A Bill to protect disabled people from abuse is introduced into the South Australian Parliament

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PHOTO: Attorney General John Rau has introduced a bill into South Australian Parliament to protect disabled people from abuse.
MAP: Adelaide 5000
A bill to protect disabled people from abuse from support workers or service providers has been introduced into South Australian Parliament by Attorney-General John Rau.

Mr Rau said the bill would make it a crime for anyone to use undue influence to engage in sexual activity with a person who has a cognitive impairment.

The Attorney-General said it aimed to protect people with an intellectual disability or a brain injury, without undermining their sexual autonomy.

“It basically reverses the onus in terms of the proof that there was no undue influence,” he said.

“It’s, I guess, similar to the situation we have now where the law is very strong on the idea of teachers taking advantage of their students for sexual purposes, being a very bad piece of behaviour.

“We’re basically extending that type of protection to those people who are in a caring or responsible relationship, professionally, with people who have a mental disability.”

Mr Rau said there was universal support for what the bill would try to achieve, but conceded it was a complex area of the law.

“I’m not pretending this is an easy area of the law, it’s not. It is really, really difficult but at the moment there is no particular protection at all for these people,” he said.

“Bear in mind these people are individuals who may not normally be capable of giving what the law would consider to be informed consent. We have to provide some protection for them.”

Mr Rau said the obvious difficulty with the bill was the huge spectrum of people it would cover.

“If you just take people with autism, for example, [in] the spectrum there is enormous between people who are relatively mildly affected to people who are profoundly affected,” he said.

Mr Rau said the introduction of the bill was also part of the Disability Justice Plan already released by the Government.

“There is no perfect answer to this,” he said.

“This is, however, something that the disability justice consultation has strongly come back to me with a message and they want something like this in our legal system, so we’re responding to that request

Hey business owners “my kind” have rights

Attention businesses of any kind the answer to are you acccessible of “no we don’t allow your kind” is not only offensive and reprehensible it’s illegal. The americans with disabilities act states that it is illegal”To refuse or give a lesser standard of service provision of goods or accomadation and entertainment because of a disability either real or percieved” if you have a service your opinion of whether “my kind” should be doing it means zip.
The legal definition of accessibility is not that you have a door, or “get a few friends to lift you and you can get in” it is that a disabled person under their own steam without third person aid can enter, and take part of any and all services that a able bodied person can.
The federal law is called http://www.ada.gov/ otherwise known as the americans with disabilities act learn whether you love it or hate it but break it and suffer the consequences

Able bodied student rents a wheelchair for week to test accessibility on campus

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Guest columnist Andrew Ridout sits in his rented wheelchair outside Jester Center. Ridout spent a week navigating campus with the wheelchair, seeing how accommodating the University is for disabled students.

My hands were blistered, and my arms felt like they were about to fall off. I began to wonder what I’d gotten myself into. It was only the first day of my week in a wheelchair. I was trying to experience what a disabled student might endure when trying to navigate the UT campus. I felt like giving up a hundred times, but I knew I had to hang in there, so I pushed on through the pain. You might wonder why I would subject myself to this. My intentions were twofold: to understand better what my handicapped classmates were dealing with on a day-to-day basis, and to see where the University might be able to improve on its accommodations for them.
I was nervous, to say the least, when I sat down in my rented wheelchair for the first time. Within a few minutes, I headed past Robert Lee Moore Hall on Dean Keeton to the intersection of 24th Street and Speedway. Sliding through the crosswalk, hoping the cars could see me, my hands started to throb and my back tightened as my mindset began to change very quickly. I stopped wondering about what would be the fastest way to get to my next class and started strategizing about the only way to get there. Which path had the fewest stairs, the easiest access to an elevator, even the smoothest sidewalk? Every obstacle seemed to be amplified, even the tiniest pothole on the pavement.
Other students rushed past me, oblivious to my hardship. I felt invisible and yet also awkwardly conspicuous. No one offered to help that first day. They all had their own struggles. Just grab the wheels and push, my mind seemed to say, and eventually I got to my biology lab, only 15 minutes late. I hurt from head to toe, and it was the first time I actually remember feeling relieved about getting to class.
Over the next few days, I spoke to several students here on campus about their own experiences.
“When I used the community bathrooms for the first time at my new dorm, Kinsolving, they didn’t have grab rails to hold onto,” said Shalom Hernandez, a business freshman who uses a wheelchair to get to most of her classes. “The bathrooms didn’t have anything to hold on to. There was a stool to sit on in the shower, but it was broken. So the first few days of being here were difficult, to say the least. I went directly to the [Services for Students with Disabilities] office, and they immediately moved me to a newer, more accommodating dormitory.”
Next, I spoke to a University alum, Max Ritzer. He broke both of his feet and a leg in a car accident. I asked Ritzer how he found his experience on campus after his injuries.
“I only needed to use the wheelchair for a couple of months,” Ritzer said. “I thought that I could have just powered through it and that there would be some kinds of services to help me get to class. It was hard, to nearly impossible. Stressful to the point where it would have adversely affected my academic performance and my mood, even taking a minimal load of classes.”
Ritzer also cited dorm issues.
“I wanted to live in Carothers [dorm]; however, it was not wheelchair accessible after hours,” Ritzer said. “Each evening, someone would have had to have come down and let me in from the front desk. I tried to talk to some of the staff there, but they did not seem like they had encountered this type of situation before.”
Mia’s thoughts
Able bodied people hiring a chair for a week to go to school? so when he gets to class he stands up shakes it out and says “wow poor things I have no idea how they do it day in day out”
On the surface this is great this is amazing but why has it taken a abelist to get a headline when everyday on every college ,highschool and elementary and middle school the attitude is “but why should we change everything for just a few?”
last year in texas a two story school , a highschool was busted when their fire evacuation plan was revealed it went like this” turn off the elevators during a fire push the wheelchair using students to the top of the stairs and leave them and hope they survive till the firemen come”???
We have the ADA there is no grandfathering in the ADA it doesn’t matter how old a school is it must be accessible.
so with a federal law already in place tens of thousands of students who are ACTUALLY disabled appealing to their schools for better access every day and being ignored on a grand scale What do we promote a healthy non disabled student laying at being disabled? it is to disability what white face is to being black !

