We now have an important opportunity to contribute to justice for people with a disability, who at times have been mistreated by the people and institutions charged with their care and safety.
The Disability Royal Commission knows that coming forward to share your experience is a very big step and they want to make it as easy as possible for you to do so. They can provide counselling and support to people who make submissions. You can make a submission in your native language too, including AUSLAN. The commission will provide for translation and interpreting.
You might not be aware that the experience of people with mental health issues is included in the Commission’s terms of reference. The commission is particularly seeking information about the experiences of First Nations people (for example Aboriginal people).
The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and exploitation of People with a Disability, to give it its full title, gathers information through research, public hearings, the personal experiences people tell us about and submissions, private sessions, and other forums. You can share your experience with the Royal Commission online, in writing, by telephone, email, or as a video or audio recording.
Since April 2019, The Disability Royal Commission has been investigating the experiences and conditions of people with disabilities in all settings and contexts, including:
- group homes or boarding houses
- family homes
- day programs
By 17 July, the commission had received 1,162 written submissions and 4,463 phone enquiries. They have published nine issues papers and there have been 2134 responses to issues papers.
You can read the Commission’s first progress report here: https://disability.royalcommission.gov.au/publications/first-progress-report
It will deliver a final report and recommendations for action to the Australian Government by 29 April 2022.
You can download a brochure from this address which explains all about the commission and how you can make a submission. The information is available in several community languages.
You can also ask to be on their mailing list to be kept up to date about developments.
To contact the Royal Commission:
- email DRCenquiries@royalcommission.gov.au
- telephone 1800 517 199 or +61 7 3734 1900 9:00am to 5:00pm AEST Monday to Friday, excluding national public holidays
- post GPO Box 1422, Brisbane Qld 4001
For a free-of-charge translator or interpreter phone the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450. Ask to be connected to 07 3734 1900.
By Warren Heggarty
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