Ability First Australia supports the establishment of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.
We believe that a Commission marks a critical step in promoting the human rights of people with disability, and that it will give people with disability an opportunity to receive justice for any violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation they may have experienced in the past.
Ability First Australia strongly supports the Government’s recommendation for broad and inclusive terms of reference that apply to “all settings and contexts.” In addition to the terms already raised, Ability First Australia encourages the Commission to consider:
– Expanding the terms of reference to include a review of, and recommendations to improve, the justice system’s handling of people with disability who have experienced violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation
– The need to ensure best practice accessibility by the Royal Commission to maximise inclusion and voice of people with disability. This means ensuring not just physical access, but also communication access, and developing strategies to ensure the Royal Commission’s processes respect and address the impact of disempowerment on people with disability who might want to participate in the Royal Commission
Ability First Australia remains committed to safeguarding the rights of people with disability, and to helping establish a national culture of inclusion, accessibility and respect for all individuals.
This should be a Royal Commission for and about the human rights of Australians with disability. Its time is due. Ability First Australia and its members look forward to fully supporting the Royal Commission to achieve its objectives.
The Commonwealth Government is currently seeking feedback into the Terms of Reference. We encourage all people with disability and their families to provide feedback via this online survey before 28 March 2019. Ability First Australia members commit to sharing the draft terms of reference with people with disability and their families.