It’s important that as a nation we acknowledge the many lives that have been impacted by these terrible stories and do all we can to ensure they don’t happen again. One way of doing this is by taking a step back and asking why we have needed three royal commissions into vulnerable people in our society in such quick succession.
Closing date: February 28, 2020
The Royal Commission is interested in the experiences of people with disability who have lived, or who are living in group homes. It was expected that the group home model would provide people with disability with more independence and meaningful life choices. However, some advocates claim that people with disability living in group homes experience exclusion and isolation, have less choice and control over their lives, and face an increased risk of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
An Adelaide mother has told the disability royal commission her son suffered severe injuries and was made to live in filth while in residential care.
Disability Royal Commission hearings sometimes use terms that most Australians aren’t very familiar with. The ‘Jargon Buster’ is a list of these explained in plain language.
“When you say you’re going to have a royal commission that’s going to have disabled people at the heart of it and then you don’t have a single disabled person whose giving evidence, that’s incredibly problematic,” advocate Samantha Connor said.
Disability royal commission chair’s remarks attacked as ‘provocative, intemperate and inappropriate’
As the first hearing got underway in Townsville on Monday, Mr Sackville took a swipe at activists who had criticised the commission’s processes.
Some students with disability have been denied bathroom breaks and forced to sit in their own urine, while others have been forcefully dragged by their teachers, the disability royal commission has heard.
In summary, the information provided about the process is scant, legalistic and unclear; the counselling service is limited and difficult to access; and there appears to be a lack of awareness and empathy for those of us who have found the courage to share our stories.
Some teachers are “resisting diversity” in their classrooms and failing to cater for disabled students, the disability royal commission has been told. Special education teachers say despite some students having “complex needs”, there is no reason they cannot attend and thrive in mainstream schools.
The disability royal commission in Townsville has been told while there are amazing teachers many don’t want children with disabilities in their classrooms.
10-year-old girl with Asperger’s was hit across the head, pushed from a pier and had to hide in a rubbish bin to escape harsh taunting by classmates, the disability royal commission has heard.
Counsel assisting Kerri Mellifont said some disabled students are subject to violence and bullying so severe they are forced to withdraw from the mainstream school system. “Those submissions and information start to paint the very real and stark picture that in many places persons with disabilities are not receiving equity in their education,” Dr Mellifont said.
Closing date: December 20, 2019
The Royal Commission issues paper on education outlines the Commission’s preliminary understanding of the key issues and barriers experienced by students with disability and asks 13 questions. The Royal Commission is encouraging responses from individuals and organisations to the issues paper by 20 December 2019 (although submissions will be accepted after that date).
It emerged recently that legal support services were still weeks away from being fully operational and that the commission’s in-house counselling team was still recruiting.
“The commission is confident that the issues that have been raised are ones that can be resolved in time for the first hearing,” Ms Pirani said.