My reflection from the Having a Say Conference 2024

Brooke Canham, Policy Officer at Inclusion Australia shares her experience attending and presenting at the VALID Having a Say Conference in Geelong.

In February I attended the VALID Having a Say Conference in Geelong, Victoria. VALID is one of our member organisations. I presented about the Disability Royal Commission and about Inclusion Australia’s project on Supported Decision-Making.

The best part of the Conference was helping Our Voice and helping one of the members hold the microphone during their presentation. Our Voice is an official committee of the Inclusion Australia Board, giving advice on issues that are important to people with an intellectual disability.  I also helped hand out freddo frogs for their ice breaker where you had to try and open the chocolate using one hand.

I also helped hand out the traffic light cards. Traffic light cards are used to make meetings more accessible. Red for (bad), green (good), yellow (I have a something to say).

I loved being included in the Our Voice presentation and being able to help roam the room with the microphone.

I also enjoyed listening to other people who have an intellectual disability, because I am passionate about doing my job and helping when someone needs it. I feel good about helping people with an intellectual disability.

Helping others at the conference makes me feel like I am doing something to make someone’s day. Listening and seeing a lot of people with an intellectual disability talk about their personal experiences and hearing about what people achieve in their life puts a smile on my face.

Some things were challenging, too. The conference program was very busy, and I found it hard to attend everything that I wanted to, and to catch-up with everyone!

Our presentations

Brooke and Maeve, Senior Manager Policy & Projects

I gave two presentations at Having a Say. One was about the Disability Royal Commission and the other was about Supported Decision-Making. I think both presentations were very good. I spoke slow and I enjoyed every minute.

In the Disability Royal Commission presentation there were so many good questions. I felt very happy because a lot of people took something from my presentation.

I liked how the Supported Decision-Making presentation was spilt in to two. We shared it with our NSW member, the Council for Intellectual Disability (CID). Their presentation was really good. They talked about ‘My Rights Matter’ and how people can communicate with a device to make their own decisions.

When I spoke about Supported Decision-Making it didn’t make me feel nervous as this is an important topic for people with an intellectual disability, it is a human right.

What I learned at Having a Say

I helped on the Inclusion Australia table and explained to people what we do as an organisation. I learned that some people haven’t heard about Inclusion Australia! It was great to share more about who we are and what we do and some of the resources that we have made for different projects.

Brooke and Our Voice Committee member, Kyal

I learned that a lot of people with an intellectual disability have questions about the Disability Royal Commission. It is important that we are there to give independent information about it in accessible ways.

I learned a lot about Boards and Committees from Our Voice. I took a lot away from their presentation and I feel like their information will help me with my own work and in my other advocacy activities.

Thinking about the next Having a Say  

I think it is great that Having a Say is very inclusive and gives people with disability the chance to participate in the conference. I can’t wait to go again in the future! Thank you for VALID!

Inclusion Australia CEO to Co-Chair National Disability Data Asset Council

Catherine McAlpine appointed Co-Chair of the National Disability Data Asset Council

 

On 19 February 2024, Catherine McAlpine, Inclusion Australia CEO, was appointed Co-Chair of the National Disability Data Asset (NDDA) Council. The Council’s first meeting on 19 February has set the agenda for a hopeful path forward, to improve policies and programs for Australians with disability and their families.

The NDDA aims to create a clearer picture of the life experiences of people living with disability. By bringing together de-identified data from different Government agencies into one national disability dataset. The NDAA will offer insights about Australians with disability.

Australians with disability and their families are at the centre of this program’s design and delivery. The newly appointed Council is chaired by three disability community members and data experts.

The Council and panel members will manage research priorities and make sure that data collation is inclusive, safe, and ethical.

Catherine met with the other Council members Dr. Scott Avery, Professor Bruce Bonyhady, Giancarlo de Vera, Ms Rosemary Kayess, and Dr Julian Trollor for the Council’s first meeting on the 19 February. The Council will be meeting several times a year and work toward full data operations by end 2025.

National data that is accessible, accurate, and consistent will provide a better understanding of the barriers and needs of Australians with disability. These insights will help improve the programs and services delivered by disability organisations and Governments.

However, we think people with disability and their families must have a say in the policies that impact them. That is why we encourage you to take part in the National Disability Asset Council too.

There are two public panels for people with disability to join. Expressions of interest are open until Thursday 29 February.

You can find more information below:

NDDA public panels (including Easy Read information): Expressions of Interest and NDDA panel information.

Media release from the Australian Government about NDDA: NDDA media release.

Inclusion Australia’s position statement on the NDDA: Inclusion Australia NDDA position statement.

NDDA website: NDDA website.

National Disability Data Asset position statement

The National Disability Data Asset (NDDA) is a new way of linking data about people with disability.

The National Disability Data Asset (NDDA) will bring together de-identified information from different government agencies to help us better understand the experiences of people with disability.

We support the development of the NDDA. We believe that data can give us important insights about the experiences of people with disability. This can help the government make better policies and programs that meet the needs of people with disability and their families.

There are also important things that needs to happen to make sure the NDDA is inclusive, safe, and centres people with an intellectual disability.

You can read our position statement here: National Disability Data Asset position statement or click below.

My Reflection on the Intellectual Disability Reference Group

Brooke Canham, Policy Officer at Inclusion Australia, shares her experience attending the NDIS Intellectual Disability Reference Group meeting in Melbourne.

The NDIS Intellectual Disability Reference Group (IDRG) is part of the Independent Advisory Council which provides advice to the Board or the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) The IDRG makes make sure the voices of people with an intellectual disability are heard more clearly by the NDIS.

Brooke Canham, Policy Officer at Inclusion Australia is a member of the IDRG. She recently attended their meeting in Melbourne.

Why did you go to Melbourne?

I went to Melbourne for a meeting called the Intellectual Disability Reference Group (IDRG). The meetings take place in different places around Australia. My first meeting was in Adelaide in August.

What happened when you arrived?

On the first day we had a pre-meeting with all the members who have an intellectual disability. We went through the agenda for the meeting to help us prepare.

It was good to see the IDRG members again. I felt less nervous this time. I was able to speak up on the big topics, and I felt like I was able to have my voice heard.

On the second day we got to have morning tea and mingle before the meeting. Then the meeting commenced, and I was able to speak up and share my thoughts and ideas.

On the third day we started the meeting earlier, so we were able to chat during morning tea. Then Kurt Fearnely arrived, and we got to take group photos and have a quick chat with him. Kurt is the Chair of the NDIS Board. He stayed for lunch, and the meeting too.

What were the big topics people talked about?

  • making the IDRG more accessible and inclusive for people with an intellectual disability
  • making NDIS plans more accessible
  • the NDIS Reform for Outcomes program

The NDIS Reform for Outcomes program is about looking at 6 big things that the NDIS needs to do better. The 6 big things will be looked at with people with disability and the disability community so the NDIS can give better support to participants.

You can read more about the NDIS Reform for Outcomes here: www.ndis.gov.au/community/have-your-say/co-designing-reform

Did you have a chance to meet and talk to the other IDRG members?

I got a chance to meet everyone who came to the meeting. I also got to meet the other people with an intellectual disability at the pre-meeting and have a good chat.

What are some things you shared with the IDRG about the big topics?

I spoke a lot about accessibility. I spoke about making sure that the IDRG meeting is more accessible for people with an intellectual disability.

We also talked about making sure NDIS plans are accessible.

Some ideas to make NDIS plans more accessible were:

  • plans and information in Easy Read
  • having your plan in order so it is easy to understand
  • having each part colour-coded
  • clear information about funding

The last meeting was in Adelaide, and we talked about having some accessible things for the meeting, like traffic light cards. They were then used at the Melbourne meeting and were a big success! It made me feel like I was getting heard as you raise a card to share your question with the group.

How did it feel to meet Kurt Fearnley and to have him at the meeting?

I felt very excited when they said Kurt Fearnely was going to be at the meeting. It was nice to have a chat with him. He also listened in on what we were talking about on the last day of the meeting. I also felt happy when I got a photo with Kurt Fearnley.

What is one thing you hope the IDRG can achieve for people with an intellectual disability?

I like that the group is led by people who have an intellectual disability. It gives people with an intellectual disability a chance to speak up and talk about what they would like to see in the future.

Read about Brooke’s first meeting with the IDRG here: www.inclusionaustralia.org.au/speaking-up-at-the-idrg/

You can read more about the IAC here: www.ndis.gov.au/about-us/governance/independent-advisory-council

Vale Mark Pattison

Former NCID and Inclusion Australia leader leaves a huge legacy for people with an intellectual disability

The entire Inclusion Australia family was sad to learn this week about the loss of our former leader, Mark Pattison. Mark passed away in November after a long battle with cancer.

