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Ending the use of Restrictive Practices

Brooke Canham, Policy Officer at Inclusion Australia shares her thoughts on the Disability Royal Commission’s report on Ending Restrictive Practices

The Disability Royal Commission has published some new research about restrictive practices. It was written by the University of Melbourne, the University of Technology Sydney and the University of Sydney. The report is called, Restrictive Practices: A Pathway to Elimination.

An Easy Read version of the report can be found here: Research Report – Ending restrictive practices – Easy Read version (

The research report is about how we can work towards ending the use of restrictive practices.

Restrictive practices are actions that stop people from moving or doing what they want. Restrictive practices also include when someone controls another person, and when someone makes decisions about a person’s life for them. For example, how they spend their money or what healthcare they get.

We know that people with disability have negative experiences with restrictive practices, like people hurting them or making them feel scared. This can make it hard for them to speak up about their experiences. We also know that restrictive practices don’t support the rights of people with disability.

Seclusion is another example of a restrictive practice. Seclusion is when someone puts a person alone in a room or a space and stops them from leaving.

The researchers for the report wanted to make sure they included the voices of the community. They collected and reviewed data. This included facts, information and records. They also spoke with a group of experts from organisations run by people with disability. People with disability shared how restrictive practices impacted their lives and how they felt their rights had been taken away.

One thing we would like to know is whether they talked to people with intellectual disability. This is important because we know that people with intellectual disability are likely to experience restrictive practices.

Here are some examples how restrictive practice can affect people with disability:

  • People might not feel or be safe with the people who provide their care
  • People can feel scared
  • Restrictive practices take control away from people with disability
  • People might feel like they have always done something wrong
  • Restrictive practices can take away peoples human rights

The researchers made lots of recommendations about how to end restrictive practices. There were 4 main parts to their recommendations:

  1. Making restrictive practices against the law
  2. Stop using housing that keeps people with disability away from the community
  3. Governments should make sure people with disability can make their own decisions
  4. People with disability must be able to choose where their live and how they take part in the community

This research is important because people with disability don’t want to be discriminated against, they want to be treated fairly. We need to stop using restrictive practices full stop.

It is important to find better ways to support people with their behaviour and help them to claim their rights and have a voice.

We need less restrictive practices so that we can uphold the human rights of people with disability and make sure people are living inclusive lives.