At the end of September, the report of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability was presented to the Federal Government. The report is in 12 volumes and makes 222 recommendations.
Because of the size of the report and the large number of recommendations, we will share various aspects of the report in upcoming editions of Social Justice Trends. In this article, we will focus on the vision of the Royal Commission.
The fundamental hope of the Royal Commission is for an inclusive society. This reflected the hopes of the many people with disability who spoke with the Commission.
It is not just for Governments to make changes to transform Australia into an inclusive society. The whole community needs to change if this vision is to be reflected in the way people with disability live, work and play.
Fundamentally, the changes proposed by the Commission are about people with disability enjoying human rights fully and equally.
An inclusive Australia sees disability as a part of human diversity.
People with disability want to be respected and valued as part of the community. They want to be supported so that they can make choices about their lives and be as independent as possible.
Royal Commission members had diverse views on whether segregation of people with disability in schools, group homes and work amounted to exclusion. This part of the report will need to be considered and discussed in the community.
The report also identified other elements which promote an inclusive Australia:
promoting pride, belonging and connection
promoting co-design and co-production
working together towards inclusion.
A key question for us in the Church is whether we live up to this vision of inclusion of people with disability in every part of the Church’s life. If we don’t, how do we go about changing ourselves so that people with disability feel included?
We will look at the report further in upcoming bulletins, but, if you would like to explore the ideas and recommendations of the report now, go to the Royal Commission website: