Articles on Disability

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Greater numbers of troubled teens are being abandoned by their parents and into the hands of the government. Shutterstock

The hardest choice: families who give up disabled children

The theme of abandonment runs like a current through our most pressing national dilemmas. Asylum seekers abandon their home countries in the hope of a better life in Australia. Newly elected governments…
We have surprisingly little information about the extent of forced sterilisation in Australia. Porsche Brosseau

Time to stop the forced sterilisation of girls and women with disability

The Senate Community Affairs Committee has announced its intention to consider the involuntary or coerced sterilisation of people with disabilities in Australia. Unless it focuses on the right of people…
The Australian Steelers celebrate a gold medal after beating Canada in the men’s wheelchair rugby final. Kerim Okten/EPA

Beyond the Paralympics: where to for disability sport in Australia?

As the bright lights of the London 2012 Paralympic Games begin to dim, and as the media focus diverts back to everyday life, we’re left with a pertinent question: where to now for disability sport in Australia…
The links between the military and disability sport are being cast anew. Corporal Jamie Osborne, Department of Defence

The military and the modern Paralympic movement

In the past five or six years there has been a marked increase in the overt use of disability sport in the rehabilitation of soldiers injured in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – which, in a sense, is…
The myths of disability are giving way to a new sense of normal. Daniel Karmann/EPA

Paralympics opening ceremony – a tour de force for humanity

The Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Paralympics was nothing short of a tour de force. But as a new “enlightenment” (the theme for the ceremony), it also raised as many questions about disability as…
Are individuals disabled by a society that doesn’t accommodate difference? philippe leroyer

Disabled by society: Paralympians face challenges beyond the field

Australians love a good sports story about a hero overcoming adversity. Track cyclist Anna Meares’ gold medal in London was all the more impressive given her recovery from a life-threatening neck injury…
Young people in nursing homes aren’t free to eat, socialise and go out when they like. morberg

Young people in nursing homes denied basic human rights

Research published this week confirms what disability advocates have long known: that young people shouldn’t be forced to live in nursing homes. Our joint Summer Foundation and Monash University study…
Many people with disabilities feel isolated in community residential settings. Flickr/T.R.G.

NDIS: a step out of the dark

Early on in my career I was part of the process of closing down large-scale institutions for people with disabilities. My first experience of institutions was as a student. I visited Swanbourne Hospital…
A woman drinks using a robotic arm, something she hasn’t been able to do with her own arms for 15 years. Nature

Brain-controlled robotic arm toasts success with a drink

The world of brain-machine interfacing (BMI) has a new posterchild. A study on people with tetraplegia, published in Nature, has shown participants were able to control a robotic arm and hand over a broad…
More than 600 young Australians with disabilities currently live in nursing homes.

It’s time to get young people out of nursing homes

Michelle Newland was 19 years old when she had a severe asthma attack that left her with hypoxic brain injury. After eight weeks, the hospital staff told Michelle’s parents that she was not suitable for…
At the end of the four years, only 5% of Australians with a disability will be covered. Flickr/afri

NDIS funding a start but limited trial means a long wait for most

Last night’s budget contained an important step towards realising a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), with $1bn allocated over the next four years. Of these funds, $342.5 million will pay for…
Caring for a disabled child currenlty requires battle after battle for basic equipment and services. bellisg

The NDIS is worth the investment – here’s why

The government has announced its commitment to the introduction of a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), with money to be set aside in next week’s federal budget for a 2013 start-up in four locations…
NDIS Rally in Adelaide, Monday 30th April. Despite the praise of the NDIS, the scheme falls short in some areas. AAP

Proposed disability insurance scheme fails the most vulnerable

On paper, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) proposed by the Productivity Commission looks like a great idea. Through Commonwealth funding, it would provide specialist accommodation, transport…
Intellectually disabled children who undergo the “Ashley procedure” are stunted to prevent the onset of puberty. flickr/visions by vicky

Ashley’s treatment: the arrested development of a disabled child

A growing number of parents are seeking the “Ashley Treatment,” a highly experimental medical intervention designed to arrest the physical and sexual development of severely disabled children. This invasive…
Many extremely premature babies will have lifelong physical and intellectual deficiencies. kqedquest

Balancing hope and fear for babies born at 24 weeks gestation

Imagine how frightening it must be for a woman to go into labour when she is just over halfway through her pregnancy and her baby has only had 23 or 24 weeks to grow. She and her family are overcome with…
Government data shows Aboriginal people are twice as likely to have a core activity limitation as non-Aboriginal people. AAP Image/Karen Michelmore

Changes needed to close the gap for Indigenous Australians with disabilities

Alongside high rates of incarceration, unemployment, homelessness and some of the poorest health outcomes in Australia, Indigenous people’s access and use of disability services is under-representative…

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