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Touching Base Inc logo showing a line drawing of two hands almost touching, and the byline "sex workers and people with disa ility coming together"  at the fingertips

Newsletter June 2020
In this newsletter we are going to be focusing on a few critical issues...

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COVID-19

Obviously we’ve all been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. However Touching Base has been less impacted than larger organisations due to not having an office or any paid staff. We have been able to use digital era options to continue meetings and addressing ongoing and emerging issues through collaborative lobbying via our network of supporters. 

Unsurprisingly there has been a decrease in the number of referral requests we have been receiving since the pandemic emerged. 
We appreciate that people with disability often need time to plan for accessing sex services, so during the COVID-19 pandemic Touching Base will continue to provide referral information so people with disability can continue to investigate their choices.

We encourage clients and their support staff to follow up-to-date public health advice.

Be aware that sex workers may be slow to respond to enquiries during this period. Sex workers will be using varying degrees of social distancing and other measures to avoid risks of COVID-19 transmission for themselves and their clients, but many may still be willing to discuss their services and future appointments.

Scarlet Alliance - the Australian Sex Workers Organisation, has a page with relevant COVID-19  information including the current restrictions on sex work for each State and Territory - under the heading COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS AND DIRECTIONS AFFECTING SEX WORKERS: http://www.scarletalliance.org.au/COV56ID-19/
Because our training is provided in-person we have had to postpone any further workshops for the foreseeable future. We look forward to eventually being able to re-engage with people who want to learn more about how to navigate a positive experience in accessing sex services.

In the meantime if you’re looking for information our website remains available as an extensive resource. It has a frequently asked questions section for clients and offers other resources that Touching Base has available to purchase, such as our social stories and guide for people with disability wanting to access sex workers, et cetera.

Federal Court decision agrees women has right to sex services under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

Of course the biggest news of all has been the recent Federal Court decision - WRMF and National Disability Insurance Agency - that confirmed the right of a woman with multiple sclerosis to have sexual services paid for under her NDIS plan. 

Touching Base has been working with People With Disability Australia (PWDA) on the issue of sex work and the NDIS since 2016. So we were extremely disappointed to see the Federal NDIS Minister Robert’s response to the women’s win by publicly proposing a rule change to the NDIS to ban - not just sex services - but also sex toys (even those specifically designed to assist people with disability who experience limited mobility or dexterity). 

Minister Robert’s NDIS rule change has been sent to all State and Territory Disability Ministers. The Minister’s proposal to change the rules needs to be agreed to by all the States and Territories to be passed. But that is unlikely to happen because the ACT Government moved a motion in their Parliament in August 2019 specifically saying they supported sex workers and sex therapy covered under the NDIS, and our understanding is that other States and Territories may also vote against Minister Robert’s proposal.

We have developed a new section on our website NDIS and sex work where we are uploading all relevant information, including:
  • a FAQ handout we developed in conjunction with PWDA to help people understand why sex services should be covered by the NDIS. 
  • information on the limited services Touching Base can offer in relation to the NDIS
  • our campaign calling for the NDIS to develop a proper policy on NDIS permitting sex services in those limited cases where it is reasonable and necessity and 
  • a section on the court case WRMF and National Disability Insurance Agency. 
So now is a time when it is really important to ensure that you are connected to Touching Base. Along with publishing info on our website, we will also be using Facebook to share information. That’ll give you an opportunity to have your say and pass on any call to action we may have to make if we meet stiff opposition to this recent decision in the future, e.g. if the federal government seeks to change the NDIS legislation through the Federal Parliament

Help our cause 


It’s nice to do a kind turn for another yet why should you miss out ?!

Well now you don’t need to.
A selection of great wines can be had and enjoyed and 50% of the profits go to Touching Base to support our efforts to fight for those that can’t.

Check out our link here

 

END OF FINANCIAL YEAR – a time to give

As the end of the financial year is upon us we’ve already received some generous gifts from people who would like to support our work and donate to Touching Base in time to add to their tax deductions this year.

Whether you would like to donate by cash, cheque, credit card or electronic funds transfer, check out your options on our website:
http://www.touchingbase.org/support-us/donate

Many thanks to our supporters who have set up monthly credit card donations via our GiveNow donation portal. These types of regular donations are a brilliant way our supporters can contribute to Touching Base.

We are enormously appreciative of those members who participate in workplace giving programs by having a small donation for Touching Base automatically deducted from their wages each payday. If you need more details to set up workplace giving donations please contact us via
admin@touchingbase.org.

NSW Charitable Fundraising Authority CFN/21478

 
Remember all donations over $2.00 are tax deductible and because we are unfunded every gift makes a difference. You can donate via our website http://www.touchingbase.org/support-us or click on the GiveNow logo below to directly access our alternate online donation portal right now.
The Give Now logo inlcuding website address www.givenow.com.au and the catch phrase – Give More, give smarter, give better, give now!

Contact Touching Base

General Enquiries:               
info@touchingbase.org             
Phone: 0424 591 409
          

Postal Address:                         
PO Box 523, Newtown, NSW 2042
AUSTRALIA
Referral List:
Referral Request Form:

http://www.touchingbase.org/clients/referral-list

ABN: 182 1399 7639

Website:
www.touchingbase.org
Copyright © 2020 Touching Base Inc., All rights reserved.


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