Addressing the abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability forum
For the rights of people with disability to be fully realised, there must be a proactive and coordinated approach to preventing and addressing abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Over 500 people with disabilities and their supporters, representatives of government and non-government agencies, service providers and academics participated in a forum held by the NSW Ombudsman in Sydney on 24 November 2016.
The forum provided an opportunity to consider the safeguards and gaps that currently exist in NSW in relation to the abuse and neglect of people with disability, and to identify what needs to be put in place in NSW and nationally by the end of the NDIS transition. There was significant discussion about ways to make it easier for people with disability to speak up and ways for staff to create change from within organisations so that people with disability feel safe both at home and in the community.
The Chair of the NSW Council for Intellectual Disability, Michael Sullivan started the forum by encouraging delegates to be open about looking at what changes are needed so that people with disability have their rights respected and can live lives where they feel safe, supported, and valued members of the community.
Dougie Herd facilitated the panel discussions with thought provoking questions to draw out the issues of prevention of abuse, cultural change, staff development and better access to the justice system.
The forum was well received and Eventpoll commentary by participants is provided below. Also included are answers to questions raised at the forum along with session summaries and presentations. The NSW Ombudsman’s office is working with stakeholders to progress priority areas.