Working proactively to redress the lack of services for parents with disabilities is very necessary if we are to have a more just and equitable service system.
Service providers need to ensure that their services are welcoming, respectful and responsive to parents with disabilities. They need to identify any discrimination in their service policies, practices and access. The Disability Discrimination Act (1992) and the Disability Services Act (1986) and United Nations Charter support this.
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons (Point Number 9) states that "Disabled persons are entitled to have their special needs taken into consideration at all stages of economic and social planning."
Our service system, at the present time within the Western Metropolitan Region does not adequately support the needs of parents with disabilities. There are very few services that have addressed their specific needs, as parents; while providing them with a gateway to accessible and responsive services.
Parents with disabilities are frequently disheartened and frustrated from getting turned down for services. They have often been told by service providers that they are not eligible for service. For example, generally local councils provided in home childcare respite for parents of children with disabilities but not for parents with disabilities who have children without a disability. Both types of parents need the respite service but only those who have a child with a disability are receiving the service.
Service Provision - A Proactive Approach: