Disability Royal Commission Updates

The Disability Royal 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.

These incidents might have happened recently or a long time ago. The Disability Royal Commission will investigate:

  • 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.

We will keep you updated with information as it is made available from the Commission website at disability.royalcommission.gov.au.

The Commission also has a newsletter Connect, to provide updates and news on the Commission's work. Click here to read previous editions and to subscribe.

Support is available

The Australian Government is funding counselling and advocacy support services for people with disability who have experienced violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation, and anyone who is engaging with or affected by the Disability Royal Commission. These services are free, independent and confidential.

For support or to find out more, call the National Counselling and Referral Service on 1800 421 468 or visit the Department of Social Services website.

Legal Advisory Service - Your Story Disability Legal Support

National Legal Aid (NLA) together with the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS) provides a free, national legal advisory service for people engaging with the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. Your Story Disability Legal Support is an independent, trauma-informed and culturally safe service, delivered nationally

Legal financial assistance scheme

In addition to information about the legal advisory service, information about the legal financial assistance scheme is available from the Australian Government Attorney-General's Department

Advocacy Services

Commonwealth-funded advocacy support services are available under the National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP). Information  can be found at National Disability Advocacy Program, along with a Disability Advocacy Finder tool to help you locate a service provider near you. You can also call the Disability Royal Commission Hotline on 1800 517 199  or email DRCEnquiries@royalcommission.gov.au.


Updates

April 2021

Routinely ignoring rights of people with disability a key factor in mistreatment

21 April 2021
People with disability routinely experience being called ‘inferior’, ‘a burden’, or ‘a menace.’ These are just a few of the labels people with disability commonly encounter as reported in the ‘Overview of responses to the Rights and attitudes issues paper’, published by the Disability Royal Commission.
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

Overview of responses to the Restrictive practices issues paper published

13 April 2021
The Disability Royal Commission has published the Overview of responses to the Restrictive practices issues paper.
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

March 2021

Not a recipe for success – The ‘creaming’, ‘parking’ and ‘churn’ of disability employment services

31 March 2021
In a summary of responses to the Disability Royal Commission’s “Employment issues paper” published today, several respondents singled out Disability Employment Services (DES) and raised numerous concerns about their design and implementation.

Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

People with disability face much greater risk of violence than people without disability

16 March 2021
A new report published today reveals that in the last year women with disability were more than twice as likely to report sexual violence as women without disability.
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

What are the experiences of culturally and linguistically diverse people with disability in Australia?

9 March 2021
The Disability Royal Commission wants to investigate the specific experiences of culturally and linguistically diverse people with disability to better understand violence against, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people from diverse backgrounds and improve responses when they do occur.
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

People with disability at much greater risk of neglect during emergencies

4 March 2021
The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (the Royal Commission) has published its Overview of responses to the Emergency planning and response issues paper.
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

An examination of education and training of allied health professionals continues

1 March 2021
The education and training of dentists, pharmacists and allied health professionals, including psychologists and speech pathologists, in relation to the health care and treatment of people with cognitive disabilities will be further investigated when the Disability Royal Commission holds Day 3 of public hearing 10 on March 2nd 2021.
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

February 2021

Disability Royal Commission releases third progress report

10 February 2021
The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability has released its Third Progress report, covering the period from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2020.
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

The Disability Royal Commission welcomes Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine national roll-out strategy and its prioritisation of people with disability and disability care staff

9 February 2021
The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability has welcomed the release of ‘Australia’s ‘COVID-19 vaccine strategy’. The Royal Commission strongly supports giving priority to disability care residents and disability care staff (Phase 1a) and to younger adults with a disability (Phase 1b).
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

The Disability Royal Commission will examine how people with disability fare in the criminal justice system

5 February 2021
Indefinite detention of, and the overrepresentation of people with cognitive disability in the criminal justice system will be examined when the Disability Royal Commission holds its next public hearing on 16-25 February 2021.  This hearing will consider the need for the provision of proper supports to people with disability. 
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

January 2021

Update from Disability Royal Commission on cyber-security incident

22 January 2021
On 23 November 2020, the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability issued a media release following advice from Law In Order that they, as the Royal Commission’s document and evidence management service provider, had been affected by a cyber-security incident. The Royal Commission is one of Law In Order’s many clients affected by the incident. This is an update to the Royal Commission’s earlier release. 
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

December 2020

People with disability over-represented at all stages of the criminal justice system

23 December 2020
People with disability, particularly First Nations people with disability, are over-represented at all stages of the criminal justice system, the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability has been told in responses to its Criminal Justice System Issues Paper.
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

Research paper highlights key elements of legislation covering people with disability

22 December 2020
The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Violence against People with Disability has issued a research paper listing key elements of legislation affecting people with disability.
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

Disability Royal Commission examines education and training of health professionals in relation to cognitive disability

8 December 2020
The training and education of health professionals, specifically in relation to treating people with cognitive disability will be the focus of the next public hearing of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

Disability Royal Commission seeks information on creating a more inclusive society for people with disability

4 December 2020
The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability is seeking to hear from people with disability following the release of its issues paper on ‘Promoting Inclusion’.
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

Disability Royal Commission calls for greater acceptance and inclusion in society of people with disability

3 December 2020
People with disability deserve greater understanding, empathy and support if Australia is to become a more inclusive society, Chair of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability Ronald Sackville AO QC says.
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

Disability Royal Commission seeking feedback on violence and abuse at home

2 December 2020
People with a disability who have experienced violence in their homes are being invited to share their experiences with the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation.
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.


November 2020

Disability Royal Commission recommends changes following COVID-19 hearing

30 November 2020
It was a “serious failure” that no Australian Government agency with responsibility for disability policy, including the Department of Health, made “any significant effort” to consult with people with disability or their representative organisations during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, a report by the Disability Royal Commission says.
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

Disability Royal Commission to examine pathways and barriers to people with disability finding employment

30 November 2020
Pathways and barriers to open employment for people with disability will be the subject of the ninth public hearing of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability to be held in Sydney.
It will be the first public hearing of the Royal Commission concerning economic participation of people with disability.
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

Disability Royal Commission work unaffected by supplier's cybersecurity incident

23 November 2020
The Disability Royal Commission says its current hearing and its ongoing operations have not been significantly affected by a cybersecurity incident against an IT service provider, Law In Order, that provides document and digital support to the Commission.
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

Disability Royal Commission calls for input on best practice safeguards and quality services for people with disability

18 November 2020
The Disability Royal Commission wants to hear about how people with disability experience safeguards, what promotes quality in services, and how these may prevent and reduce their exposure to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

Disability Royal Commission to engage with First Nations people with disability and their families in contact with child protection systems

11 November 2020
First Nations people with disability and their families who have interacted with child protection systems will tell their stories at the next public hearing of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.


October 2020

Disability Royal Commission releases Interim Report

30 October 2020
People with disability are experiencing violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation across all aspects of their lives, including in education, health care and justice settings, and in their homes, workplaces and communities, the Disability Royal Commission’s Interim Report says. The report is available in Easy Read versions and is available from the Commission's website.
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

Equal access to schools, use of restrictive practices and lack of supports seen as key issues as Disability Royal Commission releases report into inclusive education hearing

27 October 2020
The Royal Commission today released its report on the public hearing ‘Inclusive Education in Queensland – Preliminary Inquiry’ held from 4-7 November 2019. 
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

Use of specific language important for people with disability: DRC Report

22 October 2020
*Content warning: this media release deals with material that may be distressing.
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

"Charity and pity" a failing of society to embrace people with disability: DRC Report

22 October 2020
Society’s “paternalistic presumptions” of people with disability was preventing them from living lives on their own terms, a new report suggests.
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

First Nations peoples with disability suffering trauma and abandonment: DRC Report

22 October 2020
*Please be aware that this release contains information that may be distressing to readers.*
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

Calls for better communication and training, and lifetime health plans as the Disability Royal Commission releases report into health care for people with cognitive disability

21 October 2020
The Royal Commission has today released its report into the fourth public hearing Health care and services for people with a cognitive disability. 
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

Experiences of health care for people with cognitive disability published on Disability Royal Commission website

20 October 2020
Access to quality health care, the use of restrictive practices and involuntary treatment are just some issues that people with cognitive disability say they deal with on a daily basis when it comes to health care. 
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

