Support for families and carers
The CRPD acknowledges that families of people with a disability play a critical role in realising the rights of those with disabilities. Carers of refugee and humanitarian entrants with disabilities face similar barriers, such as language, knowledge of the available services and rights and entitlement as well as transport issues.
Many carers may have significant caring responsibilities, and government and disability service providers must also take into account the situation of the families of those with disabilities. It is important to remember that many people with disabilities are themselves also carers.
ECCV notes that disability service models are focused on the individual, rather than on the family unit and shared care. They note that many CALD communities are from collective cultures, whose preference for “shared care” should be understood when planning and implementing models of support. Approaches that take into account the needs of families as well as those with disabilities would help improve the quality of service.
Recommendation 12: Carers to be supported and included
The Australian Government should ensure that families and carers of people with a disability are informed of the services and supports available to them upon arrival. This should include ensuring that service providers are adequately trained and funded to work with people from refugee backgrounds.
Julie King, Niki Edwards, Ignacio Correa-Velez, Sara Hair, and Maureen Fordyce, ‘Disadvantage and disability: Experiences of people from refugee backgrounds with disability living in Australia’ (2016) 3 Disability and the Global South 844, 854.
Melanie Davern, Deborah Warr, Karen Block, Camille La Brooy, Ashraf Hosseini, Elizabeth Taylor, and Rebecca Roberts, Humanitarian Arrivals in Melbourne (McCaughey VicHealth Community Wellbeing Unit, School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, 2016), 3.
AMPARO, The NDIS and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities: Aiming High for Equitable Access in Queensland (AMPARO Advocacy Inc, October 2016), 19.
Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria, Talking Disability: Under-Representation of Culturally Diverse Communities in Disability Support (May 2014), 13.
Advance Diversity Services, Issues That Refugees with Disabilities Face and Recommendations on Improving Policy and Practice to Better Support This Group, 3.
Refugee Council of Australia, Australia’s Response to a World in Crisis: Community Views on Planning for the 2016-17 Refugee and Humanitarian Program (March 2016), 74.
National Disability Insurance Agency, Language Interpreting Services.
Diversitat Settlement and Community Programs, Diversitat Disability Findings Report (2016), 5.
Julie King, Niki Edwards, Ignacio Correa-Velez, Sara Hair, and Maureen Fordyce, ‘Disadvantage and disability: Experiences of people from refugee backgrounds with disability living in Australia’ (2016) 3 Disability and the Global South 844, 843.