Let’s Talk About Assumptions

There are a lot of assumptions around when it comes to disability.  Some of them slap you in the face, like when the worker from Blue Care compared me to a 90 year old (I don’t need help as much based on age it was assumed).  Others are more insidious, such as comments in articles on disability.  All of them need to be corrected.

So here they are.  Please feel free to contact me with more – even your own.  I will not make fun of anyone who honestly wants to learn, no matter what assumption they have.

And tell us all Robert, why people shouldn’t be responsible for their own health by taking out personal insurance?
Why should I as a taxpayer be expected to fund the misfortune of some thrill-seeker who came to grief? Why should I also fund victims of accidents caused by the incompetence of other people?

Well, JohnM, not everyone acquires a disability from parachuting, or car accidents.  People are often born with disabilities.  I was born with two, although I didn’t know that either was genetic until last year.  I acquired another one through no fault of my own, and as a child – far too young to be taking out insurance.

Not that we didn’t try – we did.  Back when we first had a child, we looked into income protection insurance and health insurance and life insurance.  Income protection insurance was impossible – due to sleep apnea and PTSD, no one would insure either of us.  Health insurance was far too expensive for us to maintain (and we were paying extra in the way of the Medicare Levy, which considered to be public health insurance).  My husband could get life insurance, and we still have that policy today, although I couldn’t (again, PTSD meant they would not insure me).

And, by the time we realised that my condition was genetic, and not getting any better (and many doctors told us that I would get better), we had no savings left, and while my husband was self-employed, he wasn’t earning enough to pay for superannuation for either of us, so we had no insurance through superannuation either.

Sometimes, you can do all the right things (or try to do all the right things), and life still just sucks.  So you have the choice of two worlds now – one where we look after those for whom life has just sucked, or one where we don’t.  Which world would you rather live in?  And keep in mind – something similar to this could happen to anyone, no matter how much they think they have it covered.  Insurance companies are not exactly forthcoming with their money if they can find a way – any way – around it.

Socialism will last until you run out of other peoples money.

Well John, Socialism will last forever (or close enough to it, in varying forms), but even so – it’s my money too.  I paid taxes.  My husband paid taxes.  And by gosh, should we ever get the support we need, we will pay taxes again.  I have never whinged about paying taxes – even now I remember being glad to pay the extra Medicare Levy, because I was thankful that it meant keeping our public health system instead of ending up like America.

We will find a way to support ourselves – IF we can get the support to get back on our feet.  Just as someone, at some time, supported you to get on yours.

Life is a risk. You cannot bullet proof life.

True John.  Which is why having having a good health system to patch up those bullet holes is such a great idea.

Mines are productive, disabled people aren’t.

Fuck you libpotato.  Most disabled people are actually productive, or could be given the opportunity.  Even those who don’t earn much, are productive.  I know of kids working for Endeavour who earn 50 cents an hour farming.  They don’t earn enough to live on (who said slavery was dead?), but they’re doing 40 hours a week of hard labour.  No doubt, whoever owns the farm is doing alright and putting money back in the economy.  My husband is a world class programmer (in the words of another world class programmer, not just in the words of his wife 😉 ).  How much could he be doing (and earning) for Australia if we were given enough support for him to go back to work?  Never mind how much *I* could be doing…  Or our kids…  Surely it would be better for us all to be working, then sitting at home, twiddling our thumbs, writing bad blogs, and going increasingly mad???

With less disabled people in paid employment now, than in the 1970’s – Am I the only one asking why?
Are people more disabled now, than in the past?
Why should we pay for someone that can make their own way in the world?
I get – that we should help those that cannot.
But ‘Disabled’ should never be confused and conflated with ‘Incapable’ – Just ask Stella Young.

A happy little debunker, let me clear this up for you…  I CAN work.  Not full time, but I can work.  The thing is, I need support to do that.  Support that is currently not available.  The NDIS is supposed to take care of that for me.  It is supposed to give me the support I need so that I can work.  So you can’t have your cake and eat it too.  If you want people with a disability to work, then we need the NDIS.

And the figures are higher now because we include things like less severe forms of Autism and less severe forms of mental illness, which were often ignored in the past.  Indeed, my own Ehlers Danlos Syndrome was ignored until we found someone who knew what it was – and in that time I wasn’t eligible for any services.  In the past, I would have either been a burden to family, or been homeless, because a diagnosis wouldn’t have existed.  Today, with families (mine in particular) being far more self-centered, I would have just ended up homeless, if we hadn’t found that all important diagnosis.