Disability Royal Commission Chair welcomes Federal Government confidentiality protections

20 October 2020
The Chair of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability, Ronald Sackville AO QC, has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement that it will introduce legislation to protect the confidentiality of submissions beyond the life of the Royal Commission.
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

Australia failing to enshrine rights of people with disability in law: Disability Royal Commission report

8 October 2020
The federal government could do more to legislate greater rights for Australians with disability, a legal assessment of the nation’s constitutional obligations has revealed.
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

Australia not upholding UN human rights protocols of people with disability: Disability Royal Commission Report

8 October 2020
Australia is not upholding all its responsibilities under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a report for the Disability Royal Commission has found.
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

People with disability from culturally and linguistically diverse communities urged to engage with Disability Royal Commission

7 October 2020
People with disability from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities are being urged to submit their stories of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation with the Disability Royal Commission via their smartphones.
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.


September 2020

Australia allowing human rights violations of people with disability: DRC Report

21 September 2020
Australia’s interpretation of the UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was preventing reform and allowing human rights violations such as “arbitrary and indefinite detention” and “forced treatments and medical interventions” a new research paper has found.
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

Public hearing on psychotropic medication, behaviour support and behaviours of concern

18 September 2020
Disability Royal Commission media release

This public hearing will examine use of psychotropic medication as a chemical restraint.  A chemical restraint occurs when medication is not used to treat a diagnosed mental disorder, a physical illness or a physical condition but used for the purpose of influencing a person’s behaviour.
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.

4 September 2020
Disability Royal Commission media release

The use of psychotropic medication in response to behaviours of concern in people with disability is to be examined by the Disability Royal Commission at its next public hearing beginning on Tuesday 22 September.
Visit the Royal Commission's website to find out more.


August 2020

Education and Learnings Issues Paper

13 August 2020
Disability Royal Commission media release

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability has published responses to its Education and Learning issues paper.
Visit the Royal Commission's website to read more.

Royal Commission releases Second Progress Report

11 August 2020
Disability Royal Commission media release

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability has released a Second Progress Report, summarising the work carried out between 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2020.
Visit the Royal Commission's website to read the report.


July 2020

Royal Commission releases hearing schedule

28 July 2020
Disability Royal Commission media release

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability has released a schedule of public hearings for the rest of the year, commencing from Tuesday 18 August.
Three public hearings will be held in Brisbane:

  • Week of 12 October 2020: 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 2020: Public hearing, Brisbane
    Long term, including indefinite, detention and interactions with the criminal justice system experienced by people with disability
  • Week of 23 November 2020: Public hearing, Brisbane
    The experiences of First Nations people with disability and their families in contact with child protection systems

Click here to visit the Commission's website to read more.

Sharing your story with the Disability Royal Commission

27 July 2020
Disability Royal Commission media release

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability has thanked the many Australians who have already shared their stories and experiences.
Click here to visit the Commission's website to read more.


June 2020

Public hearing to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on people with disability

18 June 2020
Disability Royal Commission media release

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability has announced a public hearing to examine the experiences of people with disability during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Chair Ronald Sackville AO QC said subject to any significant changes in circumstances; the hearing will take place in Sydney during the week commencing 17 August 2020.
Click here to visit the Commission's website to read more about the upcoming hearing.

First Nations People with Disability issues paper

9 June 2020
Disability Royal Commission media release

The latest issues paper released by the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability seeks information about the experiences of First Nations people with disability.
To read more about the issues paper, and how you can respond: click here to visit the Commission's website. 


May 2020

Restrictive Practices Issues Paper

26 May 2020
Disability Royal Commission media release

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability is seeking information about the use of restrictive practices on people with disability.
To read more about the release of the issues paper, and how you can respond, click here to visit the Commission's website.

Royal Commission looks at employment of people with disability

12 May 2020
Disability Royal Commission media release

The latest issues paper published by the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability looks at the experiences of people with disability in employment.
In 2018, the Australian Bureau of Statistics Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, found just over half, 53.4 per cent of people with disability were in the labour force, compared with 84.1 per cent of people without disability.
To read more about the release of the issues paper, and how you can respond, click here to visit the Commission's website.


