In the Media

Kelly Vincent – Vision Australia Interview on Plans for 2016 and Changes to SACE Merit Awards

On Wednesday 10th February 2016, Kelly Vincent was interviewed on radio station Vision Australia to discuss Dignity for Disability’s plans for 2016 and the recent changes to SACE Merit Awards to recognise excellence in a modified curriculum. Here is the audio and transcript from the interview.

Pam Green: Time now to welcome to 5RPH, Dignity for Disability MLC Kelly Vincent. Hi Kelly.

Kelly Vincent: Hi Pam.

Pam Green: State Government has resumed for 2016. So what’s on your agenda, and what’s on the Government’s agenda?

Kelly Vincent: Well certainly Dignity for Disability is going to continue with our agenda for improving the lives of all South Australian’s and make sure that everyone gets a fair go and access to the services and support they need particularly for people with disabilities and their family carers where appropriate. We’ll also be continuing to advocate for the many hundreds on constituents who contact my office each year about challenges they are facing to do with disability services; health; transport; education; accessing the community; the justice system and so on. We’ll continue to put a fairness and disability rights lens on all legislation that comes to the parliament and mend it where we can as well as introduce our own legislation to get the best outcomes for all in our community.

Pam Green: And that monster Planning Bill has been before the Legislative Council for a few weeks now. It’s a big piece of legislation, are the changes complex and do you have any amendments?

Kelly Vincent: Well it certainly is very complex Pam. This is a once in a generation reform, that the Government were really trying to be hasty and shoving through the upper house before Christmas last year. Given that there are so many stakeholders and organisations with competing agendas and interests and lots of complex matters to worth through, it is disappointing to see it trying to be rushed through. I am pleased to report that Dignity for Disability has been successful in getting unanimous supports for some amendments to give consideration to universal design for access and equality in building and refurbishing buildings and planning here in South Australia.

Pam Green: And finally Kelly, the Merit Awards for 2015 year 12 students were handed out yesterday by the Governor at his residence. There was a new award this year, can you tell us about that?

Kelly Vincent: Sure, after a long time of lobbying the Government to change their discriminatory practice for students with an intellectual disability completing their SACE with a modified SACE certificate, we’ve had further win. Not only have we managed to get the discriminatory wording which differentiated children or students’ doing a modified SACE from the peers who are doing a non-modified SACE, but we now have an award recognising excellence in a modified curriculum for students completing their SACE. So not only are certificates no longer discriminatory thanks to Dignity for Disability’s work, I’m very pleased to say that we are also now seeing students with an intellectual disability getting an award alongside their peers and really being recognised for the hard work that they do put in on the same basis as their peers without disability. So it’s a great step forward and I congratulate the winners of that award for this year.

Pam Green: As always Kelly, thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us today.

Kelly Vincent: Thanks Pam.