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Outrage sparks as video mocking persons with disabilities goes viral

Close-up view of a wheelchair

People with Disability Australia along with Advocacy for Inclusion condemns the repugnant, hateful and discriminatory video released on April 7 by One Nation mocking persons with disabilities through ignorant and uninformed commentary about the life-changing and community enhancing benefits of the NDIS for everyday Australians with disabilities.

“The insensitive cruelty of this propaganda by the Hanson team stoops to new lows, with its offensive, inappropriate and inaccurate depictions of disability supports under the NDIS,” said Ms Nicole Lee, President of People with Disability Australia.

“The NDIS not only improves the lives of ordinary people with disability but poses huge benefits to social fabric of all Australians with or without disability,” said Ms Lee. “Through the NDIS, people with disability are one of the biggest contributors to the Australian economy delivering $2.25 for every dollar spent in the scheme or more than $2 billion dollars a year,” said Ms Lee.

“The video inspires hatred against disabled people and is a particularly nasty and vile depiction of the lives of highly vulnerable people with disability released on Good Friday which is a day of love and reflection for many people. It should be roundly condemned by all decent Australians including our national leaders,” said long term NDIS campaigner and Head of Policy at ACT peak body Advocacy for Inclusion, Mr Craig Wallace.

“It blatantly misrepresents that people can receive NDIS support for temporary conditions like a stubbed toe when the reality is the NDIS is actually highly limited and constrained to people with permanent and significant impairment,” said Mr Wallace. “Many people still struggle to get basic equipment or personal care, others have had plans cut, and the prolonged assessments and bureaucracy mean that this is hardly a luxury,” he said.

“It is also inaccurate to suggest that people with disability are ‘scamming’ the scheme when we know we are actually more likely to be the victims of scams, poor services and rip offs by services and businesses seeking to profit from disabled people,” said Mr Wallace.

“People with disability experience high levels of abuse as it is and now we’re being used as cheap shots for political point scoring. This ignorant and disgusting posturing directly impacts the work that is being done to break down the stigma surrounding people with disability, including those of us with cognitive disability and debilitating psycho-social disability who are impacted significantly higher across all forms of disability by violence abuse neglect and exploitation,” said Ms Lee.

PWDA and AFI would like to see the video repudiated and removed and replaced with a public apology to the 4.4 million Australians with disabilities.

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