Resources

Disability groups welcome royal commission extension

The Morrison government has announced it is extending the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability by 17 months, following strong campaigning from the sector.

Overview of responses to the Rights and attitudes Issues paper

People with disability are often called ‘inferior’, ‘a burden’, or ‘a menace’. They say people assume they are ‘of no value’, ‘not fully human’, ‘objects of pity’, ‘eternal children’ or ‘better off dead’. Many respondents talked about the long term harm such language can have and how this language reflects the ingrained attitudes and discrimination which still exists in Australia towards people with disability.

Our Royal Commission: We need more time to tell our stories

People with disability experience violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation at highly disproportionate rates, and our voices must be heard. The Hon. Ronald Sackville, Chair of the Disability Royal Commission, has requested a 17-month extension. People withDisability Australia support this call, and we ask you to do the same by writing to the Attorney-General, Michaelia Cash. You can use our sample letter, or edit as you like.

Summary of responses to restrictive practice issues paper

Restrictive practices limit a person’s rights or freedom of movement and come in various forms. Seclusion, such as locking someone in a room, using restraints like handcuffing someone to a bed or medicating someone to control their behaviour are all examples of restrictive practice. Respondents said restrictive practices can have negative effects on people with disability. This includes trauma, poor health, shorter lifespan and death. They said using restrictive practices can be degrading and cruel. Their use can create a culture which does not value people with disability, and make denying them their rights seem normal.

Summary of responses to employment issues paper

Disability Employment Services (DES) were singled out and concerns were raised about their design and implementation.  Some responses said the very service that was established to help people with disability find and keep a job, is falling far short of what it was set up to do. Responders described how some DES consultants didn’t have specialised disability knowledge or qualifications, and didn’t act in their client’s best interest. 

Nature and extent of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation against people with disability in Australia’ report

From the information gathered in this report it is clear that people with disability remain at much greater risk of experiencing physical violence than people without disability. In the last year women with disability were more than twice as likely to report sexual violence as women without disability. A quarter of young people with disability reported violence in the last year compared to 11% of those in older age groups. And people with cognitive and psychological impairments reported higher rates of all types of violence compared to people with other types of impairments.

Australia’s shameful detention of people with cognitive disability must stop

The UN has twice called on Australia to dismantle its indefinite detention system for people with cognitive impairments and mental illness, which disproportionately affects Indigenous people. Indefinite detention is what happens to defendants in criminal cases when they are deemed unfit to stand trial.