April 2020

Commission releases new Issues Paper on rights and attitudes

28 April 2020
Disability Royal Commission media release

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability has published its latest issues paper.
The Rights and attitudes issues paper is designed to assist the Royal Commission in its investigation about people’s awareness and understanding of the rights of people with disability.
It also seeks feedback about community attitudes towards people with disability and about how well advocacy is working for people with disability, to prevent or help respond to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
To read more about the release of the issues paper, and how you can respond, click here to visit the Commission's website.

Emergency Planning and Response Issues Paper

15 April 2020
Disability Royal Commission media release

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability is seeking information about the experiences of people with disability during recent emergencies in Australia.
The Emergency Planning and Response Issues Paper published on 15 April 2020 seeks feedback about what can be done to improve the safety and wellbeing of people with disability during similar emergencies in the future.
To read more about the release of the issues paper, and how you can respond, click here to visit the Commission's website.


March 2020

Disability Royal Commission calls for urgent action

26 March 2020
Disability Royal Commission media release

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability is calling on all Australian governments to ensure that responses to COVID-19 include dedicated strategies and take all necessary measures to protect and support people with disability. 
The Royal Commission has issued a Statement of Concern about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with disability.
Click here to read more and to read the Statement of Concern.

Royal Commission suspends all public events

16 March 2020
Disability Royal Commission media release

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability has suspended public hearings, due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus.
Click here to visit the Commission's website to read more.

Royal Commission hearing to continue investigating education

10 March 2020
Disability Royal Commission media release

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability will continue its investigation into education at a public hearing in Brisbane.
The hearing will take place in a specially designed and purpose-built hearing room from Tuesday 24 March – Friday 27 March.
Click here to read the Commission's website to read more.


January 2020

Welcome to the first Disability Royal Commission update for 2020

To begin the year, the Commission released its First Progress Report to explain the work that was done in 2019, and what work will take place in 2020. You can access an Easy Read Report Summary on the website

The Commission has also released the calendar of planned events for 2020, which can also be found on the website.

If you wish to make a submission or take part in the Royal Commission, an easy read version of the Draft Accessibility Strategy has been published by the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. Click here to download.

First hearing to take place in February 2020

The first public hearing for 2020 will take place on Monday 17 February at Novotel Sydney Olympic Park Hotel, Western Sydney. Find out more information here.

Two new issues papers open for comment

Responses are currently being sought from the community on two different issues papers. Click below to find out more.

Health care for people with cognitive disabilities
Group homes

Upcoming Community Forums

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability is inviting people with disability and their families to community forums in the Queensland cities of Ipswich and Logan on 4-5 February 2020.

Logan

Tuesday, 4 February 2020 |  10:00am – 12:00noon | Logan Entertainment Centre, 170 Wembley Road Logan Central
Register for the Logan community forum

Ipswich

Wednesday, 5 February 2020 | 11:00am – 1:00pm Ipswich Civic Centre, 50 Nicholas Street, Ipswich
Register for the Ipswich community forum


 

November 2019

Hearing to be held in Melbourne on the theme of homes and living

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability will hold a public hearing in Melbourne from 2 to 6 December 2019. Find out more on the Commission's website.

Education issues paper open for comment

As the first public hearing on the theme of education continues, please be reminded that there are still many ways for you to have your say on this topic. You can provide responses on the Education and Learning Issues Paper.



September 2019

Submissions

The Disability Royal Commission is now accepting submissions. Submissions can be made using the form available on their Submissions page.

If you require assistance with making a submission, support will shortly be available through an advisory service and advocacy support being funded by the Australian Government. Please subscribe to their mailing list if you would like this support, and they will let you know as soon as support services are available.

Taking part in the Royal Commission

An easy read version of the Draft Accessibility Strategy has been published by the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. Click here to download.

Community Forum

The Royal Commission held its first community forum in Townsville on Monday, 9 September 2019. Read more on the Commission's website.

Information regarding further community forums will be posted on the Disability Royal Commission website.

The first public hearing of the Royal Commission will be held in Brisbane on Monday, 16 September. This officially opens the Royal Commission and provides the opportunity for the Commissioners to be formally introduced, explain how the Commission will operate and what it hopes to achieve.

 

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