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National Consultation Paper Shaping our future: discussions on disability rights

The submission to the Disability Discrimination Commissioner’s National Consultation Paper: Shaping our future: discussions on disability rights was prepared by the Law Council. 

The Law Council notes that the Disability Discrimination Commissioner’s proposed priority areas of focus in advancing the rights of people with disability are: the criminal justice system, housing, employment, the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), and education (not addressed in this submission).

The Law Council provides specific comments on the proposed priority areas of the Commissioner. In addition to the priority areas, the Law Council suggests two other areas of disability discrimination that should be included in the Australian Human Rights Commission’s (AHRC) ongoing areas of work, namely: disability discrimination and juror participation; and, disability discrimination in care and protection matters.

Key recommendations of this submission include that the Commissioner consider the:

(a) resourcing of Aboriginal controlled organisations which provide specialised and culturally appropriate support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with disabilities;

(b) impact of insufficient funding for legal assistance services on the capacity of people with disability to access legal assistance services;

(c) impact that current unfitness to stand trial tests have on people with a disability in the criminal justice system;

(d) need for reform of board and lodging systems to address serious concerns about the safety, health, welfare and rights of residents with disabilities;

(e) impact of changes to workers compensation legislation on workers with certain types of visas who are injured and become eligible for disability payments; and

(f) opportunity that the NDIS could offer in providing support services to forensic patients and the broader prison population.

You can read the full submission below.

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