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30 August 2016

Pathways to Success for Individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)


Click on the image below for more information and to register


9 June 2016:

FASD Conference Bunbury

Educating the public about the issue of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in the South West was the idea behind a conference in Bunbury last week. 

Read more.....



DDWA CEO Taryn Harvey was at the announcement about the extension of NDIS trials in WA on Thursday 28 April.

Click here to listen to her interview on 6PR with Gary Adshead, where Taryn spoke about the trials and rollout.

Read more about WA's extended trials here...


April 2016: The Department of the Attorney General has released the report into the review of the Criminal Law (Mentally Impaired Accused) Act 1996.

Read the response from DDWA and partners WA Association for Mental Health






Are you interested in participating in a research project exploring supported living arrangements that enable an adult with intellectual disability to live in his/her own home?

Curtin University is continuing work that explores individual supported living (ISL) for adults with intellectual disability. ISL means supported living arrangements that enable a person with a disablity to live in their own home. 

Find out more....

Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Screening

DDWA CEO Taryn Harvey spoke to ABC radio and cautioned that screening for FASD and other signs of impairment in the legal system would be useful, but unless 'mental impaired' laws change another generation of people face the risk of indefinite detention. Read more..... 



Sibswest is a peer support network founded in 2015 in Perth, for adult Western Australian siblings of people living with disability.

Through the NDIS Disability Support Organisations Project, DDWA granted SibsWest funding to hold forums and report on the importance of sibling relationships within the context of the NDIS.

The forums also looked at current supports and services currently available in WA and how they engage with siblings.

Read the report here: Sibswest Focus Group Forums Report 2015

Visit the SibsWest website at


Read more about this report...."The lives of people with disability are often secret lives. We are routinely segregated and isolated from our non-disabled peers – we live, work and play in places which are not often frequented by those without disability. Often, we are lonely. If we do not have families, paid staff are sometimes the only people in our lives. We are shut out by barriers to participation in Australian life, and shut in when we are hidden in institutional settings."

(Report authors Samantha Connor and Ben Keely)


Are you interested in participating in a research project exploring supported living arrangements that enable an adult with intellectual disability to live in his/her own home?



The Peer Connect website is for people living with disability, their families and supporters.

It has information about having choice and control in your life, the NDIS, connecting with Peer Support Networks and getting involved with your community.



Jim Simpson, advocate at NSW CID, was in Perth with Janene Cootes of Intellectual Disability Rights Service, on Friday 1 May. Jim and Janene talked with around 50 Western Australians about the experience of people who are on the fringe. Janene described the fringe as a place some people are at - for some a shorter time, for many a longer time. Read the NSW CID position statement:

The design of the National Disability Insurance Scheme needs to carefully consider the circumstances of all people with disability.


Duchenne Foundation in WA have published a great new story for children called "That's What Wings Are For". Part proceeds from sales of the book will go to the Duchenne Foundation.

Read more about it here, including an author interview 



The Every Australian Counts Campaign says of the crisis in disability housing that housing is the big sleeper

On Friday 24 April the State and Territory Disability Ministers met to discuss the NDIS and disability housing. 

The Every Australian Counts campaign delivered a copy of A Place I Can Proudly Call Home to the Ministers - you can read a copy by clicking on the image below: (or here for a word version) 



In early 2015 the Commonwealth Government responded to the Report on the National Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services which was provided to the Government in December 2014. 

The ultimate goal of this Review was to make a set of recommendations for Government to consider, to create a system to better support the mental health and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities.

The State and Federal Health Ministers are working on a cooperative approach through Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council to progress a response to the Review. 

You can read more about this review here...



Quality and Safeguarding for the NDIS

The NDIS supports people with a permanent and significant disability that affects their ability to take part in everyday activities. The Scheme is being progressively rolled out in trial sites around Australia.

Australian, state and territory governments are developing a national approach to quality and safeguarding for the NDIS.

They are looking at ways to make sure the NDIS provides quality supports, choice and control, and keeps people safe from harm.

A Consultation Paper: Proposal for a National Disability Insurance Scheme Quality and Safeguarding Framework describes the framework being proposed by the NDIS. 

Click here to read the Consultation Paper as a:   PDF document, a Word document or an Easy English PDF document

Read more about the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework here....


March 2015: 

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has released a discussion paper outlining a proposed national safeguards framework.

The paper calls for input on topics such as managing risk, registering staff and service providers, and handling complaints.

Read the discussion paper here...


Mental Impaired Accused Justice Coalition

Watch a short YouTube video which has been produced showing some of the proceedings at the Aboriginal Disability Justice Campaign/First Peoples Disability Network National Summit: A Line in the Sand which was held in Melbourne in November 2014.

Click on the image to watch the YouTube

Read more about DDWA's work as part of the Mental Impaired Accused Justice Coalition.


 Adult recruits are wanted by Curtin University researchers who are looking at

- pedestrian safety in shared traffic spaces

- the factors which help make employment a success for adults 18-35 with high functioning Autism or Aspergers syndrome. 

Find out more.....


Developmental Disability WA Members Access area has new information. Click here to go to the Members Section

Do you have your membership login and password? Membership to DDWA is free for individuals and family members - contact us for more information about your membership or your access to our members area on this website.


Watch this movie by Independent Living Centre

From the Learners Permit to the License.....

