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Disability Royal Commission

What is a Royal Commission? 

A Royal Commission is a big investigation about a very important issue.  

A Royal Commission tries to understand what is not working and how to fix it.  

They do this by 

  • holding public hearings 
  • listening to people’s stories 
  • doing research 

A Royal Commission uses this information to tell the Government what needs to change.

Disability Royal Commission logo

The Disability Royal Commission (DRC) is about violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of all people with disability in Australia. 

The DRC started in 2019 and will run until September 2023.  

Click here for Easy Read information about the DRC.  

Click here for what’s been happening in 2021.

Why do we need a Disability Royal Commission?

Inclusion Australia and its members campaigned hard with other disability organisations for this Royal Commission.

Too many people with disabilities have been hurt through violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation. 

Many systems set up to protect people with disabilities have also failed and are unsafe.  

People with an intellectual disability are especially at risk.  

Read our report on violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation faced by people with intellectual disabilities

How you can get involved

Share your story 

The DRC wants to hear about violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation from people with disability, their families and supporters.  

This helps them understand what is not working and what needs to be done to fix it.  

If you have a story you would like to share, you can share your story online, over the phone or by making a video or audio recording.  

Advocacy organisations in each State and Territory can support you to share your story.  

Disability Advocacy Network Australia also has lots of resources about sharing your story at the DRC.  

Watch the public hearings  

The DRC is holding public hearings around Australia.  

A public hearing is a formal meeting with rules about how it runs.  

Public hearings hear stories directly from people with disability, their families and supporters. 

You can watch or read about the public hearings on the DRC website.  

Be a witness 

Some people who share their story are asked to be a witness at a public hearing.  

A witness is a person who has an important story to tell. 

You can get support if you agree to be a witness. 

Click here for Easy Read information about being a witness at a public hearing. 

Get support 

The stories told to the DRC are difficult for many people. 

Free counselling services are available if the Royal Commission has raised concerns for you.  

Blue Knot Foundation runs free counselling for people with disability and their families.  

You can also get free 24-hour support from: 

Our advocacy

We are one of 8 national organisations funded by the DRC to provide systemic advocacy for the DRC. This includes  

When the COVID19 pandemic hit in 2020, we used this funding to  

Making the DRC safer and more accessible 

We work closely with the DRC to make it safer and more accessible for people with an intellectual disability.  

This includes 

  • advising on best practice for consultations with people with intellectual disability 
  • setting up outreach hearings through our member organisations so that people with intellectual disability can give evidence in an environment that they feel safer in 
  • helping DRC support services provide appropriate support for people with intellectual disability 

We also collected stories from people with intellectual disability, their families and advocates about the topics covered by the DRC.  

You can read these stories here. 

Our submissions to the DRC

Healthcare 

People with intellectual disability face ‘stark health inequalities’ compared with the general population. In August 2020, we made a submission to the DRC on healthcare for people with intellectual disability. 

Read the full submission here.

COVID-19  

The Covid-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact on all our lives. But health inequalities have made people with intellectual disability especially vulnerable. In May 2021, we gave evidence on the impact of the government’s response to the pandemic on people with intellectual disability.  

Read our witness statement here.

Criminal Justice System  

Urgent reform is needed to make sure people with intellectual disability can access their human rights in the criminal justice system. In June 2021, we made a submission on the rights of people with intellectual disability in the Criminal Justice System.  

Read the full submission here.

Employment  

People with intellectual disability experience very low rates of employment and face many barriers to finding and keeping a job. In November 2020, we made several submissions and witness statements to the Public Hearing on Employment.  

Read our report on supporting open employment

Data and statistics 

There are too many gaps in what we know about people with intellectual disability in Australia. 

In October 2020, we submitted a report about what we know and what we don’t know about people with intellectual disability in Australia. 

Read the full report here.

DRC resources from our members

Council for Intellectual Disability (CID) 

CID has Easy Read information about  

  • what is the DRC 
  • having your say at the DRC 
  • public hearings at the DRC

Speak Out Tasmania 

Advocacy support for people 

  • affected by violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation 
  • who want to tell their story at the DRC 

VALID 

Advocacy support for people 

  • affected by violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation 
  • who want to tell their story at the DRC

Developmental Disability Western Australia 

Links to Easy Read information about how to share your experience with the DRC.

Parent 2 Parent 

Information about counselling, legal and advocacy support services available to support people giving evidence at or affected by the DRC.