Annette Herbert, mother/self manager

Thank you for the opportunity to make a submission to the NDIS code of conduct. The greatest injustice we serve people with disability is to talk about them with out. Powerfully providers push consumers names and needs around all of the time; in spite of many folk being able to speak and communicate for themselves! Empowered people with disability must sit central and be present to all discussions about themselves………this practice must be built into the code of conduct for the sake of all people!
(Listen to the outrage about the very idea of this!) Know how driven we are to dis-empower people by making decisions for them then informing them! Would you trust a life like that for yourself? A service provider making your life choices for you without you?
I wish to draw your attention to the Parliament of Australia, Parliamentary Research Paper Series, 2016- 2017 Domestic and Family Violence Initiatives funding across Australia jurisdictions in 2016-2017.

The research paper describes a National Plan which
“. coordinates actions across jurisdictions
. looks to the long term through building respectful relationships and working to increase gender equality to prevent violence from occurring in the first place, and
. focusses on holding perpetrators accountable and encouraging behavioural change.”

Likely programs of similar magnitude, robustness, resources and resilience are required in response to the violence, physical abuse, sexual assault, emotional abuse, neglect and restrictive practices which grow out of services in the lives of Australian citizens who have disability!

The urgency of this need is paramount in the roll out of NDIS. Perhaps it should have preceded any implementation!

I have given quite careful consideration to the NDIS code of conduct. I applaud its development. I note, in absolute despair that none of the example of misconduct done unto service consumers with disability afford consumers with any access to practical, emotional or financial support to facilitate, encourage or enable any healing from the emotional, physical, financial injuries which are likely to have been sustained. The mantra, we will actively support consumers with disability who have been abused/assaulted, stolen from, to make a report to the police in the very first instance……………………must be loud and clear! This is the law! Not an after thought!

It is absolutely essential that the NDIS Code of Conduct makes it mandatory that every individual consumer participant has a fully funded and resourced personal plan to prevent each individual being subject to violence, physical assault, emotional abuse, neglect, financial abuse and restrictive practice.
The code of conduct must express all of the restorative actions the consumer may choose to experience when abuse has occurred and the code of conduct is breeched! To be simply seen to have fixed the problem at the service providers convenience is not an adequate response to any form of abuse or breech! The suggested outcome equals removing a woman from a context of domestic violence, then imaging once out of the situation, that she will live happily ever after!

Finally there is a bold imperative that the NDIS has a named and fully resourced division with expertise about the prevention of disempowerment, violence, physical assault, sexual assault, emotional abuse, financial abuse, neglect and restrictive practices.

From the foundation of this highly visible articulated division, we may then begin to develop the knowledge, the values, the attitudes, the skills and resources which are required to address all of the vulnerabilities of all people with disabilities to all forms of abuse.

Only when we have achieved these recognitions will we be able to develop restorative and preventative responses! Unfortunately, our discomfort, denial and excuses remain front of mind!