Since the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability was established in 2019, Spinal Life Australia has supported the efforts of the Commonwealth Government to improve the lives of Australians with disability.
For more than 60 years, our organisation has supported people with spinal cord damage to live accessible, equitable and empowered lives, including advocating for improvements to access, inclusion and equality.
On Friday 29 September, the Final report of the Disability Royal Commission was made available to the public.
The final report is available for viewing here.
Statement from Mark Townend, CEO of Spinal Life Australia.
I welcome the final report from the Disability Royal Commission – an important piece of work for all Australians to create a safer and more equitable environment for people with disability and their families and carers.
Although a thorough examination is impending of all 222 recommendations released today, Spinal Life Australia supports all efforts to improve the safety and wellbeing of people with disability and place them at the centre of decision making wherever possible.
With many of Spinal Life Australia’s clients’ participants of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), we’re particularly delighted to see the report’s quality and safeguard commissions surrounding strengthening its monitoring, compliance and enforcement activities as well as building sector capacity to prevent and respond to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation. With the hearings revealing harrowing accounts of service providers’ unscrupulous practices, Spinal Life Australia has always been meticulous with reporting fraud when detected, abuse or neglect, fighting for the rights of people with disabilities to live the lives they choose and to be safe and free of discrimination. This report solidifies our stance on this vital safeguarding issue.
Likely to have far-reaching and long-lasting positive impacts on Australians with disability and their friends and families, the significant push for accessible housing all across the states and territories is firmly needed, with many individuals with a spinal cord injury, and countless others living with a disability, being overlooked when it comes to accessibility in their own home.
We trust that the Commission’s recommendations will not lead to excessive bureaucratic burden on service providers and suppliers who have always been focused on providing great support and care to people with disability.
How to seek support
There may be some findings of the Royal Commission that highlight the poor supports and treatment of people with disability in Australia.
We are confident that the recommendations of the Royal Commission, once accepted by the Government and implemented, will lead to a safer, more inclusive and more supported environment for all Australians with a disability and their families and we look forward to seeing improvements across the disability sector.
Some people may find the contents of the final report challenging and even traumatic and we encourage them to seek support.
If you or anyone you know needs help, you can call services such as Lifeline (13 11 14), 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) and the National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline (1800 880 052).
Providing information on our services
During the Royal Commission, we did not receive any direct requests for information about Spinal Life and our services from the Commission.
Our staff and members attended community forums, public hearings, and workshops to assist in providing background information and evidence about the experiences of people with a disability to help inform recommendations.
Once recommendations are made by the Disability Royal Commission, we will be reviewing our policies and procedures to ensure we continue to meet industry best practice and place people with disability at the centre of everything we do.
For all media enquiries please contact our Media team on firstname.lastname@example.org.