Kelly in the Media

Kelly Vincent – Vision Australia Interview on What Happened in 2016 and What’s Happening in 2017

On Wednesday 21 December 2016 Dignity Party MLC, Kelly Vincent was interviewed on radio station Vision Australia where she discussed what has happened during 2016 and what will be happening in 2017. Here is the transcript and audio from the interview.

Hans Reimer: And it’s great to welcome for the very last time to question time – Dignity Party MLC Kelly Vincent. Good evening Kelly.

Kelly Vincent: Hi Hans I’m a bit heartbroken but I’m dealing with it.

Hans Reimer: In the past week you’ve been advocating for a constituent, Ali, who has a 14-year-old decrepit wheelchair that hasn’t been working properly. What’s it this a problem and what’s happened since this story was on television last week?

Kelly Vincent: Essentially Hans, as you said Ali has had the same electric wheelchair for 14 years now and the motor has stopped working, as I understand it. And because the chair is so old – technology has moved along and there are no longer any replacement parts for this wheelchair.

So Ali does require an entirely new chair. Particularly given that just a few weeks ago her wheelchair actually stopped working, stopped moving all together right as she was about to cross the road. Now luckily she didn’t have her 3-month old baby with her at the time and it was bad enough without him there but you can just imagine had she been crossing the road with a baby on her lap the situation could have been much worse. So she is in desperate need of a wheelchair, for safety and comfort reasons for both herself and her family.

So this week I took her story to the media and I’m very pleased to say that as a result she’s been given an urgent fitting appointment to be fitted out for a new wheelchair. It’s a pleasing result but of course outrageous that we have to take it to the media to get that result. You would hope that the government would have the ability to prioritise someone in this really unsafe situation.

Hans Reimer: Kelly, what other issues have you been working on, and I believe you have had some good wins in 2016?

Kelly Vincent: Absolutely. Well this has been another big year for the Dignity Party whether it be incorporating universal design into our states planning law in a sweeping reform so that developers in future will have to take into consideration of the seven universal design principles to improve access not just for people with disabilities but for everyone in our community – the elderly, parents with prams and so on. It’s an Australian first and there’s still lots to work on in terms of implementation but it’s a big step in the right direction for the future of our community.

Of course we’ve also had wins in the area of stopping forced medical treatment of people with disabilities with our motion calling on the government to ban growth attenuation and forced sterilisation. We’ve also of course had a number of successes in the transport area whether it be getting the government to agree to introducing a demerit point offence for people who park in disability accessible parking spaces without a permit. Or indeed committing funding to improve the access at the City-South tram stop which remains the only inaccessible tram stop in the metropolitan tram network. So some big steps forward, lots more I could mention but time won’t permit me and lots more work to be done in the coming year.

Hans Reimer: Having said that – what are the big campaigns that you are looking into for the next year?

Kelly Vincent: Obviously the areas of jobs, employment, health and education remain the big issues. So in the area of health we’ve had a lot of concerns around changes under transforming health particularly things like changes to spinal injury care. So we’ll continue to lobby on those issues.

In the area of education this year I have been chairing a huge inquiry into the experiences of school children with disabilities and how we can improve that. And in the new year I’m looking forward to that report coming out and making some hard hitting recommendations that I will ensure will be very hard for the government to ignore.

Of course there are a lot of other areas to work on as well such as the implementation of universal design which I mentioned. I’m also excited to be working on a number of issues that are important to the Deaf community in this new year including drafting a Bill to allow Deaf people to serve on jury’s, this is an issue that has had significant media attention over the last couple of years and I think it’s really time that South Australia moves forward in that area. I’m also looking forward to working with cinema providers to hopefully introduce new legislation to mandate a minimum number of screenings of movies with both open captions and audio description to make it easier for blind and Deaf or hard of hearing or low vision people to enjoy the simple experience of going to the movies with their family and friends just like anyone else should be able to.

So lots more that I again could mention but I am aware that your time is precious particularly at this time of the year but a lot of exciting projects are on the go that I’m looking forward to having everyone’s input in.

Hans Reimer: Dignity Party MLC, Kelly Vincent, thanks for joining us over the years with Question Time. I’ve got no doubt that we’ll hear more from you next year with Peter Greco.

Kelly Vincent: Absolutely and I look forward to staying in touch with you and your listeners through that and thank you Hans and everyone at RPH for the opportunity to discuss so many issues that I’m very passionate about and very proud to be working on over the past few years.