On the 27th of April, two of our Policy Officers (Stacey and Kayla) travelled to Dubbo to co-host the Opening The Door forum with Rights & Inclusion Australia. To kick the Forum off, Shelter presented a summary (see pdf embedded below) of our understanding of the key issues facing Aboriginal people with disability in regional and remote areas. This then laid the groundwork for Aboriginal organisations and advocacy groups – in attendance over the next two days – to open up about their experiences with barriers, challenges, and potential solutions in accessing appropriate housing for First Nations people with disability. In a yarning circle environment, we were able to gauge a deeper understanding of overcrowding in remote communities, and the very real compounding health implications inherent to poor social housing maintenance.
Attendees outlined their frustrations in having to deal with multiple agencies such as the NDIS, DCJ, and the Department of Health when it came to getting funding and works completed for accessible home modifications. There were some good suggestions too around Aboriginal Community Housing Providers becoming registered specialist disability accommodation providers under the NDIS.
We will establish a ‘what next’ list of advocacy actions. Watch this space!