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The health system is talked about from a myriad of perspectives; doctors, politicians, academics, policy makers. But what does it look like from a patient's eye view? Or a disabled point of view?

I've been a patient at a variety of hospitals for over twenty years, thanks to a chronic illness, so I've had a bit of time to think about how things work and what happens when they don't. At the same time, I've worked at various places, doing policy analysis and reading a multitude of reports. Putting those two things together equals an exciting new Croakey initiative, #cripcroakey – a look at the health sector from a disabled perspective.

Often what people want from the health system is far removed from what gets advocated for. Instead of connected, collaborative primary care, we get various models of co-payment. Instead of fair access to specialists, we get price-gouging and regional inequities. Instead of affordable community services, we get privatisation and profits.

People with disabilities are already low down the economic ladder, being twice as likely to live in poverty, so public health services are of vital importance in making sure everyone has access to good health. But how accessible are these services – both physically and culturally?

The policy landscape for disabled people is changing rapidly, with the introduction of the NDIS and a greater focus on human rights. This means that people with disabilities are more likely to live in the community, and interact with mainstream services. But is the health system ready and able to meet disabled people on an equal footing?

The NDIS is arguably one of the biggest public policy changes in decades, with its focus on individualised funding and personal choice. As the first roll out goes ahead in my neighbourhood, the Blue Mountains in NSW, one of the few certainties is that the NDIS will change how people with disabilities access health care, but may also see people with chronic illness fall through the gaps. The days of institutions for disabled people are drawing to a close, thank goodness – but what will this new individualised model of choice mean for people who only received access to health care in those institutions?

But the NDIS is just one part of the disabled picture . One in five Australians have some form of disability, and yet the world around us is still designed for an able body. Access to justice, to jobs and housing are just a few of the ways that people with disabilities are shut out. I'm going to feature articles on what's happened to the National Disability Strategy, and why that matters; how barriers to justice keep people in danger; and what does real access look and feel like.

(I'm using crip here in the context of reclaiming language that was previously used to insult. Please note that not all people with disabilities use, or like the word crip, so don't use it if you are not disabled, or assume that all disabled people find this affirming. Here's the mighty Stella Young's take on this word.)

How The Funds Will Be Used

I'm asking for your support to explore these kinds of issues in a series of articles for Croakey. The series will be edited by Croakey’s Marie McInerney, an experienced editor and journalist. These columns will be of interest to disabled people who engage with the health system, medical workers who want to better understand disability, disability workers who want to support disabled people make their own choices and policy makers working on this fascinating intersection of health and disability policy.

With your help, this is a chance to raise the kind of complex policy issues that are often overlooked, but are incredibly important. Disability issues are often hidden, or left on the fringes of public debate – this is your chance to support the work to make them front and centre.

There are a variety of rewards on offer, such as acknowledgement of your support on Croakey, an exclusive newsletter from me, featuring thoughts (and LOTS of opinion) on disability issues, and profiles of disabled people you really need to get to know. There are also copies of the excellent 'spoonful' magazine, with thanks to the Arts Health Institute, and box sets of the award winning No Limits tv series, with huge thanks to Disability Media Australia.  You can even choose the topic of one of my articles!

The money will be spent on:
- $2,000 to me for four in-depth articles,
- The excellent Pat Bowden gets $100 for the video
- Croakey gets $650 for moderation, graphic design, editing, hosting and support
- And then there's 5% of the total raised to Pozible.

Anything over this amount means more articles!
Successful
on 11th Sep 2015 at 12:10am. The payment portal is closed now.
A$10 +My eternal thanks!Massive appreciation from me and the satisfaction you get from helping more disability stories published.
9 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is October 2015
A$25 +Twitter shout out!Big thanks and a Twitter shout out for supporting #cripcroakey
5 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is October 2015
A$50 +Thanks on Croakey You'll get a Twitter shout out, and your name in lights on the #cripcroakey section of Croakey
13 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is October 2015
A$80 +Spoonful magazine copyAll of the above, plus a copy of spoonful, the magazine of the Arts Health Institute.
0 Chosen | 25 AvailableEst. delivery is October 2015
A$100 +Exclusive contentAll of the above, plus exclusive e-news from me, with profiles of disabled Australians you need to know, and quite a few opinions.
11 Chosen | 9 AvailableEst. delivery is October 2015
A$150 +No Limits box setAll of the above, plus a box set of the award winning No Limits TV series, from Disability Media Australia.
1 Chosen | 2 AvailableEst. delivery is October 2015
A$500 +Pick the topic!All of the above, plus you get to choose the topic for one column, as long as it's about disability and health.
0 Chosen | 2 AvailableEst. delivery is October 2015