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Jun 6, 2014

Disability dissent silenced as ABC’s Ramp Up scrapped

Abolishing the ABC's Ramp Up, a national platform for disabled voices, looks like an attempt to suppress dissent at a crucial moment for the sector, writes Shakira Hussein.

Shakira Hussein — Writer and academic in multiculturalism

Shakira Hussein

Writer and academic in multiculturalism

Yesterday afternoon, the ABC disability website Ramp Up announced that it would cease publication on June 30 after failing to renew its contract with the federal government.

14 comments

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14 thoughts on “Disability dissent silenced as ABC’s Ramp Up scrapped

  1. The Pav

    Another rerason why economic rationalism is neither rational nor logical

  2. Graeski

    What else can you expect of a political party that is the moral equivalent of a coward-punch?

  3. Luke Hellboy

    Is Brandis going to tell us we have the right to discriminate against people with disabilities next? It certainly follows the govt’s agenda to close down or merge with another vaguely related public institution that might cause embarrassment to it’s ideologically driven, intellectually bankrupt policies (anything environmental, immigration and citizenship, ABC,the entire f’ing science dept!) Given

  4. Luke Hellboy

    … the govt’s budget fiasco, maybe Treasury or the Finance dept should start getting a bit nervous…

  5. Rob Watts

    As a regular user of Ramp Up and ABC podcasts I am skeptical about Ramp Ups gritty “dissent” especially in an area rife with injustices and corruption. I suffer two chronic conditions – one related to work injuries – I was horrified and disappointed in Ramp Ups backward anti- Voluntary Euthanasia stand or trying to discriminate against the majority of Australians who support basic human rights in that area on the bias that VE choice was in fact just being scared of be badly disabled. I would expect George Brandis to have this view not Ramp Up.

    Along with the religiously and medically politically correct your right to deeply suffer, endlessly, and needlessly – and usually profitably by health providers – is well enshrined in many nanny states such as ours or more enlightened liberal nations.

    RN radio national does a great job of rigorously tackling many of the disabled issues that are now in the national consciousness.

    If the issues need particular attention it is with investigative journalism not an “in-club” that the mainstream may never see in there drop down menu of news items.

  6. AR

    Pav – nor even economic, in that the costs are kicked down the road until too great to be ignored.

  7. AR

    Graeksi – that is toooo perfect a comparison. May I steal it for future use?

  8. Ellen Read

    Rob I think you’ll find that Ramp Up itself doesn’t promote particular views re stuff like that. It is a space for writers with a range of opinions to share their views. If you take a look around you will see this. One example is Ms Young’s article on the changes to DSP, where she expressed her view that the changes are a bad thing. Shortly after another article was published suggesting that the changes might be a good thing. I certainly don’t agree with every article on Ramp Up. This is one of the best things about it – people with disabilities are diverse and Ramp Up reflects this diversity well.

  9. Kate Sommerville

    I agree with Ellen, enjoying the variety of articles on ‘Ramp Up’ over the years.

    I love the fact that it gave people with disabilities and something to say an opportunity to write and to have their work published. It also fostered a sense of community in a complex range of people and views.

    Perhaps other places will emerge to fill the gap. Web journals like Crikey.com itself are possibilities but there may be others.

    Graham Innes’ demise as Disability Rights Commissioner is a tremendous loss to the Australian disability communities.

    I first heard him speak at a forum in Ballarat in 2006 and didn’t actually realise until after the speech that he is blind. At that time I had just taken up a position in local government as a Disability Planner and his analysis of the issues in planning from the perspectives of human rights and history had a profound impact.

    Graham Innes has an amazing sense of humour as well, and we certainly need that at this point in time. 🙂

  10. Rob Watts

    @ellen. Incorrect, I was in fact refering to an article written by Stella in Ramp Up. Ramp Up is reflecting a mainstream position not dissenting nor diversity on this cornerstone issue. For thousands like me voluntary euthanasia is the ultimate disability insurance – a right currently enjoyed by the rich who can fly to a country with euthanasia rights. If Ramp Up discriminates against basic and key rights then I cannot support it.

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