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The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with a Disability (Disability Royal Commission) has released several Issue papers in recent months. 

The Disability Royal Commission was established in April 2019 in response to community concern about widespread reports of violence against, and the neglect, abuse and exploitation of, people with disability.

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability has announced a public hearing to examine the experiences of people with disability during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chair Ronald Sackville AO QC said subject to any significant changes in circumstances, the hearing will take place in Sydney during the week commencing 17 August 2020. This hearing will be closed to the public but will be available to live stream. 

A further public hearing was announced which proposes to examine the barriers to education experienced by students with disabilities and experiences of associated violence, abuse and exploitation to be held in Brisbane later in the year.

Public hearings and community workshops were temporarily suspended due to COVID-19 and social distancing regulations. 

The Commission is seeking submissions from people with disabilities, their carers and supporters in response to specific topics or lines of investigation.

Issue papers ask questions about a topic that is important to the Royal Commission enquiry process. The Disability Royal Commission is asking you to share any information you think will help the Commission to do its work. The Issue Papers the Commission is currently seeking responses to are the Emergency Planning and Response issues paper, Rights and Attitudes issues paper, Employment issues paper, Restrictive Practices issues paper and the First Nations People with Disability issues paper.


Skip to: 
Emergency Planning and Response
Rights and Attitudes
Employment issues paper
Restrictive Practices issues paper
First Nations People with Disability issues paper
Making a submission 
Getting help

Emergency Planning and Response

Respond by 17 July 2020

The Black Summer Bushfire crisis and the COVID-19 crisis (pandemic) have been unprecedented in terms of scale and overall danger faced by Australians in recent times. People with disability can be severely affected by emergencies and may be at a higher risk of experiencing violence, abuse, neglect, and exploitation at these times.

The United Nations says that including people with disabilities in all stages of emergency planning and response can help save lives.

The Commission wants to hear how people with disability are included or should be included, in emergency planning and response. People with disability are being left behind during emergencies, including the current COVID-19 pandemic, bushfires, droughts and floods.

Sometimes information and news in emergencies are not accessible to people with disability. For example, it is not in plain English or not captioned. Access to information is a key issue for emergency response planning, and how people have experienced access to information during the bushfire crisis and the COVID-19 crisis is very important.

Some people with disability need help with meals, toileting, showering and getting dressed. Making sure services and supports for people with disability are maintained and delivered safely during an emergency, especially in an evacuation, is essential.

People with disability have also faced barriers accessing medications, ambulances, and health supplies in emergencies. This includes personal protective equipment and sterilising equipment.

There are other topics in this issues paper. These are food and nutrition, housing, education, income, domestic violence, safeguards in closed facilities and community participation.

The Emergency Planning and Response issues paper asks 11 questions to help people and organisations to share their stories. You can answer any, all or none of the questions – whatever you feel is relevant. The paper is available in Easy Read, PDF and DOCX.

For more information refer to the Disability Royal Commission or connect with our information officers over the phone, online, by text or email.

Rights and Attitudes

Respond by 31 July 2020

The Rights and Attitudes issues paper looks at the awareness and recognition of the rights of people with disability. The Commission wants to learn more about the level of awareness that people with disability, and the wider community, have about the rights of people with disability.

It is also interested in attitudes towards people with disability and wants to know more about how those attitudes develop and what can be done to change them.

The paper is available in Easy Read, PDF and DOCX.

For more information refer to the Disability Royal Commission or connect with our information officers over the phone, online, by text or email.

Employment issues paper

Respond by 14 August 2020

The Employment issues paper is looking at the experiences of people with disability in employment. The Commission wants to understand why people with disability are less likely to be in paid work and have a job and have lower incomes or less pay when employed than people without disability. The issues paper is also seeking information about people’s experiences of discrimination at work and how well specific programs designed to increase the employment of people with disability are working. The issues paper asks 9 questions to help people and organisations to provide responses.

The paper is available in Easy Read, PDF and DOCX.

For more information refer to the Disability Royal Commission or connect with our information officers over the phone, online, by text or email.

Restrictive Practices issues paper

Respond by 28 August 2020

The Restrictive Practices issues paper looks at the use and impact of restrictive practices on people with disability. Restrictive practices are actions that stop people from moving or doing what they want and can include isolation and physical and chemical restraints.

The Disability Royal Commission wants to know about the effects of restrictive practice on people with disability and is also interested in understanding how laws, policies and practices around restrictive practices can be improved to better prevent and protect people with disability from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.

The issues paper asks 13 questions to help people and organisations to provide responses. The paper is available in Easy Read, PDF and DOCX.

For more information refer to the Disability Royal Commission or connect with our information officers over the phone, online, by text or email.

First Nations People with Disability issues paper

Respond by 11 September 2020

The issues paper on the experiences of First Nations people with disability is asking the public to share their views about what they think governments, institutions and communities can do to prevent violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of First Nations peoples with disability. The Commission are interested in examples of laws, policies and practices in different settings that are not working or working well. This can be in areas such as education, healthcare, workplaces, the justice system, home, online communities, and families. For more information read First Nations people with disability matter.

The issues paper asks 12 questions to help people and organisations to provide responses. The paper is available in Easy Read, PDF and DOCX.

Making a submission

You can share your experiences of violence, neglect, abuse or exploitation with the Royal Commission. This helps the Commission learn more about the problem and how it can help prevent it in the future.

You can share your experiences by making a submission or applying for a private session with a Commissioner. Submissions can be made in a number of ways and in any language, including over the phone, online, by email, post or even through video or audio recordings. 

You can get information in 10 different community languages. These can be downloaded or they can be sent to you.

Getting help

The Disability Royal Commission has set up support services for people with disability affected by or interacting with the Commission process. These supports include counselling, advocacy, financial and legal help. For more information and links read our resource on Royal Commission Support Services

Your Story Disability Legal Support

Your Story Disability Legal Support is a free national legal service. It gives legal information and advice to people about safely sharing their story with the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. 

Freecall: 1800 77 1800
Visit: yourstorydisabilitylegal.org.au

CYDA

Children and Young People with Disability Australia have created a great resource on the Disability Royal Commission and how to get involved

Phone: 03 9417 1025 or 1800 222 660 (Regional & Interstate callers)
Web: www.cyda.org.au
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For more information, check our full CYDA directory listing

Disability Royal Commission

Phone: 1800 517 199
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: www.disability.royalcommission.gov.au 
For more information, check our full DRC directory listing.

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