Liz Wall-Smith

The Four Corners – ABC report, Fighting the System, highlights again the continuing injustice inflicted by the current methodology demanded by a broken disability sector. What is of particular concern is the culture of denial that providers to the disabled engage in to avoid responsibility. While this punishment approach continues services to those with high support needs and their families will continue to deliver unfair and poor outcomes.

These types of approaches include strategies such as exclusion and social isolation, physical injury, violence, abuse and neglect. These approaches often result in a reduction in dignity, reduced access to health services and supports, reduced quality of life, strong negative reactions from others and so forth. These approaches are not consistent with Positive Behaviour Support, which is underpinned by a strong commitment to human rights and a focus on quality of life, citizenship and participation within a family/person-centred approach.

Developing a Code of Conduct is a very poor response to an identified intransigent, systemic, endemic culture of violent abuse deployed against those who need and demand a commitment to decent behaviour from those within our communities most able to deliver such good outcomes.

A Royal Commission is needed to stop the violence, abuse, disadvantage and neglect experienced by people with a disability. Evidence of abuse demands a Royal Commission.

A lesser undertaking degrades the social status of those with a disability.

We should embrace a Royal Commission into the disability sector as an opportunity to drive needed change and to demand answers for the caregivers battling for justice and protection for the disabled persons in their lives.