Is there Dignity for Disabilities in South Australia’s APY Lands?

Dignity for Disability MLC Kelly Vincent will today commence a week long investigation into the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (or APY) Lands, in northern South Australia.

The seven day trip will examine health, disability, education, and community services in the APY Lands through meetings with various government agencies, land councils, and non-government organisations.

“Indigenous Australians have twice the rate of disability as the non-indigenous community in this country,” says Ms Vincent.

“Unfortunately, this means they often experience barriers on two fronts– firstly the racial issues, then also their disability.

“The extreme remoteness of many of these communities also adds to the disadvantage. They are often many hundreds of kilometres on dirt roads to the nearest services.

“For services such as assessment or equipment people are often totally reliant on Disability Services, Health SA or Domiciliary Care on their quarterly trips.

“The scarcity of fresh, healthy and affordable food in the APY Lands has also been a significant cause for concern in recent years and one I intend to assess whilst I’m travelling and meeting with communities.

“I will be based in Umuwa, which is the base for most Government services in the Lands and heading to the eastern APY Lands towns of Mimili, Pukatja, Kaltjiti and Amata.

“I’m also looking forward to seeing whether these communities are aware of the imminent roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) for young South Australians from July next year, and how services might best be offered for the unique circumstances we see on the APY Lands,” said Ms Vincent.