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Can You Refuse to Serve Someone Who Refuses to be COVID Safe?

Can You Refuse to Serve Someone Who Refuses to be COVID Safe?

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Customers refusing to wear masks while shopping in Victoria, where masks are now mandatory, have attracted a lot of media attention in recent weeks.

Business.gov.au has published a guide to the reasons businesses can refuse to serve customers, including safety, and the relevant aspects of anti-discrimination law. The guide is for all Australian businesses - not just businesses in Victoria.

Alexandria EvansCan You Refuse to Serve Someone Who Refuses to be COVID Safe?
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Melbourne Level 4 Restrictions

Melbourne Level 4 Restrictions

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The increased restrictions under the Stage 4 – Stay at home Directions have been introduced to reduce the spread of COVID19 by limiting the number of people leaving their home and moving around the Victorian community.

ATSA can confirm that the manufacture, general supply and support of AT is appropriately covered in “permitted activities” within Melbourne’s Stage 4 restrictions and it includes modifying vehicles to enable people with disability to travel safely.

While these activities are permitted, it’s also important that consideration is given to whether on-site activities can be delivered remotely (as far as possible) and whether the on-site activity is essential for the health, safety or wellbeing of people with disability.

Please also note that the Permitted Worker Scheme is now in place, which means that workplaces in Melbourne must be closed unless:

  • the workplace is a part of a permitted activity, or
  • all employees are working from home.

Employers that require their staff to attend a worksite must issue a worker permit to their employees. Further information, including a ‘Permitted worker permit’ downloadable form is available here.

This is conditional on the understanding that each business has in place a COVID Safe Plan as per the Directions of Victoria’s Chief Health Officer. Learn more here.

Our industry plays a very important part in supporting people with disability and our services have been recognised by government. We need to ensure that our actions support the government's intent to restrict the spread of the COVID-19 virus. ATSA encourages our members to conduct only necessary activity currently and to comply with health and safety directives for the benefit of our community.

Details of Stage 4 Restrictions for Melbourne - please refer to the Statement from the Premier on restrictions for business for the full details. Click here to learn more.

For formal documents relating to the Health Act and Stage 4 restrictions, click here.

Alexandria EvansMelbourne Level 4 Restrictions
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NDIA Releases New AT and Consumables Code Guide

NDIA Releases New AT and Consumables Code Guide

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The revised NDIA Assistive Technology, Home Modifications and Consumables Code Guide is now available.

Please note that there are changes to rentals and ramp codes along with some other amendments.

ATSA recommend taking the time to review the guide, to ensure you are familiar with all the changes.

If you do not use the new codes, this may negatively impact on your NDIA claims.

Learn more about the new codes here.

Alexandria EvansNDIA Releases New AT and Consumables Code Guide
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Vacancy – ATSA Representative to the ME 067 Committee Standards Australia

Vacancy – ATSA Representative to the ME 067 Committee Standards Australia

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The ME 067 Committee is the Standards Australia working group for Assistive Technology.

If you are interested in representing ATSA and the Assistive Technology industry, please contact David Sinclair for details.

As a representative, you will be involved in the development of Australian standards around Assistive Technology.

Alexandria EvansVacancy – ATSA Representative to the ME 067 Committee Standards Australia
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Importers – Offer of Assistance in Freight Services

Importers – Offer of Assistance in Freight Services

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ATSA has been in discussions with both the NDIS and Department of Socials Services (DSS) on the concerns that our industry has been having with international freight covering cost and access to timely deliveries.

The Dept of Industry is taking the lead and is coordinating through Austrade, and particularly through the IFAM work to find practical solutions for the import of goods to Australia, please refer here for details.

ATSA has been assured that AT remains on the priority list (particularly for hospital discharge) for government.

The NDIA, DSS and Austrade wish to engage the AT industry to explore options for AT importers/distributors on the ‘new reality’ of how freight is being managed worldwide that may include briefing/workshops with AT Industry. They have indicated there are several effective ways to get good outcomes, but it may require rethinking historic models.

 If you have any questions on this, please let David Sinclair know via email.

Alexandria EvansImporters – Offer of Assistance in Freight Services
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Use of Restraints

Use of Restraints

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An important reminder to members that the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission is increasing its’ focus on reportable incidents relating to the use of restraints.