Mark was the Executive Director of the National Council on Intellectual Disability (NCID) for over 20 years. He led NCID through a revolutionary period, from a board that included service providers to a place that focussed on being a true voice for people with an intellectual disability and their families. Mark’s work set the scene for NCID to become Inclusion Australia in 2012.

Inclusion Australia CEO Catherine McAlpine said, “For many years, Mark Pattison was Inclusion Australia to a great many people across government and the disability community. Working closely with the late Paul Cain and our state members, Mark was instrumental in raising the bar on inclusion for people with an intellectual disability and challenging the systems that hold people back. Mark’s legacy can be seen in the changing attitudes to employment of people with an intellectual disability across Australia and the continued partnership and collaboration between us and our members.”

Kevin Stone, former CEO of VALID in Victoria who recently stepped down as Chair of Inclusion Australia said, “Under Mark’s leadership, the issues that we took up in the mid-nineties were the issues that were the most important to our community. Employment, unmet need for services, the closure of institutions, support for ageing parents.”

“We arranged rallies around the country along with major media campaigns to target government policies. Mark pulled it all together. He led the way and turned NCID from a passive organisation into a fist that hit hard on the big issues and was prepared to take on providers and government that were dropping the ball. He understood the power of systemic advocacy in influencing community attitudes and government policy, and he helped turn IA into a truly effective advocacy organisation.”

Together with his wife Helen, Mark lived out his values at home and at work. He had a deep personal connection to the lives of people with an intellectual disability, as shown through his own commitment to adopting children with disability into his own family.

One of Mark’s most important legacies was establishing the Our Voice Committee as a vital addition to NCID’s governance and decision making. Our Voice continues to this day as a way for people with an intellectual disability to shape and influence Inclusion Australia’s work.

Judy Huett from Speak Out in Tasmania worked with Mark as the Chair of Our Voice. Judy told us, “Mark was really supportive of people with an intellectual disability and the Our Voice Committee. He would support everyone on Our Voice in the big board meetings. He would not just let us have our say, he would make sure we had a say!”

Heather Forsyth from VALID in Victoria was also the Our Voice Chair. “I worked with Mark for over 15 years as part of Our Voice. He was a very good support to all the members.” Heather remembers, “He always encouraged people with disability to speak up and have a say about what they want. You could talk to him, but he was also a great listener to self-advocates. Mark was a great role model for all of us. Along with Paul Cain, he is a big loss to the disability field.”

Julie Butler from Speak Out described Mark as being someone who demanded a place for people with an intellectual disability at the table long before other people were thinking about it. “He had a quiet but extraordinary way of supporting people with an intellectual disability but also gently challenging people at the same time to help them grow and be even better.”  She remembers a standing committee at Parliament House in Canberra. “Mark created an opportunity for Our Voice to go. They all did a presentation. Everyone was out of their comfort zone but at the end the whole room gave a standing ovation. Mark didn’t take any of the spotlight and let Our Voice shine. This was back in a time when there was there was very little representation at that level. Mark was a person who made that kind of thing happen.”

Current Inclusion Australia Board member, Jodi Wolthers, CEO of Parent 2 Parent who worked with Mark for many years said, “Mark was never shy of the important conversations. This included knowing when to stick your head out because it was the right thing to do. There was always a risk in speaking truth to power, or a government department that might take your funding away. I have no doubt he angered a lot of people, but he also earned a huge amount of respect from across the disability community.”

“Mark was a great friend to P2P, helping us make decisions about our future. He was a great sounding board, frequently saying, ‘Jodi, you already know the answer: put the needs of people with an intellectual disability first above all else.’ Mark challenged us to establish a self-advocacy group in Queensland. Without that challenge, Loud and Clear wouldn’t exist and be celebrating 8 years. On a personal note, I remember we worked with a young man with an intellectual disability who wanted to be a poet. Mark pulled strings so his poems went in a published magazine to tick that box and achieve that goal. These little but important things wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for Mark.”

On behalf of everyone at Inclusion Australia and our members around the country we send our love and thoughts to Helen, Rachael and Breanna and Mark’s friends.

We want to say a big thank you to Mark for everything you did for us and most importantly for people with an intellectual disability and their families.

NDIS change must be led by people with disability

The NDIS Review is a once-in-a-decade chance to make this critical Scheme fit for the
future, which will only happen if we have a seat at the table, say people with disability
and our organisations.

