The Right to Communicate
Communication Rights intends to continue to provide advocacy to individuals using facilitation as a method of access. Communication Rights has been inundated by people who have expressed concern that their access to services will be made much harder as a result of the public debate on facilitation as a method of access.
We are concerned that members of the public, who have little understanding of alternative or augmentative communication, may make quick ill-informed decisions on these issues that may lead to further discrimination against people for whom facilitation is their only effective communication access choice.
Inquiry into social inclusion for people with disability
Over the last two decades in Victoria and Australia, numerous research studies and reports have been published that set out the barriers to social inclusion for people with disabilities. These reports have covered areas including the following:
- education and early childhood facility access for children and young people with disabilities;
- the status of carers;
- violence against children and adults with disabilities in government schools, government funded community residential units and institutions;
- the socio-economic state of people with disabilities in Australia;
- the inability of state and federal discrimination legislation to adequately protect the rights of people with disabilities.
Until people with disabilities and those that stand with them can see that there is a body genuinely interested in improving their quality of life, a body that does not have conflicting concerns such as budget control, liability and the politicisation of issues, the answer as to why countless reports over the decades remain unaddressed will be clear. The government needs to look backward before it looks forward, and come to an understanding as to why the overall outcomes for people with disabilities have not changed.
Inquiry into the prevalence of different types of speech, language and communication disorders and Speech Pathology services in Australia.
Communication Rights Australia in partnership with Disability Discrimination Legal Service submission of Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs. .
Access to Justice
When access to justice is considered, much of the focus is understandably given to the communication required to ensure vulnerable individuals understand their position, options, and the process being undertaken. However as important as such understanding is, for true participation in the system it is equally important that individuals are afforded their best chance of communicating to the system as well as having it communicate to them.
The justice processes within society necessarily involve many steps. Any of these steps can present a daunting challenge to individuals with complex communication needs (CCN). In proceeding though these steps an individual must communicate with many people which can include police, specialists, solicitors, prosecutors, judges, tribunals, and juries.
Failures in communication at any point have the potential to undermine the chance of a just outcome
- Inquiry into Access to and Interaction with the Justice System by People with an Intellectual Disability and their Families and Carers. 2011
- Submission to the Select Committee of the Legislative Council Disability Access to the SA Justice System
Access to justice in the criminal justice system for people with a communication disability 2013
Communication Rights Australia submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission 2013
Equality, Capacity and Disability in Commonwealth Laws
Submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission
Communication Rights Australia, Disability Discrimination Legal Service and Villamanta Disability Rights Legal Service Inc. collaborated to complete the attached submission
Inquiry into Disability Services Amendment Bill Western Australia
Proposal for National Disability Insurance Scheme Quality and Safeguard Framework
Commonwealth Department of Education and Training
Senate Community Affairs Reference Committee
Inquiry into Violence, Abuse and Neglect against People with Disabilities in Institutional and Residential Settings
Family and Community Development Committee
Inquiry into Abuse in Disability Services
The following submissions are due over the next few months and if you would like to have input please contact Jan Ashford at our office. View links to document details:
1. Review of the National Disability Advocacy Framework due 24th July, 2015
2. Review of the Program for Students with Disabilities consultation between July - Oct 2015
3. National Senate Inquiry into Education due 21st August, 2015
4. Victorian Government General Education Consultation - date not yet confirmed
5. Inquiry into Abuse in Disability Services - Phase 2 - date not yet confirmed