The Disability Royal Commission report has identified recommendations to make Australia more inclusive of people with disability.
The Centre CEO Deb Tsorbaris said it was exciting to see direct consultation with individuals and organisations, and a willingness to embrace lived experience, throughout the Royal Commission process.
“I want to acknowledge the bravery and resilience of all the children and young people who participated and shared their experiences at the Royal Commission hearings, and also congratulate them on achieving a set of recommendations that reflect their views,” she said.
The Centre strongly advocates for the rights and voices of children and young people to be included in decision-making that affects them and welcomes recommendations that ensure continued consultation across government with people with disability.
The recommendations include a provision that children and young people, their representatives and families, carers and supporters, are consulted when developing and evaluating legislation, policy and services.
The Centre also welcomes the commitment to making mainstream schools more inclusive.
“There is some way to go to tease out the implications of this, but central to this will be ensuring the rights of children, young people and their caregivers to have a say about the kind of educational setting they want to attend,” says Ms Tsorbaris.
“We must keep investing in children to make sure they thrive in whatever educational environment they choose because that is their right.”
Another key element of the recommendations is the consideration of language to ensure that strength-based and self-determination terminology is used.
“Words matter, and the way we speak about people and their lived experience shows them that they are not othered, that they are included in any way they choose, and that their views are wanted, welcomed and valued,” Ms Tsorbaris said.
The Victoria State Government has already embraced the need for better representation with the recent appointment of Lizzie Blandthorn as Minister for Disability.
“The Centre looks forward to working with Minister Blandthorn and federal government appointments that result from these recommendations to make sure children and young people with disability are able to participate fully in their communities,” she said.
Read the full set of recommendations at https://disability.royalcommission.gov.au/publications/final-report