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The Disability Royal Commission’s (DRC) recently released 12 volume report into the state of support, laws, policies, and practices has made 222 recommendations ranging from human rights to employment, torture, education, and housing.

The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) – a peak body representing 35 member organisations including 11 Disability Representative Organisations – has welcomed the DRC’s recommendations to strengthen human rights and legal mechanisms for people with disability but is surprised that Australians with disability over 65 have been omitted from its recommendations.

Ross Joyce, CEO of AFDO, says ’the recommendations to establish a Disability Rights Act to bring Australia into alignment with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability, and to create a Ministerial role for a new National Disability Commission to drive the recommendations are welcome reforms.’

‘It’s one thing to shine a light on issues of violence, abuse and discrimination across a range of sectors, from employment to education and housing, but we need the infrastructure to drive that change and bed it down,’ says Joyce.

‘The other suggestion we like are proposals to reform and strengthen the Disability Discrimination Act (1992),’ says Joyce.

‘These are matters that our members have made submissions around and it’s encouraging that the Commission has accepted those recommendations.

An area of oversight from the DRC was on the issue of People with Disability who were over 65 and not covered by the NDIS.

The DRC stated that due to the Royal Commission into Aged Care, it felt it was an area that was not in its remit, a position AFDO sees as a major and very concerning oversight.

‘There are around 2 million older Australians with a disability who are not covered by the NDIS, receive insufficient or no supports, are extremely vulnerable to exploitation and have fallen through the cracks for far too long,’ says Joyce.

The issues raised in the 12 volume DRC report cover a wide scope of areas, from First Nations issues, people with disability that are incarcerated, employment, economic exploitation, housing, inclusive education, the NDIS, rural and regional infrastructure, and people from CALD backgrounds.

‘AFDO is working through the detail of the DRC report with our member organisations and will have more to say on these important matters shortly,’ says Joyce.

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