Policy Work, Submissions and Alliances

Making a difference

Policy work, submissions and alliances

Policy Work

SCIA Advocacy Engagements

SCIA’s Policy and Advocacy Team are working hard to create a more inclusive society on a systemic level. Our engagements with like-minded alliances and policy work help make this happen.

If you need assistance contact us through our Policy and Advocacy Request Form.

Ongoing Policy Work

  • 2020 Advocacy Engagement Project
    In late 2020, SCIA’s Policy and Advocacy Team reached out to our members to identify the most important issues affecting people with spinal and neurological conditions, their families and carers. We conducted an online survey with 134 respondents and follow up interviews with 22 people.

    As a result, our Policy and Advocacy team had identified priority areas for upcoming systemic advocacy work:

    • Support for people with disability aged over 65
    • Increasing availability and allocation for long-term accessible housing, including social housing
    • Ensuring universal, timely access to assistive technology and equipment

    Read our Policy and Advocacy team’s Advocacy Engagement Project Summary and Advocacy Engagement Project Final Report.

  • NDIS Staff, LAC and Planner Training Sheet
    SCIA’s Policy and Advocacy team were approached to develop a disability snapshot on spinal cord injury be used internally for staff training and planners and LACs.
    They were asked to develop the NDIS fact sheet based on the template with specific relevant information on SCI. These fact sheets are now published and being used across the NDIA internally and by partners in the community (LACs) to help their understanding of different disability types.
    As a follow-up to this work, videos talking about their own circumstances are being developed as a companion to the disability snapshots.

  • Where it matters

    Recent Submissions

  • Improving access to alternate and existing accommodation to address the social housing shortage

    The NSW Legislative Assembly’s Committee on Community Services has conducted an inquiry into options to improve alternate and existing accommodation to address the social housing shortage in NSW. In SCIA’s submission, the team emphasized the need for a coordinated strategy to identify and allocate available accessible housing across all stakeholders and expand transitional accommodation options for people with acquired disabilities. Submissions closed on 13 August. View our submission.

  • National Disability Insurance Scheme Home and Living Consultation

    The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) held a public consultation to seek feedback on its proposed Home and Living Policy to support NDIS participants pursue their home and living goals to live an ordinary life. SCIA made a submission outlining the importance of ensuring the participant is at the centre of decision-making, fostering better information supports, the availability of a range of home and living solutions, the need for transitional accommodation options and the need for the NDIA to take a proactive role in ensuring that all NDIS participants have access to range of living options including in the private market and across social and affordable housing. Submissions closed on 10 September. View our submission.

  • The Purpose, Intent and Adequacy of the Disability Support Pension

    The Senate Community Affairs References Committee has opened an inquiry into the Disability Support Pension (DSP), covering issues including the purpose of the DSP, eligibility criteria, whether the DSP allows people to have an adequate standard of living and the DSP’s impact on people with disability’s long-term, sustainable, appropriate employment opportunities. SCIA made a submission to the inquiry raising concerns regarding the complexity of the application process, lack of support to make successful applications, the disincentives to finding long-term employment due to the restrictive nature of DSP requirements and the lack of knowledge as to whether the DSP rate is appropriate to ensure that recipients can live sustainably and meet all their needs. Submissions closed on 9 July. View our submission.

  • Promoting Inclusion

    The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability published an issues paper on Promoting Inclusion, seeking views on what an inclusive society looks like, barriers to inclusion, how we can become a more inclusive society and how inclusion might prevent violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation. SCIA made a submission outlining its vision for an Australian society in which all people with disability are empowered and have their dignity respected. Submissions were due on 4 June, 2021. View our submission.

  • A New National Disability Employment Strategy

    The Australian Government’s Department of Social Services has drafted a National Disability Employment Strategy and sought public feedback on how to improve employment outcomes for people with disability, supporting jobseekers with disability to secure long term, meaningful employment. Our submission details how an integrated, person-centred approach to supporting a person’s employment journey will ensure they find roles that match their aspirations and build their skills. Submissions were due on 17 May, 2021. View our submission.

