The Royal Commission held a public hearing in Sydney from Tuesday 18 to Friday 21 August 2020. The four days of hearings included appearances by advocates and representatives of advocacy organisations, and National peak disability representative organisations.
Selected category: General
The Australian Government is leading the development of a new National Disability Strategy for beyond 2020. Commonwealth, state, territory and local governments across Australia are working together in consultation with people with disability, their families and carers, advocacy organisations, and peak bodies to develop the new Strategy.
Following the suffering and death of Ann Marie Smith, the South Australian Government Minister for Human Services established the Safeguarding Task Force.
Recommendation 7 of the Safeguarding Task Force report is that “the State government invests in individual advocacy to assist individuals with accessing what they need from the NDIS and from the community.”
The NDIA and Victorian Government must prioritise people with disability so they do not suffer in Stage 4 lockdowns. As the Victorian COVID-19 situation worsens and ‘a state of disaster’ is declared, children and adults with disability need to be a primary focus of government. We have already seen infections in group homes for people with disability, and significant impacts on their access to services and children’s right to education.
DANA recently conducted an online survey to capture the demand, issues and experiences of advocacy organisations as they work within the challenging COVID-19 environment.
So far survey results have indicated that just over half of the responding organistions have experienced increased demand because of COVID-19, while a quarter of organisations indicate their capacity to take on new advocacy clients has decreased during the pandemic.
Blue Knot Foundation will be elevating its promotion of the National Counselling and Referral service as a key trauma-informed support for people with disability, family members, carers, advocates and workers who have experienced or witnessed abuse, neglect, violence and exploitation. Anyone who wishes to access this support does not need to make a submission or have any prior involvement with the Disability Royal Commission.