Parents fear for son

Jo Donnellan fears her intellectually disabled son Edward is at risk. Picture: Andrew Ritchied414906
Jo Donnellan fears her intellectually disabled son Edward is at risk. Picture: Andrew Ritchied414906

Jo and Terry Donnellan’s 42-year-old son Edward has lived in Disability Service Commission (DSC) accommodation in Joondanna and Nollamara for 21 years.

However, under a State Government scheme to privatise accommodation, Mrs Donnellan said DSC may no longer house or care for Edward.

The Government last year announced that in coming years private providers would run most DSC accommodation services across the state.

DSC provides 17 per cent of WA’s accommodation services for people with disabilities, while 83 per cent is through non-government groups.

Mrs Donnellan, of Leederville, said she did not understand the reason behind privatising the services that had catered for Edward so well.

‘My biggest fear is that they will transfer him to the private sector because I am 110 per cent certain it won’t work,’ she said.

‘It might be fine for some people with disability but not for those with special needs.

‘The slightest change triggers Edward and he can become volatile ” he is used to the staff that care for him and the people who he lives with, they’re like family.’

Disability Services Minister Helen Morton said the change was in line with the principles of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Mrs Donnellan said the worst aspect of the scheme was the ‘tiny amount’ of information they were given.

‘We got the first letter from the DSC director general Rob Chalmers in October, which told us next to nothing,’ she said.

In that letter, Mr Chalmers said he knew the same DSC staff members supported some individuals for a long period and that the department was committed to a ‘smooth transition’ of services.

‘Individuals and their families or carer will be involved in the decision making process to select non-government service providers,’ the letter said.

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