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PWDA ANNOUNCE FORMAL RESPONSE TO THE DISABILITY ROYAL COMMISSION FINAL REPORT

People with Disability Australia (PWDA) is a national Disability Representative Organisation led by, and for, people with disability.


The organisation has released a response today that reflects the most up-to-date and comprehensive views of PWDA members, who are people with disability, across Australia on key recommendations from the Disability Royal Commission (DRC).



The report, a result of extensive consultations with PWDA's national membership, is a vital step towards advancing the rights of people with disability in Australia and realising a fully inclusive society. It highlights PWDA's response to the 222 recommendations made by the DRC and emphasises the urgent need for stronger human rights protections, governance reforms, and systemic changes to end the violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation people with disability have and continue to endure.


PWDA Key Policy Positions


The report contains 19 policy position statements, including:


  • Governance and Rights Protections: PWDA supports the enactment of a Disability Rights Act and a Human Rights Act, both developed in close consultation with people with disability. They also advocate for the creation of a National Disability Commission and the strengthening of disability discrimination laws.

  • Housing: PWDA calls for an end to segregated housing and increased investment in options that promote independent living in the community.

  • Education and Employment: PWDA urges an end to segregation in education and employment, along with immediate action to support inclusive education and transition to open employment.

  • Safeguarding and Redress: PWDA emphasises the need for supported decision-making frameworks, the elimination of restrictive practices, and the establishment of a national redress scheme for people with disability who have experienced violence, abuse, trauma, neglect, and exploitation.

Nothing About Us, Without Us:


PWDA President Marayke Jonkers said, "PWDA’s response is a strong starting point for an ongoing conversation between the disability community and governments on how we ensure the Disability Royal Commission delivers genuine improvements for disabled people. Improvements that must also extend to the issues not adequately covered or addressed by the report; issues like transport, psychosocial disability, hate crimes, income support, sexual and reproductive rights, healthcare accessibility and post-secondary education to name a few."


Ms Jonkers said this includes people with disability, and their representative organisations, having a formal role in sequencing and prioritising the rollout of reforms flowing from the DRC. She insists they must be at the forefront of every decision, policy, and action that emerges from the DRC’s recommendations.


A Voice of Our Own


PWDA CEO Sebastian Zagarella said, “PWDA will continue to tirelessly advocate until robust systems are established to safeguard and uphold the human rights of all people with disability in Australia; until society is fully accessible and inclusive."


“We want a seat at the table to ensure the rights and choice and control of people with disability is front and centre in the reform agenda and we are heard on decisions that will impact our lives going forward.”


Importance of PWDA's Recommendations:


The 19 policy positions put forward by PWDA are crucial for ensuring the human rights of people with disability are protected and promoted. They provide a roadmap for meaningful reform that addresses the systemic issues faced and violence endured by the disability community.


Now is the Time for Action:


With the Disability Royal Commission and NDIS Review Final Report outlining a significant reform agenda, PWDA urges governments and policymakers to listen to people with disability. The time for change is now, and disability-led reform is crucial to ensure that the needs and voices of people with disability are heard and meaningful change delivered.


To read PWDA's full response to the Disability Royal Commission Final Report, please visit Disability Royal Commission - People with Disability Australia (pwd.org.au) 

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