Disability Royal Commission releases Interim Report

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability released its Interim Report on 30 October 2020. The purpose of the report is to outline what the Disability Royal Commission has achieved in its first 15 months, up until 31 July 2020.

The Interim Report shares the experiences of many people with disability and looks at when and where they may be exposed to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation. Data shows that in a 12-month period, people with disability are twice as likely as people without disability to experience violence.

The work of the Royal Commission highlights the importance of people with disability exercising choice and control over all aspects of their lives.

The report also indicates that people with disability face many barriers to achieving inclusion in Australian society. These barriers relate to:

  • Public attitudes – attitudes towards people with disability
  • Communication – difficulty communicating with people with disability
  • Environment – modifying public spaces to accommodate people with disability
  • Institutions – legal and policy barriers which do not take people with disability into account

The report suggests that a great deal needs to be done to ensure that the human rights of people with disability are respected and that Australia becomes a truly inclusive society.

The Royal Commission has not made recommendations on the issues discussed in the report.  The Commission is expected to make recommendations in September 2023, if the Chair’s request for an extension is granted.

In the meantime, the Commission will be publishing a report containing findings and recommendations arising out of the recent hearing about the experiences of people with disability during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is expected to be published later this month.

The Royal Commission has so far held seven public hearings and published nine issues papers and six research reports. The work of the Royal Commission was meant to be complete by April 2022, but the Chair has asked for an extension of more than a year due to the scale of what needs to be done.

You can view the full Interim report and a schedule of upcoming hearings on the Disability Royal Commission website.