Disability shouldn’t be a full-time job

Murray Pioneer

ON a daily basis I’m contacted by people in crisis, and constituents seeking advocacy on every issue you can imagine – the majority relate to disability. As a member in the upper house, I represent the whole of South Australia and my work covers the full range of portfolio areas.

I have made a number of trips to regional SA, sometimes with parliamentary committees but also on my own to meet with locals and to hopefully get a feel for the issues. As a parliamentarian, my primary goal is to make myself redundant, and this goal will be reached when having a disability in South Australia no longer constitutes a full-time job.

By that, I mean that there is so much involvement with and battling of bureaucracy for people who are simply trying to access government and community services, that it takes up a ridiculous amount of time.

Dignity Party wants to ensure that we get a paradigm shift within our community that results in a deep understanding of what it does, and does not, mean to live with a disability. To me, this means breaking down attitudinal barriers.

THE reality for many people in regional South Australia is that they don’t have access to the same quality of services, for example in the health system, as people in the city do. This unfair situation must be improved, and it is already showing up with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) as well.

If there are not locally registered NDIS service providers who can deliver services to regional clients, then money sits in people’s NDIS plans unspent. That means there is potential for a boost to the regional economy that is being squandered.

This election, the Dignity Party has a chance of being returned to the Upper House, and to support this bid for re-election across the state we also have 30 lower house candidates, like Richard Challis, who’s our candidate for Chaffey.

It has been an honour to serve in the parliament for eight years, and I hope that people will support me for another term in office.

Adelaide-based Kelly Vincent MP represents the Dignity Party and is a Legislative Council candidate for the 2018 State Election. She became an MLC in 2010.