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.
Closing date: June 30, 2021
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 latest round of hearings in the Disability Royal Commission, this time into the experience of people with disability in the criminal justice system, will wrap up today. Over the past seven days, the Commission’s heard of the shocking situation many people, particularly those with cognitive disability, face in jails and other places of detention.
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.
‘Everything about us, without us’: Only 15 per cent of disability royal commission witnesses have lived experience
The lack of testimony from people with disabilities comes amid ongoing concerns over the way the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability has been managed, including calls for greater privacy safeguards.
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.
Melanie’s story was revealed as part of the disability royal commission’s examination of the experiences of people with cognitive disabilities in the criminal justice system who are locked in indefinite detention in forensic mental health facilities.
The Third Progress Report summarises the work carried out by the Royal Commission during the period 1 July to 31 December 2020 including conducting six important public hearings, despite the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, through the use of remote technology The Progress Report notes that the Chair of the Royal Commission wrote to the Prime Minister on 30 October 2020 requesting a seventeen-month extension to the Royal Commission. If the request is granted, the Final Report and recommendations will be due by 29 September 2023.
The Australian Government welcomes the COVID-19 report of the Disability Royal Commission. The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has seen significant challenges in the way all Australians live our lives, however, the Government recognises the unique factors that need to be considered when managing the health care needs of people with disability.
Closing date: February 26, 2021
The Disability Royal Commission is considering all forms of violence and abuse in the home (often referred to as domestic and family violence) inflicted by intimate partners, other family members and First Nations kinship networks as well as support workers, professionals, housemates, and co-residents in shared accommodation and group homes. The issues paper on Violence and abuse of people with disability at home is asking the public to share their views about how people with disability experience violence and abuse where they live. The issues paper asks 13 questions to help people and organisations to provide responses.