Closing date: March 20, 2020
The Royal Commission wants to understand the experiences of people with cognitive disability in accessing or receiving health care. Health is a key issue for the Royal Commission because people with disability may experience violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation in health settings. The denial of the right to health care may also be a form of neglect. Access to, and treatment of, people with cognitive disability in the health system will be the subject of the first hearing in February 2020.
Disability and Community Inclusion professor Sally Robinson told the inquiry residents in group homes were being treated in ways that would not be acceptable for other people. “Residents are expected to be compliant, they’re expected to not know very much about their right to complain … They’re expected to endure it,” she told the commission.
The Strategy outlines the principles that will guide the Royal Commission in its engagement with people with disability. It commits the Royal Commission to putting people with disability first in everything we do and explains how we will achieve this. The Strategy was released in draft form for public consultation in August. This version reflects feedback we received from the community.
“My daughter is fearful of everything, she’s had so much abuse,” the mother, referred to as Ms G, told a hearing in Melbourne on Monday. “She didn’t ask to be born with the problems she’s got, but as a result of what she’s been through in the system, she is a very damaged person.”
Dr Spivakovsky questioned the lack of public outrage over the use of what many researchers and activists call “disability-specific lawful violence”.
“I have found the move into supported accommodation resulted in extreme loss of control of my life,” Dr Gibilisco told the disability royal commission on Monday. “I have found it to be a loss to my way of life in a personal and social sense.”
The lawful but “barbaric” use of chemical and mechanical restraints on people with disability should spark public outrage, but instead their use is widely overlooked, a royal commission hearing has been told.
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.
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.