The Disability Royal Commission

News in summary

Posted June 28, 2021

DRC logo

The Disability Royal Commission (DRC) is investigating violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people living with disability.

The Disability Royal Commission published an issues paper on rights and attitudes in April 2020. The paper looked at attitudes in the community towards people with disability and awareness of the rights of people with disability.

Responses to the issues paper highlighted how negative attitudes affect people with disability throughout their lives.

Things that contribute to a person being maltreated, bullied, abused, neglected or exploited are:

  • rights – there is not enough awareness and understanding of the rights of people with disability.
  • advocacy – people with disability need more advocacy, support and services.
  • assumptions – some people assume people with disability cannot make decisions, which limits their autonomy, choice and control.
  • attitudes – people with disability can be considered inferior, a nuisance, not fully human or of no value.
  • media – people with disability are underrepresented and misrepresented in the media. Disability continues to be portrayed as a problem, reinforcing negative attitudes.

Proposals for change

People who responded to the issues paper made many proposals for change.

Proposals included:

  • that the Australian Government put a charter of rights in the Constitution
  • that everyone can access information and resources about the rights of people with disability
  • that people with disability co-design strategies and initiatives to raise community awareness about their rights
  • increasing funding for advocacy programs and services, including self-advocacy support
  • making sure people with disability appear in the media, and that the media show disability in a positive way.

How to share your story

To make it as easy as possible, these free services are available to support you:

Blue Knot Foundation

Counselling and referral service for people with disability, their families and carers, and anyone affected by the DRC.

Call the national hotline on 1800 421 468.

Your Story Disability Legal Support

Legal advice to help you interact with the Disability Royal Commission. This service is confidential and independent from the DRC.

Call them on 1800 771 800.

Other services in Tasmania that can support people in relation to the DRC are:

• Relationships Australia Tasmania

1300 364 277, www.tas.relationships.org.au

• Advocacy Tasmania

1800 005 131, www.advocacytasmania.org.au

• Speak Out Association of Tasmania

6231 2344, www.speakoutadvocacy.org