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Government relations and policy resources


Our policy resources cover a range of topics relating to young people in aged care. These include NDIS outcomes, specialist disability accommodation (SDA) and our submissions to government.

There are 3 ways to search using the Filter Resources boxes below. You can type your key words in the first box or filter by tags or year of publication.

Please note that if a tag or year shows as (0) this means there are no resources in this particular library for that specified tag or year.

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Found 39 Results

May 2024

A participant-centred planning framework to get the NDIS back on track – Summer Foundation submission on the NDIS Amendment Bill

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The National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Getting the NDIS Back on Track No. 1) Bill 2024 (the Bill) introduces an initial tranche of legislation to deliver on the recommendations made by the NDIS Review. This is an important first step to getting the NDIS working properly for the most vulnerable participants who need access to 24/7 support.

Getting the access and planning process right is critical to an improved participant experience, and to the sustainability of the Scheme. Central to this is adopting a participant-first culture and recognising participants as experts in their own lives. Removing unnecessary bureaucracy and being more respectful of the needs, preferences and choices of people with disability will better serve participants and ensure a sustainable Scheme and broader ecosystem of disability supports.


February 2024

Inclusive disability housing, efficient support and better outcomes for NDIS participants in rural, regional and remote Australia – Summer Foundation submission to the Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS

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The Summer Foundation is pleased to make a submission to the Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS on NDIS participant experience in rural, regional and remote Australia. The complexity of the NDIS system creates additional disadvantages and barriers for people with disability living in rural, regional and remote locations where there may be a lack of quality housing and supports available. This often means that NDIS participants in these locations are not able to benefit from the NDIA and are not supported to achieve their goals. These inequities make the NDIS less effective for them and often results in reduced support, misused or wasted NDIS resources and poor outcomes for NDIS participants and their families.

 

Authentic collaboration between government and the sector will support innovation in cost-effective housing and living solutions that improve the outcomes of people with disability no matter where they live. The Summer Foundation has been partnering with people with disability in the co-design, implementation and evaluation of strategies, to ensure the developed solutions systematically improve housing and living outcomes for people with disability.


February 2024

Safeguarding younger people from unnecessarily entering aged care – Summer Foundation submission on the exposure draft of the Bill for the new Aged Care Act

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The Summer Foundation is pleased to make a submission on the exposure draft of the Bill for the new Aged Care Act. We welcome the proposed eligibility criteria for entry into the aged care system, which is a necessary measure in closing the door to younger people entering aged care.

 

However, this is not enough on its own to ensure younger people do not unnecessarily enter residential aged care (RAC). Increased investment into other service sectors is also required to meet the needs of younger people. Younger people in and at risk of RAC must have access to a range of safe housing and living alternatives so they can exercise true choice and control over where they live.

 

The new Aged Care Act should fill an existing gap and specify that state and territory governments must take all reasonable steps to secure appropriate community based housing and living supports for younger people who are ineligible for funded aged care services.


February 2024

Inclusive housing & quality support that are cost effective – Summer Foundation position statement on the NDIS Review Final Report

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The NDIS Review recommended a suite of reforms that have the potential to transform disability housing in Australia. Ensuring housing and living supports are fit-for-purpose meets the needs of NDIS participants and is critical to overall scheme sustainability.

 

While the sustainability of the NDIS depends on innovation in service delivery, there is little detail in the NDIS Review on how innovation will happen. More home and living demand data from the NDIA and increased investment in university-based research alone are not going to result in the scale of transformation needed in the disability sector in Australia. Real housing and living solutions need to be both evidence-based and co-designed.

 

The Summer Foundation is committed to working with and for Australians with disability and government to deliver innovative solutions that improve housing and living outcomes.


January 2024

Inclusive disability housing, efficient support and better outcomes – Summer Foundation Federal Pre-Budget Submission

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The Summer Foundation’s Federal Pre-Budget Submission 2024-25 builds on the NDIS Review final report and supporting analysis, reflecting the investments that are needed to address current service gaps, move the NDIS towards an evidence based scheme and improve outcomes for people with disability.

 

Over the last decade there has been a distinct lack of innovation in disability housing and support in Australia. Investment in innovation and practical research to inform the development of inclusive housing and efficient support that deliver better outcomes for people with disability is critical to the future of the scheme and the broader disability ecosystem.