DESPITE 2010 ADA STANDARDS FOR ACCESSIBLE DESIGN STILL BATTLES FOR COMPLIANCE

Thankyou to th blog access advocates for the following piece
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October 25, 2014 by Hank Falstad

The Federal 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design amended the 1991 ADA (Americans with Disabilities Acts) Standards that required “full and equal access” to buildings and public spaces for people with disabilities. They mandated old buildings be converted for accessibility and new buildings built to be ADA compliant. Such accommodations were required in state and local government facilities, services and transportation, child care centers, schools and municipal playgrounds. In addition, wheel chair ramps had to be safe.
Almost 25 years after the first ADA act, and almost five years after the second version, there are still battles across the country around compliance.
At first glance, it would seem that the Hollister Co. Clothing Store is being compliant. There are wheel chair ramps that lead into the store. However, the ramp doesn’t extend to an elevated porch. There are steps leading up to the porch from the mall and steps down from the porch into the inside of the store. Most of the 249 Hollister Co. stores in the United States are built the same way. Advocacy groups, along with the Department of Justice as amicus, won in district court, arguing, “(1)..the existence of an elevated porch violates the ‘overarching aims’ of the Title III of the ADA because people who cannot use the stairs cannot enjoy it; (2) the porch itself is a ‘space,’ and all spaces must be accessible; and (3) the accessible entrance must be the one used by the ‘majority of people.’” However, in mid-October, The Ten th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed on all three counts. The court is located in Denver, but covers Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah, plus those portions of the Yellowstone National Park extending into Montana and Idaho.
The October 19 Juneau (Alaska) Empire reported the plight of Ivan Nance, who uses a wheel chair. He produced a video showing the difficulties he and his girlfriend/caretaker experience getting around Juneau, and accessing public buildings and services for individuals with disabilities. His neighborhood does not have curb cuts, so he is forced to use the street. The video also shows difficulty maneuvering in doorways and urinals in public restrooms. There are no automatic door openers to rest rooms, making it difficult for the health care worker to push a person in a wheelchair into the bathroom. Further, Nance and his girlfriend argue, since there are no “family friendly rest rooms,” where the female helper could help the male client, entering an all-male rest room is uncomfortable. Family friendly rest rooms are not part of the ADA standards.
There is some good news. On October 18, Staff Sgt. Brian Mast, a double-amputee veteran of the war in Afghanistan, his wife and two young children, received the keys to their new ADA compliant home in the Watercrest development in Parkland, FL. Standard Pacific Homes donated the land, the philanthropic organization, Help A Hero, donated $100,000 of the $450,000 cost, and subcontractors contributed in kind donations. The new Mast home includes “spacious family gathering areas along with four bedrooms and three baths, hardwood and tile floors, flush thresholds, wider hallways, wider door entries… a roll in shower, roll under sink, grab bars, and a roll in shower with an elongated shower seat.”
If you are a person with a disability and believe you have been discriminated against, or find inaccessible areas, please contact us at Access Advocates. Keep in mind that not all disabilities are visible. A disability, as defined by the ADA, can also be a health problem, such as cystic fibrosis, or cognitive, mental health, intellectual, developmental, learning among others.

How do you scream at the universe?

