When a politician talks about door knocking we envisage a person with clipboard opening front gates, walking up the path and knocking on the door. Jordon is in a wheelchair, each house entry is different and may not be wheelchair friendly, so he has stalls instead to get his message to the wider community. Yet when he has stalls at shopping centres etc. some people place change on the table thinking that because there is someone with a wheelchair at a stall it must be fundraising for a charity.
Disability equals charity is thinking that needs to change, notwithstanding fund raising is necessary in support of disability support groups. He mentions there needs to be a paradigm shift from gifts to rights and charity to investment. Too many people still see the disability first and not the person. We need to see the person first, irrespective of disability, colour, creed etc. and look at the potential ability, that is within all of us.
The NDIS will help empower many living with disability to think about and be given the opportunity to reach their potential whereas many previous systems pigeon holed many with disability into generalised administrative boxes not because it was good for them but made it easier to administer. However, the NDIS is just the start and must have ongoing bipartisan support through successive Parliamentary and election cycles. Too many times in the past really good initiatives have faltered because funding has been cut or reduced as a result of change in the political landscape after a few years.
Unfortunately, for the most part, people living with disability their condition remains the same or deteriorates rather than substantial improvements that might come with additional funding for treatments, aids, better models of care and support to improve quality of life outcomes and social inclusion. The NDIS is not set and forget and we should remind our politicians on a regular basis of the importance of this significant social reform. Jordon’s blog encapsulates these thoughts very well.