INDEPENDENT NEWS

People With Disability Must Be Equal Partners In Reform: PWDA Responds To The Federal Government’s Progress Update

Published: Wed 13 Mar 2024 07:01 PM
People with Disability Australia (PWDA) is calling for people with disability to be recognised as equal partners in determining reforms flowing from the Disability Royal Commission and NDIS Review. The call comes in the wake of today’s release of the Federal Government’s Progress Update in response to the Disability Royal Commission’s final report.
The Progress Update has outlined deeper consultation and consideration is needed before the Australian Government delivers their formal response to the Disability Royal Commission in mid-2024. PWDA is calling on governments to not simply consult but be led by people with disability as they develop their responses.
PWDA President Marayke Jonkers said, “People with disability want action, they want closure, they want an end to the violence abuse, neglect and exploitation we have endured and continue to experience.
“Our community and our representative organisations must be equal partners to ensure reforms deliver genuine change, improve our lives, and end the violence once and for all. This Progress Update recognises the need for consultation, and we stand ready to work together with governments to ensure our Royal Commission delivers justice and change.”
PWDA has welcomed the Australian Government’s commitment to advancing the human rights of people with disability outlined in the Progress Update.
PWDA President Marayke Jonkers has called on governments to outline in their formal responses how they will not only advance but fully enshrine and enforce the rights of people with disability.
“The Disability Royal Commission confirmed what people with disability already knew - our rights are not currently being upheld or respected in Australia. We look forward to firm commitments to legal protections which uphold and enforce our rights. PWDA will continuing advocating for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to be fully upheld,” Ms Jonkers said.
The Progress Update has identified Achieving an Inclusive Australia as a key theme for reform. PWDA has called for firm commitments to full inclusion and an end to segregation across all settings.
“We need firm commitments to end the segregation of people with disability. Across our whole lives we are too often separated from the community – where we live, work and learn. We demand full inclusion and PWDA will continue advocating for all governments to commit to the desegregation of housing, education and employment,” Ms Jonkers said.
PWDA has welcomed the Progress Update’s recognition of the need to enhance the quality and availability of disability and mainstream supports and services.
“All governments must make further firm commitment to speed up making mainstream services more inclusive. All people with disability must be able to use and access services like education, transport and health – no matter where they live,” Ms Jonkers said.
PWDA remains concerned that the elimination of restrictive practices is absent from the Progress Update.
“For too long people with disability have endured violent practices like restraint and seclusion. The silence in this Progress Update on restrictive practices is deeply concerning. PWDA will continue advocating for a firm commitment from governments to eliminate all restrictive practices,” Ms Jonkers said.

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