I am watching the show Nashville and the scene is about a woman writing a song, she is having trouble with the bridge and it isn’t helping that a homeless man in the block next door for three days straight screams about “PEPPERONI PIZZA GOTTA GET ME A SLICE”
So she finally buys him some food and takes it out, and he says “lil pixie you don’t get it, it’s not about the pie it’s about yelling loud enough so that the universe doesn’t forget you exist!”
It got me thinking, he isn’t talking about literally screaming so loud, you see as you all by now know as a kid I was seriously molested and how I screamed was to be physical, physical at school ,I was expelled for fighting from so many schools in one year I still hold the record for being expelled from the highest amount of schools in one school year 35 years later.
Physical, I became a black belt in not one but two martial arts and a high level in a third.
Physical, I had a secondary career to restaurants as one of Australia’s most feared bouncers and body guards, and when I wasn’t physical I was on TV or stage doing standup comedy, just another way of screaming.
I screamed at the universe in so many ways the only way to dim the noise was to take so many drugs and drink so much alcohol I had to go to rehab.
Great athletes scream at the universe with their skill, great writers scream through their books. Disabled people scream through their post injury brilliance and if you’re in that dark place that so many of us know so well you have to work out how to scream.
What is so important to you that you have to let it out?
I am not talking about being loud, I am not talking about being dominant,There is a scripture that says “SO LIVE YOUR LIFE IT DEMANDS A QUESTION”
What question does your life demand? Are you the next otter bailey? Are you the next Wheelz fotheringham, are you the next mike box?do you have a head full of wheelchair designs so radical they will make our lives better? Or is your life in a lab with stem cells curing paralysis?
Whatever it is it is that light above the dark hole that so many of us see from the bottom, If like me you live with PTSD and spend a lot of time in that dark hole that place of flash backs and depression.
Focus on what it is you have that you need to scream to the universe, start a company, write a book, land your first back flip in a wheelchair. Just because a bunch of nerds with md after their names told you your life was changed forever, that you’d never walk or see again, or that from now on you’d live with anyone of a thousand other diagnosis on the spectrum of disability doesn’t mean it’s time to choose teak or pine or trip off this mortal coil. Quite the opposite, if not now I don’t know when is a better time for you to scream, for you to shine, to finally walk in your truth.
Whether you fail a thousand times or are successful right off the back it doesn’t matter, because no one learns anything from success true legends failed a thousand times before they got it right so when will you start ?

PTSD and what barely passes for surviving it

I’m hiding in a closet, it’s my brothers gun closet a rack along the back wall has a lee Enfield 303 caliber ex-military rifle, a Beretta under over double barrel shotgun, a pump action riot gun, an slr 7.62 mm military rifle and a shelf of ammunition in front there is a rack of his navy overcoat and my other brothers army overcoat and two other long coats and there I am small 7 years old squatting crying quietly hoping that tonight the monster won’t find me.
He’s coming down the hall I hear his heavy footfall and then it stops, maybe tonight will be the night he doesn’t touch he doesn’t hurt he doesn’t do the things he does, maybe hopefully just as I start to breathe easy a hand, a huge calloused hand pushes through the coats and grabs my hair another over my mouth and drags me out coats falling.
I am on a bed face down silent but shaking I learned long ago that to cry gives him the victory he is over me and “Mia, mia, mia where were you hon? Not here “ I’m shaking I’m in new York not Adelaide Australia and I’m over fifty, that’s the fourth time today in the daylight five times last night waking screaming what I call hell the doctors call PTSD.
Yes its over four decades later, yes I am a grown ass adult flashbacks and night mares don’t discriminate they don’t have a time limit a statute of limitations they play by their own rules. Mine are about a decade of almost daily molestation most you hear of are about battle and serving in the military but the hell is just the same.
Do you have a loved one who lives or just survives day to day with the hells of their past? No matter what the hell was, no matter when it happened the hell is just the same so if you love this person love them just a little bit harder when they come back to the room or when they wake up screaming in the middle of the night because without some ones love they might not be here tomorrow.

Great news disabled folks the Christians say we didn’t become disabled from injury we just don’t believe in Jesus?

As an Aussie I have a pretty good bullshit meter, its DNA were born with it down under.

My bullshit meter just went off so loud the neighbors complained, some crazy ass Christians just put up a meme that showed a …well check it out below

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So the Christians, you the people who believe the world is only 6,000 years old yet we have fossils 20 million years old, who stupidly claim woman is made from the rib of man and Jesus cured a blind man with spit and mud and who believe a whole bunch of old Arabs lived to be 900 and that the animals and insects of the world were saved in a big ship?
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Regarding the ark that one was literally bullshit and elephant shit and rhino shit, to be exact students from MIT have worked out that just the methane alone from just the above mentioned animals would have caused an explosion large enough to take down the empire state building!

How dare those pompous bastards assume because we don’t believe in a holy carpenter from Judea we will always be disabled because forget the best surgeons in the world only a ghost we can’t see of a man that no one can prove ever existed supposedly meant to have magical powers because his mother was a virgin who had a one night stand with a mythical being that we get what we deserve?

I have about as much chance that my Krishna friends could chant away my spinal cord injury as I do old Jesus can.

If religion wants any chance of survival in the 21st century it’s time to stop the judgmental crap, because this is not a generation of sheep this a generation of adults who knew more about the world, technology and life at ten than their parents will ever know in their lives.