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November 2023

Closing the door to younger people entering aged care – Summer Foundation position statement on the proposed new Aged Care Act

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The Federal Government is developing a new Aged Care Act to replace existing legislation. The Summer Foundation welcomes the proposed change that “apart from First Nations persons, or people at risk of homelessness, no other younger persons will be able to access funded aged care services.”
 
A sustainable solution to the issue of young people in residential aged care (YPIRAC) requires completely closing the door to aged care for younger people.
 
These amendments are a vital part of important aged care reforms, as recommended by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. Rather than using aged care as the provider of last resort, public money should be put to better use to fix gaps and failures in disability, health and housing service systems and develop alternative pathways that enable people under 65 to live in the community.


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November 2023

Inclusive housing – The Summer Foundation position statement on the Disability Royal Commission’s final report

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Addressing the level and scope of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation evidenced in the Disability Royal Commission’s final report is a monumental task. It is critical that the people with disability who gave so much to the DRC benefit from some quick wins as well as see tangible actions to address some of the more complex and systemic challenges.
 
The emphasis on inclusive housing and inclusive lives in the final report is welcomed. Social connection and access to the community reduces the risk of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
 
Federal, state and territory governments need to partner with people with disability and the sector to build on existing work and evidence, rather than duplicating efforts. To quote the DRC’s final report, real solutions need to reimagine these systems “in partnership with people with disability, with their voices at the centre of reforms.”


May 2023

Building a strong and effective NDIS for participants with complex housing and support needs – Summer Foundation submission to the NDIS Review

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The NDIS assists participants to live independently by funding home and living supports that provide choice and control over where, how and with whom to live. However, many participants experience difficulties in accessing suitable housing and supports and have lost trust in the delivery of these services. The NDIA, state and territory governments and the disability sector need to work together to streamline processes and ensure good outcomes for people with disability. Shorter wait times and increased access to appropriate housing and supports will enable a greater quality of life, independence and connection to community.


May 2023

Improving the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework – Summer Foundation submission to the NDIS Review

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The NDIS Review opened a public inquiry into improving the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework. The Summer Foundation’s submission focuses on the quality of support provided within shared models of SDA. An improved Framework facilitates genuine choice for participants and the ability to exercise their rights in a shared living environment.


March 2023

 Improving Medium Term Accommodation

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NDIS participants waiting to move into their long-term housing. MTA has the potential to be a useful part of the solution to divert people away from aged care, hospital and other inappropriate settings. However, currently it is difficult to access, lacks quality standards and is poorly understood by participants and the sector. Along with timely and accurate decisions on long-term housing and support, MTA can be part of a larger solution that supports people with disability to have choice and control over their lives.


March 2023

Improving Outcomes for Younger People in Residential Aged Care

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Younger people with disability are not getting the skilled support they need to leave or avoid residential aged care. Active collaboration is needed between all levels of government and the disability sector to ensure no younger person is forced to enter or remain in aged care. Addressing the systemic barriers to good housing and support in the community requires increased understanding of younger people with complex support needs and improved information and support around housing and support options that ensure greater outcomes for people with disability.


February 2023

Solving the issue of YPIRAC – Pre-Budget Submission (2023)

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While the number of younger people entering RAC over the past 2 years has decreased, in the last financial year 497 people under 65 entered aged care. The Morrison Government’s YPIRAC initiative did not create the systemic change needed.
 
Instead of going to RAC, younger people with disability are getting stuck in hospital for months. Younger people at risk of RAC need timely and skilled support to transition out of hospital into age-appropriate housing.
 

A solution can be found through access to high quality capacity building and support for NDIS participants. There is inadequate support and information provided to NDIS participants to explore options which meet their needs. There is also insufficient demand activation which inhibits the development of housing and support options for YPIRAC and younger people at risk of RAC.
 

The Summer Foundation has identified 4 initiatives that will address this gap and together will solve the issue of YPIRAC once and for all, described in Summer Foundation’s Pre-Budget Submission here.


October 2022

Culture and Capability of the National Disability Insurance Agency – Summer Foundation submission to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme

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Summer Foundation developed a submission to the Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS on the capability and culture of the NDIA and the impacts on the experiences of NDIS participants.

 

The current culture and capability of the NDIA does not meet the needs of participants, but it can be improved. Through the Summer Foundation’s NDIS survey, participants reported that they live in fear of funding being cut, experience a lack of communication, collaboration and relationship building with the NDIA, as well as poor timeliness and efficiency.