Also, a lot of people with disabilities would have died before (either from a lack of modern, or deliberate lack of, healthcare), whereas now they don’t.

It is past time for all Australians to realise that the country has been living beyond its means for the last 5 or 6 years and that we cannot afford everything that we would like. Hard choices need to be made about priorities which is next to impossible given the howls of anguish from everyone who believes that Australia simply cannot survive without their pet project.

Bruce – if we can’t afford health and disability care, then what do you propose we do with all the sick and disabled people?  Kill them?  This country has enough wealth to give every person in this country a decent life with all that they need.  The problem is that we don’t like to share our good fortune.  I’ve got no problem with some rich dude buying a yacht.  Good for him.  But has he REALLY paid his fair share of taxes???  Has he REALLY had no tax breaks, no welfare of any kind?  If the country can afford to help him, why can’t we afford to help those less fortunate than him?

Do you really think that it’s only hard work that makes him rich?  Or is it a lack of disability in a family too poor to give him the support he needs?  In other words – luck.

As an insurance scheme the NDIS should only ever have been funded by (compulsory) premiums, preferably lifestyle and activity based premiums.

This is so stupid, In sure ants (???), it beggars belief.  In no way, ever, is insurance going to cover disability from birth.  Sure, those who are disabled from parachuting or car accidents, will be covered, but no one else will be.  And you can’t make premiums like that compulsory (especially if you are going to run it as other insurance is run) – too many people can’t afford them, plus why should a child be refused care if their parents are too poor, or too selfish, to pay up?  Unless you want to make it like the Medicare Levy (i.e. under a certain income is free, and it goes up as you earn more) – and I’m all for that.

These quotes were all taken from Prepare for a cheaper, slimmer NDIS.

I’m not against the NDIS obviously, but I’m not also completely for it either.  I think that there are a lot of problems with the specifics, and even a lot of the more popular rhetoric about why it’s a good idea.  I didn’t like the way it was going to be done under Labor, and have no view as yet as to what I think of how Liberals will do it (given that we don’t know yet how they are going to do it).  I am waiting.  As I have been waiting, for the NDIS is not going to hit QLD for another six years where I live at any rate.  That is a long time in politics.  Enough time for it to undergo more than enough change for any opinion to be shot by the time it’s a reality for me.  So while I’m happy to delve into politics on a theoretical level, I’m not getting emotionally invested in it at all just yet.  I’m neither excited, nor disappointed.  I’m just… waiting…

But these fools are just that – fools.  I’ve chosen the points primarily against the scheme, because these fools are not only dissing the scheme based on the scheme itself, but they are dissing helping people with disabilities at all.

And that just isn’t a good indication of what I want humanity to be about.

I posted on FB today, in regards to an article Stella Young wrote on the NDIS:

I never held my breath in the first place. Even under Labor there were major concerns that I voiced (or tried to), but nobody wanted to listen, let alone help me in trying to get people to take them seriously. So I’ve been sitting back, and watching as what I thought would happen, happen, and thinking that being right really does suck sometimes.

Then, we also have the infighting between ourselves to contend with… *sigh* Something else most people want to sweep under the carpet lest it hamper our “fight”.

Given I can’t even get people to read my stuff (unless they want to steal it), let alone take it seriously, I have decided I can’t really do much, so on a personal level, I’m trying to hunker down and do the best I can for the kids and I. But… We need a good fight – not just the odd article which is great, and well written sure, but ultimately easily ignored.

Where is our Nelson? Our Martin? Someone ready to stand, hobble, or roll up, and say unequivocally and without reservation “we are the people and this is our voice, and you cunts better listen up!”

People like these fools get away with being fools because we allow it to be.  Sexism, racism and homophobia still exist, but people only started changing their minds about them when others stood up, collectively and with dignity, and said “enough”.

When is the disability community going to do the same?

Or is the question really – can we?  Changing beliefs is one thing, but when changing deep racism meant financial burden (such as slavery in the US), it took a civil war to tear it down.  Is talking enough?  Is writing articles and blog posts enough?  Do we need a (non-violent) act of war?

At this point, it would seem so.

In the meantime, I am going to challenge assumptions any chance I get.  I urge you all to do the same.

Disability consumer and activist. Pissed off since 1995... Mad as a hatter since way before that.

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Posted in Autism, Disability, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Mental Health

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Pissed off since 1995. Mad as a hatter since way before that.

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