  • Second Review of the Disability (Access to Premises) Standards

    The Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources continued its second review of the Disability (Access to Premises – Building) Standards 2010. The Premises Standards aim to ensure that people living with disability and their family members, carers and friends have equal access to public buildings and that building certifiers, developers and managers fulfil their responsibilities under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. SCIA’s submission details recommendations for reforms that could improve accessibility and strengthen the Premises Standards’ protections. Submissions were due on 30 April, 2021. View our submission here.

  • Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS Independent Assessments

    As part of the committee’s role to inquire into the implementation, performance and governance of the NDIS, the committee is conducting an inquiry into independent assessments under the NDIS. The terms of reference are broad and SCIA’s submission covers all of our concerns about what is being proposed. Closing date for submissions is March 31, 2021. View our submission here.

  • NDIS Independent Assessments, Consultations and Submissions

    SCIA took part in NDIA consultations on the independent assessment proposed processes; partnered with the Physical Disability Council of NSW and Muscular Dystrophy NSW in holding an online forum with members to get feedback; and wrote a 28-page submission detailing our concerns.
    Submissions are now closed. View our submission here.

  • National Disability Strategy (NDS) and NDIS Outcomes Framework Submission

    The Department of Social Services (DSS) opened consultation to measure, monitor and report on the effectiveness of a new NDS and the NDIS to ensure the outcomes frameworks are meaningful for people with disability.
    Consultation closed on December 18, 2020. View our submission here.

  • A New National Disability Strategy – Stage 2 Consultations and Submission

    The National Disability Strategy 2010-2020 is Australia’s overarching framework for disability reform and sets out a ten-year national plan for improving the lives for Australians with disability.
    The DSS was asking for feedback on government’s proposals for the next Strategy, as set out in the National Disability Strategy position paper.
    Submissions closed on October 31, 2020. View our submission here.

  • New South Wales Ageing and Disability Commission Standing Review

    New South Wales’ Ageing and Disability Commission (ADC) proposed the establishment of a Standing Review to monitor, assess and report on the implementation of the National Disability Strategy in NSW. The ADC asked for feedback on what approach a Standing Review should take to best promote the interests of people with disability and their family and carers in NSW.
    Submissions closed on 30 October, 2020. View our submission here.

  • Working collaboratively

    Formal Alliances and Reference Group Memberships


  • Assistive Technology For All (ATFA) Alliance
    Alliance of state and national organisations seeking equal access to assistive technology for those excluded from the NDIS.

  • Building Better Homes Campaign
    SCIA have joined other disability representative organisations and advocacy groups to seek mandatory accessibility standards within the National Building Code would ensure hundreds of thousands of Australians would have access to appropriate housing.

  • SDA Alliance
    SCIA have an associate membership with the SDA Alliance. This ensures we advamce our advocacy work and committment to support Specialised Disability Accommodation (SDA) for our members and the people we represent.

  • Aviation Access Forum
    We meet twice a year to seek to improve air travel services for people with disability

  • SDA Reference Group
    We work towards improving SDA policy, better meeting the needs of people with disability who use or need this accommodation

  • Disability Advocacy Alliance
    We’re part of a large coalition of New South Wales disability advocacy organisations seeking ongoing commitment from the New South Wales Government to fund advocacy.
    The 2020 budget announced $13 million per annum over three years to support advocacy.

  • Accessible Transport Access Committee (ATAC)
    Facilitated by Transport for NSW (TfNSW), this reference group advises transport policy and changes.

  • Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Community of Practice – COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness
    We help support the development of strategies to minimise risk for the SCI community

  • SCI Care, Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) Support for the New South Wales Ministry of Health Working Group
    SCIA helps provide advice to the Agency of Clinical Innovation (ACI) executive and New South Wales Ministry of Health. We identify priority areas and coordinate efforts to improve the quality and safety of healthcare for people over 16 years with an SCI living in New South Wales.

  • Co-Chair of the State Spinal Cord Injury Service Clinical Development Committee
    The State Spinal Cord Injury Service works to ensure that people with SCI receive the highest quality services which support recovery following injury, monitor, manage and stabilise long term health impact and facilitate personal independence for people returning to community life.