 

Trust and confidence in the NDIS and the NDIA can only be restored if participants are seen as experts in their own lives. People with disability should be at the centre of all policies and solutions and included in any reform process through meaningful co-design. It is crucial that the NDIA works to strengthen choice and control for participants and builds their capacity to live well in the community.


October 2022

Achieving the YPIRAC Strategy

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The Federal Government’s Younger People in Residential Aged Care (YPIRAC) Strategy aims to address the systemic issues and barriers that continue to allow younger people (under 65) to enter and remain in RAC. Although progress under the YPIRAC Strategy has been made, systems change is needed to ensure younger people with complex needs have access to the long-term housing and supports they need to live well in the community. Achieving the YPIRAC Strategy requires commitment at all levels of government and the implementation of policy and operational measures that improve the disability/health/housing interface.


October 2022

Preventing and better protecting younger people with complex needs from experiencing violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation

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Summer Foundation report to the Disability Royal Commission
There are many younger people with complex needs living in inappropriate settings such as residential aged care (RAC) and hospitals. Recent government inquiries have provided opportunities for defining and measuring progress towards essential reforms. However, more still needs to be done to improve the experiences and outcomes of younger people with complex needs. To help ensure the Disability Royal Commission (DRC) is best placed to drive policy reform that will meaningfully improve outcomes for this cohort, this report summarises the key areas in need of action.


October 2022

Home and Living decision-making – Policy Position Statement by the Summer Foundation

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Improving the experience and outcomes of NDIS participants, particularly around Home and Living supports, is a key focus of the NDIS. There have been a number of improvements and positive changes in the Home and Living space, including improved application processes and reports by the NDIA.  While there is still more to do to ensure straightforward and transparent processes to enable NDIS participants to access appropriate housing and supports, it is great to see the focus and positive traction from the NDIA. This position statement identifies a number of wins for the NDIA and participants.


August 2022

Value for money – Policy Position Statement by the Summer Foundation

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The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) can point to value for money as a reason for not approving funding for any National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) supports, however it appears to be more frequently used in housing and support decisions. Participants, their supporters and the sector report that value for money is not clearly understood, applied inconsistently and lacks transparency on how it is applied to individual plans. In line with NDIS legislation, the NDIA must consider long-term costs and benefits of supports as well as invest in capacity building measures that will reduce support costs over time.


July 2022

A more inclusive and just society for people with disability – Summer Foundation submission to the Disability Royal Commission

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The Summer Foundation welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Disability Royal Commission (DRC). It is crucial that outcomes of the DRC ensure a more inclusive and just society for all people with disability. Despite state, national and international mandates, many people with disability with high and complex needs are still not afforded their rights. They are often denied the opportunity to live where, how and with whom they want.

 

Significant reforms to the NDIS and health and housing interface systems are needed to uphold participants’ choice and control over their own lives and break the cycle of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation when they are dependent on supports provided by others. Greater investment into person-centred decision-making is essential to ensure that participants can exercise their right to an ordinary life.


July 2022

Housing as a barrier to hospital discharge – Policy Position Statement by the Summer Foundation

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People with disability who have high and complex needs often get stuck in hospital due to challenges accessing the housing and support needed to leave hospital. The transition from hospital to home requires a coordinated approach between the NDIS and health and housing sectors. Enabling access to appropriate housing and supports when participants are clinically fit for discharge prevents disruptions to patient flow and poor health outcomes stemming from extended hospital stays.


July 2022

 Improving housing accessibility in Australia

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Research supports incorporating accessible design features in the construction of all homes. The Summer Foundation urges State and Territory Governments to commit to improving housing accessibility so people with disability have more options for where they can live.

Only 5% of new home builds over the past decade have complied with current accessibility standards, meaning tens of thousands of Australians with disability are unable to access housing that meets their needs.


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May 2022

On-site shared support in Specialist Disability Accommodation – Discussion paper

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In 2021 the Summer Foundation held a series of workshops and interviews with on-site support providers, specialist disability accommodation (SDA) providers, and tenants living in SDA apartments. Preliminary findings from the workshops were published in May 2022, and the main findings were that there is scope for service redesign and innovation to improve the quality and efficiency of support.

We are seeking input from support providers for improving the preliminary report and recommendations. Please contact [email protected] by 30 June 2022.


