National Inquiry into Violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability in institutional and residential settings

You can find out more about the Inquiry at this link

WWDWA Inc spoke at the inquiry here in Perth at the beginning of April. We will also be preparing a written submission. If you would like to have your experiences with violence and abuse heard, you can write your own submission and send it to the Senate. If you are unable to do this and would still like your experiences heard by the Senate, WWDWA Inc is happy to include them in our report in your own words. You don’t have to use your name and your submissions can be as short or as long as you want. Please email or call 9244 7463. Submissions are due by the end of June, but we will be asking to have ours due by late August.

National Inquiry Announced: Reducing Legal Barriers For People With Disabilities

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus QC announced today that he is asking the Australian Law Reform Commission to inquire into how to reduce legal barriers to people with disabilities.

“I want to make sure that existing Commonwealth laws and legal frameworks do not create barriers to people with disability exercising their rights and legal capacity,” Mr Dreyfus said.

“Most of us take for granted the independent decisions we make about our lives. People with disability deserve the same opportunity.

“This inquiry is about maximising choice and autonomy for Australians with disability.”

Minister for Disability Reform Jenny Macklin said that people with disability are entitled to the dignity that comes from being able to make choices over their own lives.

“Ensuring that people with disability have access to the same rights and opportunities as Australians without disability is a hallmark of a just society,” Ms Macklin said.

“As we celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act, it is fitting that we consider whether our laws are adequately supporting people with disability.

“The announcement of this inquiry coincides with the upcoming launch of DisabilityCare Australia, the national disability insurance scheme, a significant reform that will transform the way people with disability are supported and put choice and control in the hands of people with disability.”

Consultation on draft terms of reference for ALRC inquiry into equal recognition before the law and legal capacity for people with disability

The consultation seeks stakeholder views on draft terms of reference for an Australian Law Reform Commission inquiry into equal recognition before the law and legal capacity for people with disability. The inquiry will consider:
• Commonwealth laws and legal frameworks that deny or diminish the rights of people with disa bility to make their own decisions, and
• act on their own behalf, and what, if any, changes could be made.

The Draft Terms of Reference can be downloaded in PDF or Word at:

The Australian Government invites stakeholders to make submissions outlining their views on the draft Terms of Refer ence. If you would like to make a submission, send it:

by email to:

by mail to:
Submission – legal capacity
Human Rights Policy Branch
International Law & Human Rights Division
3-5 National Circuit
Barton ACT 2600

Electronic submissions are preferred where possible.

The closing date for submissions is 28 June 2013.

If you cannot make a submission in either of the above ways and would like to express your views by another method, you can contact the Human Rights Policy Branch on 02 6141 6666 or

Sterilisation and People With Disabilities – Senate Inquiry

From Women With Disabilities Australia:


The Senate Inquiry into sterilisation is a critical inquiry for all people with disabilities. It is so important that the voices of people with disabilities are heard in this Inquiry – in whatever way works for the individual and/or organisation concerned. The Terms of reference are very broad and are not just about surgical sterilisation. Among other things, the Inquiry will look into the choices people with disabilities have about:

• contraception
• whether or not to have a baby

It will also look at things like:
• What sort of information people with disabilities have access to about sexuality, relationships, their bodies;
• Whether doctors and other professionals need more training about the rights of people with disabilities to make their own decisions;
• How people with disabilities are treated differently when it comes to their reproductive rights;
• What sort of assistance people with disabilities might need to be able to manage their own reproductive health care;

It is really important that people with disabilities tell the Senate Inquiry their views on some of these issues. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy document or a formal submission. You can just send an email if you want. Or you can ring them up, or ask them to ring you up. Or you can tell WWDA what you think and we can tell the Inquiry on your behalf.

WWDA is helping the Senate Inquiry to speak directly to some groups of people with disabilities. Today some of the Senate Committee members have gone to Brisbane to meet with a group of women with disabilities to hear the women’s views. They are also going to Adelaide soon to meet with another group of women with disabilities. People With Disability Australia (PWD) are also helping to organise a meeting in Sydney. The Senate Committee members have agreed to go out and talk directly to groups of people with disabilities so that our voices and views are heard.

WWDA would strongly encourage everyone to contribute to the Inquiry in some way. The Committee has developed a Plain English version of the Terms of Reference which is available on WWDA’s website at:

If you would like to share your ideas, views, thoughts, experiences etc with the Inquiry, you can do so in the following ways:

Phone: (02) 6277 3515
TTY: (02) 6277 7799

Or by post to:

Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600 Australia

You can submit your views anonymously if you wish.