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Disability Australia today announced their full support of the Senate’s Community Affairs Committee’s recommendation for a Royal Commission to conduct a more thorough investigation into violence, abuse and neglect of people with disability.

‘The disability community has come together as one to support the need for a Royal Commission to investigate and pave the way for systemic change to the current system which has failed to protect vulnerable people with disability from abuse’ said Matthew Wright, CEO of the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations, and spokesperson for Disability Australia.

Last week, the Senate’s Community Affairs Committee released a report into violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability in institutional and residential settings, and made a number of recommendations which included a Royal Commission be held into the abuse and neglect of people with disability. The report details the evidence of the failure of current systems to deliver safe services to people with disability, and our organisations support the Committee’s call for an urgent review.

‘We see one of the most important elements is to expand individual advocacy through the NDAP program.  Individual advocates have been critical in bringing these issues to light and it’s very important for vulnerable Australians with disability to have support to blow the whistle on abuse’.

‘A second critical element is to progress the transition of closed models (Community Residential Units, Group Homes, Australian Disability Enterprises and other congregate settings and Institutions) that have been wrongly viewed as a safe option.  In fact, closed systems both hide and perpetuate the systemic abuse of people with disability’, said Mr Wright, ‘whereas community living allows the abuse to be seen and reported.’

Disability Australia also put its full support behind the Report’s other recommendations, including that the Australian Government consider the establishment of a national system for reporting, investigating and eliminating violence, abuse and neglect of people with a disability.

Please direct all enquiries to AFDO CEO, Mr Matthew Wright on 0428 608 861.

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