April 2022

Supported Independent Living costs and impacts – Policy Position Statement by the Summer Foundation

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The Summer Foundation has released a position statement on the costs of Supported Independent Living (SIL) and its impact on the operation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The costs of SIL are an outsized contributor to NDIS budget growth, which is impacting home and living determinations made by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), particularly Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA). The cost effectiveness of SIL can be improved by maximising NDIS participants’ independence through accessible design and collaborative care or shared support models, thereby reducing the dependence on paid support staff.


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January 2022

Pre Budget Submission (2022)

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The Summer Foundation is pleased to work alongside the Federal Government to enable significant improvement in the lives of people with disability. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is an incredible social policy initiative, providing life changing opportunities to people with disability.


October 2021

Consultation on Home and Living – Submission by the Summer Foundation

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The Summer Foundation welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the National Disability Insurance Agency’s (NDIA, Agency) consultation into Home and Living and the focus on person-centred supports, flexible funding and an ordinary life in the community. Our submission responds to the key themes in the consultation paper and makes recommendations to uphold human rights, increase participant choice and control, and build capability among people with disability, families and the disability sector.


October 2021

Consultation on Supports for Decision Making – Submission by the Summer Foundation

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The Summer Foundation welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the National Disability Insurance Agency’s (NDIA) consultation into Supports for Decision Making. Our submission responds to the key themes in the consultation paper and makes recommendations to uphold human rights and increase participant choice and control over their lives.


October 2021

Closed setting SIL homes – Policy Position Statement by the Summer Foundation

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The Summer Foundation has released a position statement about the model of housing and support known as, closed setting supported independent living (SIL) homes. This is where the SIL provider owns or head leases a property and is responsible for tenancy management as well as SIL support delivery within the home. The closed setting SIL home model is outdated and does not resemble a contemporary approach to independent living but it is currently responding to demand for housing from NDIS participants who have been deemed ineligible for SDA or are facing SDA approval issues. The model brings risk to NDIS participant safety, compromises housing security and removes a participants right to exercise genuine choice and control.

 

The Summer Foundation believes that the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission must undertake a quality audit of existing closed-setting SIL homes and implement a regulatory framework as an interim measure, supporting SIL providers to conform to contemporary standards that uphold NDIS participants’ legal rights.

 

The NDIA must ensure SDA eligible participants do not live in, or are not reliant on, closed setting SIL homes.


July 2021

Hospital Discharge of NDIS Participants with High and Complex Needs – Policy Position Statement by the Summer Foundation

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Immediate action is needed to improve outcomes for people with complex disability. Significant reforms of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and health interface systems are needed to reduce unnecessary hospital stays and to prevent younger people with high and complex disabilities from being forced into unsuitable housing and support such as residential aged care (RAC).

 
This report examines the various problems and solutions specific to the NDIS and health interface to minimise extended hospital stays and increase successful returns to community life for people with disabilities.


July 2021

Separation of Housing and Support – Policy Position Statement by the Summer Foundation

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The provision of housing and supports must be separated to avoid conflicts of interest. Many participants receive a mixture of Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA), Supported Independent Living (SIL), support coordination and other supports from the same provider. This presents an inherent conflict of interest that brings risk to participant safety, compromises housing security and limits or removes a participant’s right to exercise genuine choice and control.

 

This can result in limitations of a participant’s rights to exercise choice and control, including the inability to raise concerns or change support providers without putting at risk other services and supports they receive.


June 2021

Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) in Thin Markets

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Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) in Thin Markets resource identifies challenges and barriers to delivering SDA in thin markets. It explains the role that housing providers, disability support providers and all members of the community play in shaping opportunities for people with disability. The resource focuses on rural and remote areas in Western Australia and Queensland, Robust SDA and the impact the lack of SDA has on other mainstream systems.


March 2021

Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS Inquiry into Independent Assessments – Submission

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The Summer Foundation has made a submission to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) inquiry into Independent Assessments.

 

We believe that the NDIS is an important and life changing government initiative that has the potential to solve the issue of younger people being forced into residential aged care and other inappropriate accommodation settings.

 

While we welcome the introduction of free and timely assessments for people stuck in hospital, we recommend postponing the proposed midyear rollout of independent assessments and implementing an evidence-based pilot, codesigned with people with disability, disability organisations and other experts in the field.


