A disability advocate has detailed harrowing stories of abuse against some of Australia’s most vulnerable people – from physical assaults to being put in cages – by those paid by taxpayers to care for them.
Disability advocates fear the most severe cases of systemic abuse will not be exposed during the royal commission unless greater privacy protections are given to people making submissions.
The Royal Commission held a public hearing in Melbourne from Monday 2 December to Friday 6 December 2019. It inquired into homes and living for people with disability in Victoria and particularly the experiences of people who have lived or are currently living in group homes. This report finds that the closure of large institutions housing people with disability, with the resulting development of group homes has not eliminated institutional forms of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation experienced by people with disability, particularly those with serious intellectual disabilities.
Far too many people with a disability are denied choices about their accommodation, often leading to neglect and abuse, a royal commission says. It said a shift from large housing complexes to smaller group homes had not eliminated institutional forms of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
“We believe that if Oliver had not have had the labels of autism and intellectual disability attached to him, he would absolutely have not have been prescribed psychotropic medications,” McGowan said.
Responses to the issues paper about education and learning for people with disability have been received from individuals including people with disability, family members of people with disability, advocates, organisations and government. This overview is a summary of what people are saying. The use of restraints and seclusion in schools, experiences of bullying, and what neglect … Continued
At the latest disability royal commission hearings, witnesses testified to how little regard has been given to people with disabilities during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite the refrain throughout the COVID-19 pandemic that ‘we are all in this together’, the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability last week revealed the many hardships encountered by people with a disability over the past six months.
Noting the Royal Commission’s Statement of Concern released on 26 March 2020 about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with disability, and Issues Paper on Emergency Planning, the hearing highlighted the experiences of people with disability during the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic.
Damian Griffis, chief executive of the First Peoples Disability Network, said the virus has exacerbated existing inequalities in Australia. He said the group has received phone calls from across the country from people who don’t have access to crucial items such as incontinence pads.
The single mother of a NSW student with Down syndrome felt her daughter was treated like an afterthought when her high school shut due to coronavirus, a royal commission has heard. “At the core of this there is some deeply-rooted ableism,” she told the commission on Wednesday.
Australians with disabilities have suffered higher rates of domestic and family violence, are experiencing suicidal thoughts, and felt “expendable” during the Covid-19 pandemic, a royal commission has heard.
In a progress report released last week, the Commission said no group of Australians has been more profoundly affected by the restrictions than people with disability. Victoria has asked the Commonwealth for a pandemic payment to limit the movement of the casualised and transient disability workforce, similar to what is in place for aged care, but the Minister for the NDIS, Stuart Robert, argues casual workers are necessary.
People with disability, their families and advocates are expected to testify before a royal commission about their experiences during the coronavirus pandemic. It will hear from about 40 people with disability, their families, advocates and experts as well as government representatives.
The Second Progress Report summarises the work carried out by the Royal Commission during the period 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2020.