Independent Living Centre has released a webinar for First Time Drivers with a Disability. This webinar has been edited and re-uploaded with captions to improve its accessibility. This webinar covers the steps people with disability or a medical condition are required to take to get their license; how the ILC Occupational Therapy Driver Assessment service can provide assistance; and how grant assistance is available to assist with this process. View the webinar here: FIRST TIME DRIVERS WITH A DISABILITY WEBINAR



Have a look at this short movie about Side by Side - which is designed by families for families with someone who has challenging behaviour. 


 Read more about Side by Side.





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Click on image to go to webpage - Access to Dental Services and Oral Health for People with Disabilities

July 2016:

The WA version of Your Dental Health is now available. 

This booklet includes information on

- Your teeth and gums - things that can affect your teeth such as certain foods, drinks, mediations, smoking
- How to brush your teeth; how to brush someone else's teeth; how to get help brushing your teeth
- Eligibility to the different dental services and clinics

DDWA thanks the Australian Dental Association WA for their support in making this publication possible.


DDWA has a range of resources

- hard copy booklets

- links to publications you can download

- recorded presentations on different topics which are on our You Tube channel DDWA Inc

If you would like to order something to be printed and sent to you please get in touch




30 June 2016:


DDWA made a submission to the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) in response to their survey on Reporting on Students with Disability on My School website.

DDWA believes it is important to be clear about the purpose of reporting on students with disability on My School website before determining which is the best way for such information to be presented.

DDWA also considers that there may be better ways to present the type of information parents are looking for when making education choices for their child, and we have made a number of recommendations to ACARA. 

Click on the button below if you would like to read our submission...


DDWA made a submission to the Department of Social Services, which administers NDAP, regarding the future of advocacy funded by NDAP.

DDWA is not currently funded by NDAP, nor have we been in the past, but we strongly support moves to strengthen and sustain a national disability advocacy sector and the individual organisations within it, as well as State based organisations of which DDWA is one.

Power imbalances exist and advocacy needs to address this power imbalance. Complaints mechanisms are accountability mechanisms but without advocacy there is fear for the consumer who understands that there is a power imbalance and that there can be consequences for speaking up. 

Individuals seeking advocacy should not be turned away because an organisation or agency does not have capacity to support them. 

We also believe Government and academia in particular would be disadvantaged if they were to lose the direct links to individuals which advoactes and agencies provide them in order to progress their policy and research work. Advocates and advocacy organisations are critical brokers also in supporting Government when Government needs to hear direct from their constituency. We ensure individuals families, carers supporters and others have a voice in communicating their experiences and expertise. 

Click on the button below if you would like to read our submission...



Click to open and read Autumn 2016 news 


Click to open the WORD version of Autum Newsletter 


Congratulations Sue Birch on 25 years at DDWA!

Sue Birch (right) with CEO Taryn Harvey

It's not often these days that you hear about people who are working with the same organisation they started with 25 years ago.

Sue Birch, Finance and Office Manager, has just celebrated 25 years at Developmental Disability WA. She says she has seen so many changes in disability over the years but some things remain the same and there is still much work to be done.

Sue first came into contact with DDWA, then Developmental Disability Council, as a parent of a young girl who has Rett Syndrome, a rare neurodevelopmental condition which affects girls almost exclusively.

“DDWA has been right at the centre of so many of the enormous changes in the disability sector in WA, in the 25 years I have been here,” Sue said.

“As a parent it’s important to me that there’s an organisation whose purpose is to work alongside families and others in the community, to influence decision makers, always with the goal of positive change.”

“When I was first at DDWA in the early 1990s, the State and Commonwealth were arguing back and forth about whose responsibility it was to support people with disability, and so DDWA led the way in the campaigns to get a resolution - with sit- ins, bus tours, marches with placards, marathon walks, trips to Canberra, letter and post card campaigns.”

“Today we advocate loudly and strongly but with the introduction of social media things are very different. We also take a very family centred approach, with the view that individuals and families absolutely have to be at the centre of any change that happens. If they are empowered, and confident, then they can be stronger in their pursuit for the changes that need to happen.”

2016 is the 21st anniversary of the Welcome Home Campaign which we launched in WA as a campaign to increase awareness of the crisis faced by many people who were looking for accommodation services but who couldn’t get them. The campaign had an immediate impact and the WA State Government increased funding for disability services as part of its five year plan but by 1998 many families were still in crisis and it was apparent the level of funding allocated was not sufficient to fully meet the need. A national campaign, Time to Care then evolved, with DDWA sponsoring this in WA.

Sue said one of the effective campaigning tools DDWA created was the Politician Adoption Scheme, in which Premiers, Ministers, backbenchers of all sides, from all parties were ‘adopted’ by families so the MP could find out more about the lived experience of disability for the individual and their family.

“Governments have taken responsibility for the legislative and administrative frameworks for the National Disability Insurance Scheme but it’s the families who introduced the idea, campaigned hard to get the idea heard, and who should be proud of what has been achieved so far,” Sue said.

“We are still waiting, decades on, for all people with disability across the country, regardless of which state they live in, to be given equal access to a quality support scheme.”

“Along with many people with disability and the people who love and support them I am hopeful that a scheme will be rolled out soon in WA, in whichever form it takes. I have no doubt DDWA and our members and supporters will be at the centre of the campaigns advocating for positive changes until they happen.”



After the bushfires in our State in early 2016 we were in contact with eht Red Cross about the RediPlan - a booklet which includes tips on how to be ready for the bushfire season and which also includes a section on supporting a person with a disability to be prepared for disasters generally.

If you click on the image of the cover, you will go to the resources page on our website where you will find this booklet recently provided to us by the Red Cross.