Disability advocates are welcoming strengthened privacy protections for people who testify at the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. New legislation will protect the identity of those who make written submissions to the Royal Commission even after the final report is delivered.
Lisa Sansbury, mother of Adam Goodes, hopes to set an example with her story as a Stolen Generation survivor
Ballarat-based Grampians disAbility Advocacy (GdA) has launched a video to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to share stories with the Disability Royal Commission. This Is My Story gives voice to the experiences of Ballarat-based Indigenous elder Lisa Sansbury.
Legislation and regulation in Australia: Children and young people with disability in primary and secondary education settings’.
The report provides a general description of how Commonwealth funding for education operates; a detailed explanation of how laws regulating education for students with disability function in each jurisdiction; and an examination of each jurisdiction’s anti-discrimination laws as they apply to education (including the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) and the Disability Standards for Education 2005 issued under that Act.)
The report analyses and summarises the evidence presented during public hearing 6. It suggests that psychotropic medication, which are drugs that affect a person’s mind, emotions or behaviour, is being over-prescribed to people with cognitive disability to deal with what are commonly described as ‘behaviours of concern’. Medical evidence along with observations from family and carers indicate people with cognitive disability often experience serious negative consequences from using psychotropic medication And there is not much evidence to support the effectiveness of psychotropic medication as a way to address behaviours of concern
“And the reason Sunnyfield refused to participate in a conciliation is that you had already decided to evict Melissa and you did not wish to have any conciliation until after the eviction had occurred. That’s right, isn’t it?” Ms Eastman said.
She argued Melissa’s complex needs required individualised care from highly trained professional caregivers, but Sunnyfield was unwilling to deviate from the default level of care it provided in its contract.
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.
Disability royal commission calls hearing into vaccine rollout with just 101 care homes receiving first dose
Almost three months into the COVID-19 vaccination program the federal government is still working out the best way to immunise people with disabilities despite their inclusion in the first two phases of the vaccine rollout.
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.
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.
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.
Advocates are calling for change after a report found people with a disability are twice as likely to experience sexual and physical violence than those without a disability.
Dr Cathy Kezelman, President at Blue Knot Foundation and Mary Mallett, CEO of Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA), talk about counselling,support and referral pathways and where advocacy fits into this crucial work. The important work of the Disability Royal Commission is bringing to light the deeply rooted systemic abuse facing people with disability. As we have heard, the abuse is happening in all areas of life – in the home, in education and employment settings, and within the health and services systems. Almost more confronting than the abuse itself is the apparent indifference of people in power and the general public more broadly who have allowed the abuse to continue. Despite lifetimes of not being heard, people with disability are being asked to step up and tell their stories in the hope that this time they will be believed and that things will change. To do this, people with disability need support.
Advocates for a First Nations man detained for 14 years in a “hopeless and desperate situation” say they will renew his case for justice with the United Nations to move him to accommodation where he can live his life with “dignity”.
The disability royal commission needs a dedicated First Nations hearing to investigate the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the criminal justice system, Indigenous leaders say.