Media Releases

Disability Blueprint: The Wait Gets Heavier

The long-awaited Blueprint for Disability Reform being prepared by the Social Inclusion Board has been delayed by months in a move which Kelly Vincent MLC says is “outrageous and insulting”.

The disability sector had previously been told to expect the publication of the Blueprint in June or July of 2011. The Social Inclusion website now states it will not be released until October.

Many South Australians with disabilities suffering a lack of services have been told to wait until the release of the Blueprint for a solution to be offered. Now they face another three months crossing off the calendar days, struggling without essential support to do things like shop, cook and dress or waiting for something as basic as a home or transport.

“Over the past year, people with disabilities have been repeatedly told to wait for the Blueprint to fix service delivery crises. It is being sold to us as a holistic solution to the broke and broken disability sector,” said Ms Vincent.

“When I met with Social Inclusion Commissioner Monsignor David Cappo shortly after he began this work, I warned him in no uncertain terms that the sector is in such dire straits that it cannot afford ‘just another report’. This delay casts fresh doubts over the Social Inclusion Board’s commitment and how sincere and effective this Blueprint can truly be.”

A Sunday Mail report from July 10 asserts Monsignor Cappo delayed the release because he is “too busy”, an excuse which Ms Vincent says “adds insult to injury”.

“The Blueprint is often heralded as a sign of the Government’s commitment to providing people with disabilities and their families with a better future. Delaying its release only serves as further proof that people with disabilities are second-class citizens in South Australia, and are simply not a priority for their Government,” said Ms Vincent.

The Blueprint, commissioned by Premier Mike Rann in late 2009, will purportedly address problems in the disability sector across a wide range of areas, and will be informed by hundreds of submissions from people with disabilities, carers and other interested parties.