used in extreme situations. Mother was told that this would not be permitted as son should be allowed access to all areas of the home.
I am the mother in case number 3. How am I to be assistance for my son, or care for him if I have been physically injured by him?
I am well aware of the overuse of restrictive practices, particularly within school settings, and have been actively involved in making changes to this over the years.

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Mandy Coote

29 Dec 2020

I can think of occasions just before NDIS was introduced when people in government supported accommodation had to wait about 7 weeks to have a holiday approved which necessitated carer support. This made it very difficult for them to take advantage of discounted travel offers. I'm not sure if the same situation prevails, and it isn't technically a restrictive practice, but it nevertheless places restrictions on people in that situation.

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Geoffrey Bloor

23 Dec 2020

The legislation is unclear as to the qualifications required for the Senior authorisation officer and any authorisation officers. It is also not clear whether the authorisation officers are public servants or NDIS providers.. Either way, all should be appropriately registered professionals. All concerned parties, family members, carers, the NDISprovider(s) and the person concerned should be involved in discussions about appropriate restrictions. Restrictions should be a last resort to prevent self-harm, accidental harm or harm to others. They should never be a form of punishment.

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Lynda Loades

18 Dec 2020

As a former carer , companys can restrict people from for eg To visit a friend, go on a holiday with a friend, symply by not helping them to go Evan though the friend is very trustworthy, companys if they dont approve of the friend dont say , No you cant go" ,they just dont help with arrangements to go, or give them money to go, They use the excuse "they use comments like oh well you and your friend have to make arrangements between you" hiding the fact, they have control of the money say for bus tickets ect, and the friend cant give them money for lunches ect.

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