With the release of the final report following the independent review of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, people with disability, families, supporters, and disability representative organisations, disabled peoples’ organisations and disability advocacy organisations have united in calling on all levels of government to take action to deliver equitable, fair, just and sufficient support for all people with disability.

The NDIS delivers lifesaving and life changing supports for over 600,000 people with disability across Australia. Many people with disability need and use this support to go to work, to school, and to live in the community.

These supports have changed the lives of people with disability and their families, putting equipment and services in reach for the first time. They are essential public services.

However, not all people with disability are receiving the supports they need, and those that are find getting that support is complicated, stressful and often not enough.

The NDIS needs to work better for people with disability and their families. For people with disability who don’t get NDIS support, support needs to be available in their local community and through fair access to other public services.

Over the past 12 months, thousands of people with disability, their families and supporters, and our organisations have been part of the Review.

We have shared our stories and ideas about how to make sure the NDIS is fit for the future. We have also shared our stories and solutions with the Disability Royal Commission which released its recommendations recently.

We welcome the public release of the final report of the NDIS Review. The work must now begin, with people with disability at the table, on a roadmap forward which will ensure people get the support we need, both in the NDIS and in the community.

To make that happen, people with disability must be at the heart of the implementation. This means not just consulted, but with a seat at the table.

We are calling for the immediate establishment of a Disability Reform Implementation Council to oversee how both the NDIS Review and the Disability Royal Commission recommendations are made real.

The Council must have people with disability, our families and organisations at the table to share in decision-making. This is in line with Australia’s Disability Strategy.

We believe that all levels of government must be represented, along with key departments and agencies.

The Council would report directly to National Cabinet and have working groups specialising in key reform areas including education, employment, housing, health and aged care.

There would be a particular focus on ensuring the work of the Council is underpinned by the priority reforms of the National Agreement of Closing the Gap, already agreed to by all governments, in recognition of the continued marginalisation of First Nations people with disability.

In welcoming the NDIS Review report, we are also clear that continued access to support for people with disability is necessary and non-negotiable. Any changes to how support is provided, either inside or outside the Scheme, must not lead to any gaps in the support we receive.

We are ready to work together on this. We call on all governments to take action to make sure people with disability are fully included in this journey, and can be an equal part of the community, including with the essential supports we need.

7 December 2023

This statement has been prepared by:

  • Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO)
  • Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA)
  • Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA)
  • First Peoples Disability Network Australia (FPDN)
  • Inclusion Australia
  • National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA)
  • People with Disability Australia (PWDA)
  • Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA)

Disability Employment Centre of Excellence

Brooke Canham says why she thinks the new Disability Employment Centre of Excellence will help people with an intellectual disability gain meaningful employment.

People with disability can face many barriers to employment.

Through the advocacy work of organisations like Inclusion Australia, the Government is starting to address some of these barriers. However, more work needs to be done so people with a disability can find and retain work.

The Australian Government committed to establishing a Disability Employment Centre of Excellence in the 2023 budget.

What is the Disability Employment Centre of Excellence and what will it do?

It will help people with disability find work, keep work and have meaningful jobs.

It could help employment service providers and employers support people with disability in the work they do.

Why do we need a centre like this and who will it help?

I think we need a centre like this to help more people with disability find the work they want.

It could also help employment service providers and employers give the right support to people with disability in their work.

Who will the centre help?

I hope the centre will be able to help people with disability and their families.

I think it could also help teach employers to build their workers confidence to do well in their work and keep a job.

How will the centre work?

There are different ways the centre will work:

  • support research and training for disability employment.
  • have online resources and information.
  • have experts on disability employment give training.

People with an intellectual disability have told me they often find it hard to get a job and keep a job, and don’t get enough support at work.

The government information says the centre will:

  • help people understand what segregated education and employment is.
  • share information about meaningful jobs and why this is important.
  • explain how the NDIS can help you with your employment and education.
  • help people with disabilities to find jobs and stay in jobs.
  • give accessible information.
  • give supports for people with disability who need support in their work.
  • teach you about your rights – for example, that employers should treat you fairly.

What do you think the centre needs to do to make sure it can work well for people with an intellectual disability?

I think the centre should have easy read information about the centre and what it can provide.

Also, it should include everyone in the conversation; people with an intellectual disability and other disabilities, as well as other groups like LGBTIQA+ and First Nations people.

They need to give information to families and people with disability to understand the way they work and the way they want to participate in work.

How can people tell the government their ideas for the centre?

