Saturday, 20 September 2008

An Annual Report Soapbox Rave

This is the first part of an annual report I wrote recently and I didn't want to hide it in one place as I reckon it's a good rave.


Submission! What does that word mean to you? Here’s the online Free dictionary definition:

1. a. The act of submitting to the power of another: "Oppression that cannot be
overcome does not give rise to revolt but to submission" Simone Weil.
b. The state of having submitted. See Synonyms at surrender.

2. The state of being submissive or compliant; meekness.

3. a. The act of submitting something for consideration.
b. Something so submitted: read three fiction manuscripts and other such submissions.

Now to the reason for starting my report this way. As I was reading through our EO’s report I was struck by how many Submissions that we make each year – 13 to be exact. While I have read and approved each one and know that that is a fair hunk of the work we do it just suddenly struck me about the word ‘Submission”.

Even tho we are the peak body representing people with physical disability in Australia, the “experts” so to speak, we are still required to submit. “Our people” are also asked to submit. And definitions 1a and 2 are exactly the position that we are all in. We are oppressed and struggling to “overcome” but we don’t revolt, we “put in another submission”. We are forced into compliance and meekness. We are forced to beg for the same rights that most abloids take for granted. What a travesty. Shame, shame on our Governments both Local and Federal.

I am constantly angered by the amount of money (usually paid to abloids) that is spent researching our Needs and developing Models around managing our lives as people with disabilities. Why is this so? It’s not rocket science. If someone needs assistance to have a shower, go to the loo, cook their tea etc then what is hard about providing that assistance? Research and development around aids and equipment have provided us with a plethora of such things for us and our assistants to enable us. So why the research and why the submissions? It’s about being stingy with the money that is provided for us. You may say that they are spending a lot of money on research, but who does that really benefit? The abloids who earn big money doing the research. It keeps them in a job. It keeps it looking like they are doing something good. In fact with the present bureaucracy of Disability Services across the nation WE keep tens of thousands of abloids in work while we suffer and wait and wait endlessly. And we continue to be meek and submissive.

Let’s make 2009 the “Year of being Aggressive and Strong and Loud”. I know the reasons why most people with disabilities are not those things. Scared of retribution. Scared of losing funding or services. Scared of our service providers if we upset them. Scared to challenge a Support Worker as they may turn sullen or even nasty. Enough already. If we all challenge and shout all the time in the face of everything then they will be forced to change. Here’s the plan:

Ring every week to ask about progress on your Unmet Need.
Ring every week to ask about Individual Funding.
Hound the pollies about the lousy pension we get to exist on.
Write to the Paper every week.
Ring the local radio station every week.
Get a few mates and camp outside a pollies door for the day once a month.
Get onto ACA, TdT or the 7.30 Report.
Tell everyone you know how badly we are neglected and ignored and ask them to write and phone too.

1 comment:

  1. Its certainly an eye opener to know the true meaning of the word submission. It seems like the recipients of submissions have known the true meaning for a long time in the way they act to these submissions.
    Its time to rename submissions to give them a more positive and assertive meaning.
    Good article Glee