Dilemma for disabled

A BETTER system for accessing disability services would make life easier for Strathfieldsaye mother of three autistic children Tammy Manton.Mrs Manton’s three eldest children, Cooper, 9, Jedd, 7, and Molly, 3, have all been diagnosed with autism.“I’ve had trouble in the past accessing respite,’’ she said.Mrs Manton was told if she and her husband Gary wanted a night out, a carer for each child would be required.However, she points out the paperwork and waiting lists are the biggest hurdles.“The boys were approved for funding to receive respite care, but then I was told I had to go on a waiting list to see if we could access funding,’’ she said.Mrs Manton said a friend was on the same waiting list for two years.She welcomes the Coalition’s announcement of a new National Disability Insurance Scheme, but worries what will happen in the meantime.“There are services around, but you have to go on a waiting list,’’ she said.“It’s hard enough to have children with a disability, let alone to have to fight the system.’’Nationals Member for Northern Victoria Damian Drum said the Coalition would reform disability service delivery if it was elected on November 27.Mr Drum said people with disabilities, carers and families were forced to jump through “bureaucratic hoops to beg for government funding”.He said trying to resolve problems for people such as the Manton family was the single biggest issue he had struggled with in his eight years in parliament.Coalition leader Ted Baillieu said the Coalition would ensure the recommendation of the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into a Disability Care and Support Scheme was adopted as soon as possible.Community Services Minister Lisa Neville said the state government had lodged its submission with the commission two months ago, supporting the development of the scheme.laurenh@bendigoadvertiser.com.au