We Belong here – Our nation must end exclusionary systems that harm people with disability
This submission was made in response to the “Promoting Inclusion” issues paper released by the Disability Royal Commission in December 2020.
It examines the ways in which people with disability are excluded across the social spectrum, and the how our exclusion promotes violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
In this submission, we present strategies for moving beyond tokenistic gestures that do little to really address the exclusion of people with disability. What we want to see is authentic inclusion, with a focus on upholding our human rights, equity and social justice.
You can read the full submission and our position statement at the links below.
PWDA Position Statement – We Belong Here (PDF Version)
PWDA Position Statement – We Belong Here (Word Version)
We Belong Here – Submission (Word Version)
We Belong Here – Submission (PDF Version)
People with disability need effective safeguards
Safeguards are laws, rules and programs that are meant to protect our right to live free from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation. People with disability need those safeguards to work well and actually make us safer.
Some safeguards we need include:
- Access to education and other personal capacity building measures to help us maintain personal safety in our communities.
- Preventative measures like laws that uphold our rights, official visitor programs and affordable access to police checks.
- Effective complaints mechanisms wherever we use a service or engage with a government department.
- A national independent statutory body in charge of all disability oversight and safeguarding commissions, tribunals and similar groups in Australia.
Our submission in response to the Safeguards and Quality Issues Paper can be found here.
We have a right to choose homes without violence
People with disability experience a heightened risk of violence in the home. PWDA recommends legislative reforms to state and territory Family and Domestic Violence Acts to include paid and unpaid support workers and co-residents as potential perpetrators of domestic violence. People with disability also need more accessible crisis support and access to justice around domestic violence.
Our submission in response to the Abuse of People with Disability at Home Issues Paper can be found here.
The segregation of people with disability in a host of community settings – including health, housing, the workplace and formal education – is a driver of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability. You can read our joint position paper opposing the segregation of people with disability in all settings by visiting the DPOA website.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought a great deal of changes to everyone in Australia, and particularly to people with disability.
PWDA asked our membership to tell us about their experiences in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. This report sets out the findings.
Survey report – PDFDownload
Survey report – WordDownload
Realising our right to be safe in emergencies
Discussion of the impact of the two recent emergencies – the Black Summer Bushfires and COVID-19 – on people with disability, and the overall disasters that our changing climate will bring.
Our submission in response to the Emergency Planning and Response Issues Paper can be found here.
DRC Draft Accessibility Strategy
In PWDA’s letter on the draft accessibility strategy we argued the strategy should be rewritten in plain English. We called for legal, therapeutic and advocacy supports to be made available before the commission progressed further.
PWDA argued it was essential a trauma-informed approach was taken based on the social model of disability and doing no further harm to survivors. The final Accessibility and Inclusion Strategy was released in December 2019.
Our submission on the Disability Royal Commission Draft Accessibility Strategy can be found here.
Realising our right to live independently in the community
We need to be able to choose where we live and who we live with – PWDA calls for a phasing out of group homes.
In this submission, we talk about drivers of violence and abuse in congregate living. We also discuss the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – which states that people with disability have the right to live independently in the community – and what this means in regard to Australia’s obligations regarding housing options for people with disability.
We outline a transition plan to phase out congregate living and deliver a contemporary, accessible and affordable housing system, while addressing structural barriers.
Our submission in response to the Disability Royal Commission’s Group Homes Issues Paper can be found here.