January 2021

How to Reform Support Coordination to Meet the Needs of NDIS Participants with High and Complex Needs

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National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants with high and complex needs can often experience difficulty in accessing high quality and effective support coordination. Without effective support coordination, it can be difficult to avoid or exit residential aged care (RAC). This position statement outlines the problems and what needs to change.

 

To discuss this further and to lend your support to our statement contact: [email protected] 


January 2021

Medium Term Accommodation Eligibility, Funding and Quality to Meet the Needs of NDIS Participants

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Funding for Medium-Term Accommodation (MTA) under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is not currently delivering the necessary outcomes for participants with high and complex needs. Changes are needed to ensure that this group receives the necessary support to avoid being stuck in hospital or forced into residential aged care (RAC).

 

This position statement outlines the problems and what needs to change. To discuss this further and to lend your support to our statement contact: [email protected] 


October 2020

Improving Outcomes for Participants who Require Supported Independent Living (SIL): Provider and Sector Consultation Paper

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The Summer Foundation has extensive experience working alongside people with high and complex support needs to understand how to ensure that housing and support solutions can be developed according to their needs and preferences. We have undertaken demonstration projects and extensive research. Based on the outcomes of the research our understanding of what it takes to effectively support people with complex needs to live in the community has evolved.

 

Drawing on this, the Summer Foundation has outlined key problems with the current dominant SIL practice and set out a vision for a reformed SIL market.


October 2020

Accessible Housing – The Way Forward: Supplementary Information Provided to the Australian Building Codes Board Consultation RIS

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The Melbourne Disability Institute (MDI) and the Summer Foundation are pleased to provide this supplementary information following our meeting with representatives from the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) and the Centre for International Economics (CIE) on 17 September. This supplementary information should be read in conjunction with our submission.

The time constraints during the online meeting of 17 September 2020 did not permit full discussion of important economic considerations associated with the Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) or the qualitative study. Therefore, the following information is provided to assist CIE in their finalisation of their evaluation, and for the ABCB’s consideration of the results.


September 2020

Independent Assessments Brief and Summer Foundation Position Statement

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Functional capacity is one of the key factors in determining eligibility for the NDIS. Functional capacity is the ability to be involved in different areas of life like home, school, work and the community and to carry out tasks and actions. It considers other factors in a person’s environment that may impact day-to-day life.

 

We want to see the NDIA take action to enable fast, fair and equitable decisions and these decisions need to be made with a strong evidence base. This requires NDIA funded and well-trained assessors who have experience working with people with disability.

 

Read our full position statement by clicking on the Download now button.


September 2020

Response to the Support Coordination Discussion Paper

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This submission addresses the questions put forward in the Support Coordination Discussion Paper and highlights the need to improve the support coordination service model in a range of areas. These include ensuring access to adequate and timely support coordination; incorporating effective support coordination in the interface between the NDIS and mainstream health systems; support coordinators with specialist knowledge in housing for people with complex needs; easier access for participants to appropriately skilled and experienced support coordinators; encouraging innovation and the development of best practice approaches through training and development opportunities and Communities of Practice; and addressing conflicts of interests.


August 2020

Accessible Housing – The Way Forward: Response to the Australian Building Codes Board Consultation RIS

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The Melbourne Disability Institute (MDI) and the Summer Foundation are pleased to provide this submission in response to the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS). We have initiated three important pieces of research in response to the Consultation RIS, in order to further inform the ABCB and Ministers, viz: i) an independent review of the social cost benefit analysis; ii) a survey and interviews of people with disability that provide important new quantitative and qualitative data; and iii) an audit of accessible features in 20 new build, high volume house plans.


August 2020

Response to Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement

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The Summer Foundation is pleased to provide this submission in response to the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS).

 

The Summer Foundation endorses the stated objective of the RIS and proposes that it should include the word ‘all’: The objective of the regulatory proposal is to ensure that [all] new housing is designed to meet the needs of the community including older Australians and others with mobility limitations.

 

Summer Foundation maintains that accessible housing is for everyone, every time, every day.
It should not be regarded as ‘an optional extra’ or ‘for special people.’ The regulation of minimum standards of accessibility can bring significant benefits to the broader community and is in the public interest.


September 2019

True stories, Practical Solutions – Submission to the Royal Commission on Aged Care Quality and Safety

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The submission identifies the key policy and systemic changes needed to stop young people being forced into aged care. It covers what needs to change and how it can happen.


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