Safeguarding people with disability
MiLife-Victoria is committed to upholding people’s human rights by providing safe, quality services to all who use its services. We welcome and support the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.
The Royal Commission through public and private hearings, submissions and calls for further information, will investigate the following;
- Preventing and better protecting people with disability from experiencing violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
- Achieving best practice in reporting, investigating and responding to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability.
- Promoting a more inclusive society that supports people with disability to be independent and live free from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
MiLife-Victoria is committed to learning from the outcomes of the Royal Commission and will seek to implement changes wherever we can, that will improve the services and better safeguard the clients and families that we support.
To find out more about the Royal Commission and to share your story visit https://disability.royalcommission.gov.au/
Disability Royal Commission Update
The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (herein the Commission) began its most recent public hearing in Sydney from Tuesday, 18 to Friday, 21 August.
The Commission was established in April 2019 in response to community concern about widespread reports of violence against, and the neglect, abuse and exploitation of, people with disability. The recent Sydney hearing was the fifth in a series of public hearings which commenced in September 2019, with a further six hearings scheduled over the next four months.
Since beginning, the Commission has received 1,352 submissions and 5,054 phone enquiries (as at 31 August 2020). MiLife-Victoria, in conjunction with 33 disability provider organisations recently developed and sent a joint submission regarding the Emergency Planning Response related to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as highlighting the unprecedented challenges faced by providers during this time.
The joint submission outlined a total of 122 points of concern and provided five clear and concise recommendations. These were:
- Leadership and coordination of future emergency situations.
- Support for people with disability.
- Transparent pricing to ensure the financial viability of disability service providers.
- Access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
- Appropriate testing and support as well as provision of appropriate advice.
At the recent hearing of the Commission, there was a focus on the response of the federal government to the pandemic. People with disability, their families and advocates testified about their experience during the coronavirus citing months of isolation and rising fear, poor communication or mixed messages from authorities, as well as the inability to access protective equipment and basic supplies as they deal with their ongoing issues during the pandemic.
The hearings are set to continue until December 2020 and the Commission is inviting people with disability, families, support people, organisations and the broader community to share their experiences by making a submission. The hearing schedule is as follows:
- Week of 21 September – Public hearing, Sydney - Psychotropic medication, behaviour support and behaviours of concern.
- Week of 12 October: Public hearing, Brisbane – Barriers experienced by students with disability in accessing and obtaining a safe, quality and inclusive school education and consequent life course impacts.
- Week of 16 November: Public hearing, Brisbane – Long term, including indefinite, detention and interactions with the criminal justice system experienced by people with disability.
- Week of 23 November: Public hearing, Brisbane – The experiences of First Nations people with disability and their families in contact with child protection systems.
- TBC: Public hearing, Sydney – Training and education of health care professionals in relation to people with cognitive disability.
- TBC: Public hearing, Sydney – Systemic barriers in the pathways to employment for people with disability.
For more information about how to make a submission or to stay up to date with the hearing discussions and outcomes visit www.disability.royalcommission.gov.au.