Discussion papers, consultation reports and submissions were considered in developing an options paper on a proposed model for the Disability Employment Centre of Excellence.

An options paper will help stakeholders make decisions about the centre.

The Department of Social Services is seeking feedback and ideas until November 27, 2023. Feedback and comments are welcome from anyone.

You can find an Easy Read version of the options paper here: Disability Employment Centre of Excellence (dss.gov.au)

You can read the full version of the options paper here: Establishing a Disability Employment Centre of Excellence (dss.gov.au)

An era ends and a new one begins for Inclusion Australia

There was a sense of change at Inclusion Australia this week with the election of a new chair of our board.

Felicity Crowther, Executive Director of the South Australian Council on Intellectual Disability (SACID) has taken over from our longstanding Chair Kevin Stone AM.

Felicity Crowther, Executive Director of SACID and the new chair of Inclusion Australia with our CEO Catherine McAlpine

Kevin officially stepped down last week after almost 30 years as a board member, first with the National Council on Intellectual Disability (NCID) and latterly with Inclusion Australia.

Kevin is well-known across the disability community in Australia and around the world for his work with people with an intellectual disability. As CEO of VALID in Victoria, Kevin was a committed supporter of self-advocacy and the importance of people with disabilities having a say and control over their own lives.

Through his work with Inclusion Australia, Kevin brought his passion and ideas to the national stage, working collaboratively with our members and others around the country on the big issues including deinstitutionalisation, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the Disability Royal Commission and much more.

Kevin with disability advocate Sir Robert Martin from New Zealand at the 2017 VALID Having a Say Conference.

Kevin reflected “When I joined the NCID board back in 1994, I was conscious then of the proud history of our organisation, and felt humbled to be carrying the torch lit by [our] founding members back in the mid-1950’s. As I now stand down from the board, I like to imagine how proud those founders would be to see what has come of their vision.

Reflecting on Kevin’s time, our CEO Catherine McAlpine said “I will never forget Kevin telling me I had his complete trust when I started in the CEO role at IA. To have the backing of such a giant in the sector, a person who has lived their values on a daily basis, felt amazing. Kevin’s generous mentoring on the best way to speak truth to power and his personal reflections on balancing our shared lived experience in our advocacy work has been a privilege to experience. I want to thank Kevin and his family for his enormous contribution in improving the lives of people with an intellectual disability.”

Thinking about the future, Catherine is also looking forward to working with Felicity as the new Chair of Inclusion Australia. “It is wonderful to have Felicity as our new chair. Her leadership from when South Australia had no funded advocacy organisation focused on people with an intellectual disability to now  as the experienced Executive Director of SACID has been fantastic to observe over the past few years. I was lucky enough to be part of the past two SACID conferences and the voice of people with an intellectual disability is at the front of everything they do. I know that Felicity will bring this to her new role too. I look forward to working closely with her in the years to come.”

Kevin with Inclusion Australia Board members in 2021

Reflecting on taking over from Kevin, Felicity told us “The first time I met Kevin I was a student on placement. He came over to South Australia on International Day of Persons with Disability to talk about the work that VALID was doing on rights. I went to visit the team at VALID not long after and remember thinking I wish there was an organisation in South Australia I could work for! That was over 13 years ago, and Kevin has remained an amazing force in the sector. I admire his leadership, so it’s incredible to have an opportunity to try to fill his shoes.”

Sadly, Kevin was not available to attend our recent gathering of the Board in Melbourne for the planned farewell. We will make time in the future to say thank you.

In the meantime, the new look Board has started already including working with members of the Our Voice Committee on their ideas to make sure people with an intellectual disability play an even stronger role in everything we do at Inclusion Australia.

Centre of Excellence in Intellectual Disability Health launches in Sydney

There was some good news for our community this month with the official launch of the National Centre of Excellence in Intellectual Disability Health on Friday 13 October.

Fiona MacKenzie, OAM, Chair, CID

Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, Ged Kearney formally launched the Centre at an event at the University of New South Wales which was hosted by Fiona MacKenzie OAM, Chair of the Council for Intellectual Disability (CID).

The Centre is a commitment from the National Roadmap to Health for improving the health of people with intellectual disability, which aims to address significant health inequalities faced by people with intellectual disability.

Minister Kearney formally opened the Centre, noting ‘there are 450,000 Australians who have an intellectual disability, and they deserve access to excellent, tailored and empathetic healthcare that fits their needs, the lived experience and skills of people with a disability will be central to the success of this Centre.’