If you are an NDIS provider, you are automatically obligated to report every instance of an unauthorised restrictive practice you have become aware of.

Please refer to the NDIS Commission for more details. It is recommended that before you supply a device that could be considered as a restraint, you should ask to view the “behaviour support plan” for the participant that has been developed by an approved NDIS behaviour support practitioner.

Alexandria EvansUse of Restraints
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ATSA Independent Living Expo Postponed Until 2021

ATSA Independent Living Expo Postponed Until 2021

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Letter to Stand Holders

As a result of the ongoing risk and disruption from the COVID19 pandemic, the ATSA Board has taken the decision to postpone the Independent Living Expo’s planned for Melbourne and Perth in October 2020 to May 2021.

Dates have been booked with the Melbourne venue (18-19 May 2021) and we are waiting for final confirmation from the Perth Showgrounds venue. There will be a formal announcement next week.

The following approach has been agreed for current bookings for the ATSA Independent Living Expos:

  • Exhibitors can elect to transfer their booking to the new date(s).
    • If this is your decision you do not need do notify ATSA/Interpoint
  • ATSA 2021 will see exhibitor costs increase by 5%. Existing 2020 exhibitors who elect to transfer their booking will not be subject to this increase.
  • Exhibitors who elect to not transfer to the 2021 events can receive a refund of 75% of their fees paid to-date. This level of refund reflects the costs already incurred for the events.
    • If you wish not to transfer to the 2021 events please notify Interpoint, on the contact details shown below, by 30th September 2020.  You will be sent an official cancellation form to complete which will require bank details to effect the refund, confirming the event you wish to cancel and officially declare the current stand contract null and void. (Please note, post this date the terms of your current booking contract will be applied)
  • An exhibitor who receives a refund and then later decides to exhibit in 2021 will be subject to the new exhibitor pricing

The ATSA Board wishes to thank you for your support and patience as we have worked through the very difficult and ever-changing set of circumstances. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

The welfare of the all who take part in these events have been at the front of mind our minds and the ongoing boarder closures, combined with a threat of a second wave has created a risk, we believe, was too high for the attendees.

Despite COVID19, the interest in the events has been high with more than two thousand interested attendees having registered across the events.

We are now working to deliver two great events for 2021 where we will introduce technology-based enhancements to the Expos that will allow greater reach to persons who cannot physically attend. This will reinforce the ATSA shows as the no.1 disability events in Australia.

New marketing collateral with the revised dates will be sent to out later in the year and regular updates will appear in social media channels, ATSA and Freedom2Live newsletters.

To apply for an Expo refund please contact Allison Miller at Interpoint Events on 02 46461453 or amiller@intermedia.com.au

On behalf of the ATSA Board, thank you for your understanding and we hope you are able to continue to support these industry events.

David Sinclair – Executive Officer

PS the postponement of the Melbourne and Perth expos to May 2021 means that the shows scheduled for Sydney and Brisbane will now take place in May 2022.

Alexandria EvansATSA Independent Living Expo Postponed Until 2021
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Invitation To Members To Contribute To ATSA Submission For the Queensland Productivity Commission

Invitation To Members To Contribute To ATSA Submission For the Queensland Productivity Commission

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The Queensland Productivity Commission is conducting an inquiry into the NDIS market in Queensland.

Among the Terms of Reference the Productivity Commission is considering:

  • the performance of the NDIS market during transition in Queensland
  • investigate and report on NDIS market conditions and prospects
  • recommend options for improved policies and measures to ensure the NDIS market in Queensland will meet the needs of participants both now and in the future.

To meet the requirements of the terms of reference, the Commission will examine:

  • the efficiency and effectiveness of the NDIS market in Queensland
  • structural, regulatory or other impediments to the efficient operation of the NDIS market
  • factors affecting specific markets or market segments, including in rural and remote areas.

Further information on the Inquiry, including a long and short form issues paper is available here.

If you have any information you would like to share on this, or other issues with the NDIS market in Queensland, please feel free to contact me.

Submissions close on 11 August.

Tony Pooley
Tony.Pooley@atsa.org.au
0400 119 998

Alexandria EvansInvitation To Members To Contribute To ATSA Submission For the Queensland Productivity Commission
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Invitation To Members To Contribute To ATSA Submission For the NDIS QSC

Invitation To Members To Contribute To ATSA Submission For the NDIS QSC

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The Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme is conducting an inquiry into the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.

