Disability Royal Commission’s Final Report made public — here’s what we know

Posted 6 months ago by David McManus
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Senior Counsel Assisting Patrick Griffin SC at Public hearing 25 in Mparntwe, Alice Springs. [Source: Disability Royal Commission]
Senior Counsel Assisting Patrick Griffin SC at Public hearing 25 in Mparntwe, Alice Springs. [Source: Disability Royal Commission]

The 12 volumes of the Final Report constitute the authoritative version of the Final report.

Key points:

 

  • Over the past four-and-a-half years, the Disability Royal Commission held 32 public hearings across all States and Territories and heard from nearly 10,000 people
  • The Royal Commission’s Final Report was made public on September 29, 2023
  • Ahead of the Royal Commission’s Report, advocates, experts and people with disability voiced their thoughts on what many to expect from the 222 recommendations

 

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability’s Final Report has been officially publicly released, coming in at 12 volumes with a total of 222 recommendations.

The Royal Commission found that across all age groups, people with disability experience considerably higher rates of violence than people without disability. People with disability also experience violence more frequently.

Rates of violence are particularly high for:

◦ Women with psychological or intellectual disability

◦ First Nations women with disability

◦ Young women with disability

 

Summaries of many of the accounts given at private sessions appear, with the permission of participants, in anonymised form in the Final Report. The Report is publicly available online in various accessible formats such as Easy Read and Auslan:

Final Report — Volume One, Voices of people with disability

Final Report — Volume Two, About the Royal Commission

Final Report — Volume Three, Nature and extent of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation

Final Report — Volume Four, Realising the human rights of people with disability

Final Report — Volume Five, Governing for inclusion

Final Report — Volume Six, Enabling autonomy and access

Final Report — Volume Seven, Inclusive education, employment and housing

Final Report — Volume Eight, Criminal justice and people with disability

Final Report — Volume Nine, First Nations people with disability

Final Report — Volume 10, Disability services

Final Report — Volume 11, Independent oversight and complaint mechanisms

Final Report — Volume 12, Beyond the Royal Commission

An additional introductory volume includes the Chair’s foreword, ‘our vision for an inclusive Australia,’ an executive summary of the Report and the full list of recommendations.

 

Notable recommendations include:

 

  • Immediate action to prevent restrictive practices, such as restraint, neck holds or seclusion being used as a form of abuse
  • Establishing a specific disability employment target for new public service hires in agencies and departments of seven percent by 2025 and nine percent by 2030 
  • Ending Australian Disability Enterprises by 2034, with every Commissioner recommending the introduction of a national scheme that would pay employees with disability at least half of the minimum wage

 

While most of the recommendations are directed to the Australian Government, some are directed to State and Territory governments. Other recommendations are directed to non-Government agencies, such as service providers and professional associations responsible for training in disability and related health areas.

The Commission recommended an Australian Disability Rights Act be introduced to strengthen the protection of the rights of people with disability, along with amendments to existing legislation to promote equality and enhance the right of people with disability to live free from discrimination.

Employment and accommodation was a major consideration of the Royal Commission, which concluded:

Mainstream systems must be significantly reformed to remove barriers to people with disability accessing education, employment and housing, to improve outcomes and to enable meaningful inclusion.

 

Commissioners had differing views about whether settings exclusively for people with disability should be phased out over time, with some Commissioners regarding the separation of people with disability from their peers and the community at large as ‘segregation.’

Other Commissioners considered the choices were not between wholly separated and wholly inclusive settings, but are more nuanced — requiring consideration of the specific circumstances in which the physical separation of people with disability takes place.

Commissioners also found that the responsibilities of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the criminal justice system need to be clarified to provide appropriate supports for people with disability and prevent people with complex needs from ‘falling through the cracks.’

 

Have you had a read of the Royal Commission’s Final Report yet? Do you believe that the Commissioners went far enough with their recommendations? Let the team at Talking Disability know your thoughts.