The Centre of Excellence will be a catalyst to ensure people with an intellectual disability have better access to quality, timely and comprehensive health care. It will also help give health care professionals the knowledge, skills and right attitudes to work with people with an intellectual disability.

Catherine McAlpine and Jim Simpson, Senior Advocate, CID

Inclusion Australia CEO, Catherine McAlpine was proud to be at the launch in Sydney. Catherine is part of the Roadmap Implementation Governance Group who oversee and provide advice on the implementation of the initiative.

“This is a historic day for people with an intellectual disability and their families.” Catherine shared. “It’s wonderful to be here together with CID, Down Syndrome Australia, 3DN and other organisations that have worked so hard to campaign for the Roadmap and the Centre of Excellence. I especially want to acknowledge the work of Jim Simpson, Senior Advocate at CID and Dr Nick Lennox who have been working towards this moment for many years.”

Catherine added “I also want to congratulate all the members of the successful consortium that will run the Centre. We look forward to working with you to improve health outcomes for people with a intellectual disability.”

The launch also featured, Rhys Nagas, Board member of First Peoples Disability Network Australia. Rhys shared the challenges he has faced in the healthcare system that have led him to feeling “like I was nothing”.

“The Centre of Excellence will be kinder.” Rhys added.

Naomi Lake, Health Ambassador for Down Syndrome Australia shared her role educating health professionals and being part of the intellectual disability Health Roadmap Governance Group. ‘What makes me different, makes me, me. It is really important that people with an intellectual disability are involved in their own healthcare.’

Reflecting on the launch, Jim Simpson said ‘We at CID are delighted to be part of delivering on the Centre’s potential to make big differences in the lives of people with intellectual disability.’

Fiona Mackenzie closed the launch noting, ‘the Centre will give us a voice!’

Naomi Lake, Health Ambassador, Down Syndrome Australia

You can view an Easy Read Guide to the Centre here: The National Centre for Excellence in Intellectual Disability Health Launch – Council for Intellectual Disability (cid.org.au)

You can watch a video of the launch here: https://youtu.be/OmFZ1RLP-lE

Reflecting on the Disability Royal Commission closing ceremony and Recommendations

Inclusion Australia staff member, Brooke Canham shares her thoughts on the Disability Royal Commission’s closing ceremony and the final reports recommendations.

The Disability Royal Commission Closing Ceremony September 2023

The Disability Royal Commission has now finished. It held 32 public hearings, more than 800 people gave evidence and 8,000 submissions were written. 4,000 of those submissions were from people with a disability.

We know that there were lots of people with an intellectual disability that did not get to share their stories.

On Friday 15 September the Disability Royal Commission held their closing ceremony. They showed footage from the Disability Royal Commission’s hearings of people who have lived experience, family members and other supporters. The footage was very emotional.

Poet, Andy Jackson spoke at the closing ceremony. The first poem Andy Jackson read was about Mutual Obligation. It was very interesting. The second poem was called Listen. This poem made me feel strong, it was touching and very interesting.  The poem was about being able to rest, being able to breathe and to be nourished. This meant a lot to me because sometimes, I need to rest and take a break.

The final report and final recommendations from the Disability Royal Commission

The Royal Commission has now handed down its final report.

There are 222 recommendations in the final report.

The recommendations talk about what changes need to happen to meet the vision for an inclusive Australia. It tells us how governments and other decision makers need to come together and work as a team to create more inclusion.

Visions are ideas about how people want things to be in the future. Some people want a future where people with disability are safe, and their rights are respected. A future where you can make your own decisions and live a full life.

There are some things I think are most important for the government to act on:

  • Making it harder to become a service provider by having more checks and procedures that need to be met
  • All documents should be in Easy Read so people can understand and be able to process all the information they need
  • Making government systems inclusive and easier for people with an intellectual disability to understand and follow instructions

What happens next?

The Disability Royal Commission has been very important for people with an intellectual disability. They have had a chance to have their voice heard and be able to talk about their lived experience.

Now it is time for the government to act and make the recommendations from the Royal Commission happen. During the public hearings we heard so many stories of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation that people with disability—including people with an intellectual disability—face in daily life.

If the government does not act, people will just keep experiencing this violence and nothing will change. We cannot let this happen and must make those peoples’ stories have meant something for the future.

You can find all the Disability Royal Commission Easy Read reports here: Disability Royal Commission Easy Read reports – Inclusion Australia