While the Terms of Reference are broad-ranging, it is likely that the most relevant to ATSA members will be d):

The adequacy and effectiveness of provider registration and worker screening arrangements, including the level of transparency and public access to information regarding the decisions and actions taken by the Commission.

ATSA intends to make a submission suggesting that the auditing requirement of Assistive Technology businesses, particularly smaller organisations, could be simplified and streamlined.

Further information on the inquiry is available here.

If you have any information you would like to share on this, or other issues with the Commission, please feel free to contact me.

Submissions close on 31 July.

Tony Pooley
Tony.Pooley@atsa.org.au
0400 119 998

Alexandria EvansInvitation To Members To Contribute To ATSA Submission For the NDIS QSC
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Latest News and Developments for AT Suppliers

Latest News and Developments for AT Suppliers

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Membership survey pending

The Board is currently reviewing ATSA’s membership structure (in place since 2000) to ensure that our membership model is suitable for the industry it serves. To assist in this activity, we will be sending out a survey to facilitate the gathering of required data to inform that decision-making process. To ensure that your key employees receive this and other imminent developments, please remind staff to add  info@atsa.org.au  to their address book.

Use of Restraints

An important reminder to members that the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission is increasing its’ focus on reportable incidents relating to the use of restraints. If you are an NDIS provider, you are automatically obligated to report every instance of an unauthorised restrictive practice you have become aware of. Please refer to the NDIS Commission for more details. It is recommended that before you supply a device that could be considered as a restraint, you should ask to view the “behaviour support plan” for the participant that has been developed by an approved NDIS behaviour support practitioner.

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NQSC) inquiry

There is an active Inquiry by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission with submissions closing on Friday, 31 July 2020. Please forward any comments or concerns that you wish ATSA to raise with the Inquiry no later than 20th of July to allow for us to include your concerns within ATSA’s submission.

Importers – offer of assistance in freight services

ATSA has been in discussions with both the NDIS and Department of Socials Services (DSS) on the concerns that our industry has been having with international freight covering cost and access to timely deliveries. The Dept of Industry is taking the lead and is coordinating through Austrade, and particularly through the IFAM work to find practical solutions for the import of goods to Australia, please refer here for details.
 
ATSA has been assured that AT remains on the priority list (particularly for hospital discharge) for the government.
 
The NDIA, DSS and Austrade wish to engage the AT industry to explore options for AT importers/distributors on the ‘new reality’ of how freight is being managed worldwide that may include briefing/workshops with AT Industry. They have indicated there are several effective ways to get good outcomes, but it may require rethinking historic models.
 
If you have any questions on this, please let David Sinclair know.

Vacancy – ATSA representative to the ME 067 Committee Standards Australia

The ME 067 Committee is the Standards Australia working group for AT. If you are interested in representing the industry in the development of Australian standards around AT, please contact David Sinclair for details.

Training Webinars coming soon

ATSA has partnered with ADIA (Australian Dental Industry Association) to provide business skills training.  We will be contacting you shortly with more information about this series of training webinars. Access will be offered as a free service to ATSA members.

NDIA releases new AT and Consumables Code Guide

The revised NDIA Assistive Technology and Consumables Code Guide is now available. Please note that there are changes to rentals and ramp codes along with some other amendments. If you do not use the new codes, this may negatively impact on your NDIA claims. Learn more about the new codes here.

The NDIA has introduced a new team to assist with AT issues

From June 2020, the NDIA has introduced localised support in their claims and processing offices to aid in identifying issues in the processing of AT claims. If you are experiencing any difficulties with the NDIA in that regard that you believe requires investigation, please let David Sinclair know.

Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Grant for NSW Businesses

The NSW Government is providing grants for NSW-based business to aid recovery for businesses impacted by the Corona-19 pandemic. Details can be found here.

AustRoads announcement on MMDs

AustRoads has announced that they will no longer pursue the adoption of the Technical Specification 3695.3.2018. for MMDs. This is a significant outcome as it removes the proposed directive to differentiate between general transport vs footpath access for MMDs (White and Blue labeling proposition).

The final report can be downloaded here.

Please note that the National Transport Commission is still working on new road rules for MMDs.  ATSA will advise you of the final outcome as soon as it becomes available.

Alexandria EvansLatest News and Developments for AT Suppliers
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