How do people with disability navigate the justice system?

Disability advocates are worried not enough is being done to help members of their community to navigate through Australia’s justice system – that includes victims, witnesses and perpetrators. It’s the latest focus of the Disability Royal Commission, which resumes hearings for the year this morning.

2020 Public Advocate police awards

Now in its fifth year, the Public Advocate awards recognise police members, employees and units that have made an outstanding contribution to and improving outcomes for people with disability and delivering a police service that is accessible, inclusive and responsive. A police member who coordinated a sensory-friendly and person-centred search for a young autistic man has been recognised with the 2020 Public Advocate Award for Outstanding Police Service to People with Disability.

Opinion: legal representation for people with disabilities is shockingly low when appealing NDIS decisions

More than 75% of people with disabilities across Australia last year did not have legal representation at their NDIS appeals, according to data obtained under freedom of information from the AAT, which reviews government administrative decisions. While people with disabilities are attending their NDIS appeals without any legal representation, the NDIA uses up to three lawyers to represent it in one tribunal hearing.

Improving the response of the justice system to sexual offences

Closing date: December 23, 2020

This review has the potential to reshape the way the justice system deals with sexual offences in Victoria. Anyone with experience and interest in this area, including people whose work involves responding to sexual harm, people working in the justice system, family violence and child protection workers, people who have experienced sexual harm, counsellors, academics, and researchers are invited to share their views.

People with disability denied care choices

Far too many people with a disability are denied choices about their accommodation, often leading to neglect and abuse, a royal commission says. It said a shift from large housing complexes to smaller group homes had not eliminated institutional forms of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.

Two jailed for million dollar NDIS fraud

Two people from Western Sydney have been jailed for a combined 9 years and 6 months as the result of a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Fraud Taskforce investigation into $1.5m of fraudulent claims against the NDIS plans of Australians living with a disability.

Authorities swoop over alleged insurance fraud

Materials were seized from the sites in Western Sydney to assist the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Fraud Taskforce in its “Operation Pavo” investigation. In a joint release by the AFP, NDIA, and Services Australia on August 27, the authorities said the case’s current fraud value is estimated to be over $120,000.

Police fined but spared conviction over assault of disability pensioner

Three police officers who assaulted a disability pensioner on his front lawn after they attended his home for a welfare check have been spared jail. Senior constables Brad McLeod, John Edney and Florian Hilgart were found guilty last Friday of a combined six charges over their use of force against the pensioner, John, outside his Preston home on September 19, 2017.