In April the Morrison government announced a Disability Royal Commission. $527 million has been allocated over five years, which includes funding specifically to support for people with disability to have their say. The Commissioners have been announced, but not without some concern regarding perceived conflict of interest.
There have been a number of sector and government inquiries over the past 10 years which highlighted the vulnerability of people with disability in both community and service settings. In WA this included the advocacy organisations PWdWA and DDWA 2015 report, Behind Closed Doors which shared the experiences of people who experienced or witnessed abuse.
I welcome the announcement of the Royal Commission and the process it has established to ensure a whole of community approach is adopted and the commitment they have made to make it accessible. At Interchange we recognise this process will help people with disability, and their supporters, to expose past wrongs, be protected into the future, and be safe and active citizens in a community where they feel valued – a community in which Everyone Belongs.
This is the biggest Royal Commission in Australia’s history. It has a very broad scope and will cover people of any age and any setting. The Commission will consider people with any form of disability, from birth or acquired through illness, accident or the ageing process, including people with cognitive, physical, sensory, intellectual or psycho-social disability.
The Royal Commission will investigate
- Incidents of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation against people in any setting be that the family home, community settings, mainstream services (like schools, hospitals, police and courts, etc) or disability service providers.
- How the government, community and services can improve reporting, investigations and responses to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation to protect people into the future.
- How we can foster a more inclusive society that values and supports people to be safe and live a good life.
If you have experienced violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation, or know a person with disability that has, you have a chance to speak out. The Disability Royal Commission is now accepting submissions from people and organisations about their experiences.
Anybody can make a submission. You can find out more on their website or contact us to see how we can help. The first hearings are happening in Queensland shortly. It isn’t clear when the Commission is coming to WA, but we will let you know when they do through and other updates our Facebook page.
If you want to keep up to date with announcements from the Royal Commission, you can join their mailing list here.