Abuse and Neglect ‘Behind Closed Doors’ – Media Release

9 April 2015.

People with disability and Western Australian organisations will join forces on Friday to tell the Senate what often happens behind closed doors in institutional settings – violence, neglect and abuse.

Disability advocates say that people with disability are abused and neglected every day in institutional settings in WA.

“It is not uncommon to hear stories of rapes, physical abuse, neglect and restrictive practices in schools, disability care settings, homes and hospitals,” says People With disabilities’ WA Samantha Connor, who has been collating experiences of people with disability in WA.

“The scope of the Senate inquiry is incredibly broad, and covers mainstream institutional settings and abuse like passive neglect and emotional abuse. We’re hearing all kinds of stories, from stories about people tied to beds to children raped on school buses.”

People With disabilities WA President Greg Madson, says that hearing the direct experiences of people with disability is important to inform systemic change.

“We launched the WA Disability Abuse Inquiry in February to make sure that we looked at what was happening for people with disability and mental health conditions across Western Australia, and there are already common themes emerging about gaps where people have ‘fallen through’ the system,” he said.

“Unless we collect those stories and understand exactly what happens when people are abused and neglected, we can’t address the issues in a way that will be effective.

To explore those solutions, the WA Disability Abuse Inquiry, a partnership between People With disabilities WA, Developmental Disability WA and union United Voice, will hold a forum at 6pm next Tuesday 14 April with former Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes.

WA Disability Abuse forum – People With disabilities WA, Developmental Disability WA and union United Voice

Date 14 April 2015 Tuesday

Time: 6pm to 8.30pm

Venue: The Niche Conference Room 11 Aberdare Rd Nedlands.

Guest Speaker: former Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes.

Samantha Connor says that the time for change is now.
“We have the chance right now to tell our stories at a state and national level – to the WA Disability Abuse Inquiry, to the Senate, to the Royal Commission (in the case of childhood sexual abuse). There is no data around disability and abuse, police and justice are under resourced and inaccessible…people with disability are often voiceless and powerless. This is an opportunity for all of us to have our say and make a difference.”

The Senate will hear all day about the experiences of a number of individuals and families on Friday at a public hearing from 12.30 to 3.00 pm at the Committee Room 1
Legislative Council Committee Office, 18-32 Parliament Place, Perth

People who wish to share their story or be supported to make a submission to either inquiry can contact Samantha at email Samantha

Media contact 0408 396 3330408 396 333 Greg Madson President People With disabilities WA Inc

Stories from WA that will be recounted at Friday’s Senate Inquiry:

  • The lifelong institutionalisation of Peta Doig, a woman who died at Graylands in 2013 after being sexually abused, injured and finally refused treatment at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
  • Children who have been restrained in ‘time out rooms’ and confined in ‘special schools’
  • A man who was tied to a bed for months and injured by residents
  • A 12 year old girl who was removed from her family and cared for and showered by a string of male carers for over two years, despite her family’s protests
  • A quadriplegic who was severely burned after a shower failed at the WA Quadriplegic Centre
  • A woman who was raped by a male nurse in a public hospital
  • A child who returned from a disability school holiday program with a cut to her vagina that required eight stitches
  • A 13 year old girl raped on a WA school bus and given detention for upsetting other students for using the word rape

Australian Senate Inquiry into the Adequacy of Existing Residential Care Arrangements Available for Young People with Severe Physical, Mental or Intellectual Disability in Australia

A Joint Submission by Developmental Disability WA and People with Disabilities WA.
20 March 2015.

Australian Senate Inquiry into the Adequacy of Existing Residential Care Arrangements Available for Young People with Severe Physical, Mental or Intellectual Disability in Australia. Joint submission PWdWA and DDWA 20 March 2015

People With Disabilities WA, Developmental Disability WA and United Voice – Joint Media Release – 11 Feburary 2015

Inquiry Endorsed into ‘Australia’s Hidden Shame’

Today the Federal Senate has endorsed a national inquiry into disability violence, abuse and neglect in residential and institutional settings.

People with Disability WA’s Executive Director Samantha Jenkinson today applauded the move, saying that the problem was rife across Australia, including in WA.

‘In recognition of the issues, we are working together with Developmental Disability WA and union United Voice and have commenced a three month State inquiry to investigate the prevalence of violence, abuse and neglect in Western Australia,’ she said.

‘It is encouraging that the Federal Government has heard the voices of people with disability, especially those who are amongst the most marginalised. Over 90% of women with intellectual disability have been subjected to sexual, domestic or other violence – it is Australia’s hidden shame.’

Disability advocates Samantha Connor and Ben Keely have been commissioned to investigate violence, neglect and abuse in WA, including abuse in schools, boarding houses, day centres, group homes and supported accommodation.

‘We hear too often of people being taken advantage of sexually and physically,’ said Ben Keely, a psychology student and survivor of institutional neglect and abuse.

‘What’s worse, if you are unable to communicate your problems or have no family or friends to support you, you are left with no hope, nowhere to go and certainly no justice.’

Greens senator Rachel Siewert said that there is an unacceptably high number of people with disability who have been subjected to abuse and violence while in care.

‘It is not just a state issue, it is a federal one, and it needs national leadership,’ she said this week.

The Western Australian Disability Abuse Inquiry commences this week.

Contact: Samantha Jenkinson on email Samantha Jenkinson

Information, Linkages and Capacity Building Policy Framework online consultation

Information, Linkages and Capacity Building Policy Framework online consultation – this is consultation on what Tier 2 of the NDIS should look like. Info and feeback through the website

Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) is the new name for “Tier 2” of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). It was agreed that this title better reflects the supports it would provide and removes potential for misinterpreting the NDIS as a hierarchy of supports, which was implied by the term “tiers”.

ILC is a key component of the NDIS insurance model and will contribute to the sustainability of the NDIS by building the capacity of the community, people with disability, their families and carers, and greater community inclusion.

Over time, these can reduce the demand for and level of support required from individually funded responses.

Disability Ministers have agreed on the ILC Policy Framework and have requested targeted consultations.

This framework was developed by the Commonwealth, states and territories and is intended to guide the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) in developing a transition and implementation strategy for ILC.

ILC supports will be delivered through five streams of activity (these are further outlined in the ILC Policy Framework):

  • - Information, Linkages and Referrals
  • - Capacity building for mainstream services
  • - Community awareness and capacity building
  • - Individual capacity building
  • - Local area coordination

Why are we doing consultation and what will the findings be used for?
The findings of the consultations will be collated by Department of Social Services into a report for use by Disability Ministers, Commonwealth, state and territory government officials and the NDIA.

Governments have noted that the findings will be considered in the context of transitioning to full scheme delivery of the NDIS, including the rollout of ILC supports. In particular, the report will provide valuable insights from the disability sector during transition to full scheme and the development of implementation strategies.

What are we seeking from you?
We would like your feedback about the ILC Policy Framework. Key questions have been developed which aim to provide insights into stakeholder expectations, the scope of supports and implementation challenges of ILC. We encourage your response to be guided by these focus areas, in addition to any other issues you would like to raise.

  • - What are the most important elements of ILC?
  • - What is missing?
  • - How will we know the ILC streams are meeting their objectives/vision?
  • - What would be the implementation challenges?
  • - Which aspects of a person’s life do you think ILC could have the greatest impact on?
  • - What are some of the principles that should guide investment across ILC streams?

How do you see the interface between ILC functions and activities and the interaction with the mainstream service system? (housing, education, employment, health, family, accessibility and transport)

Why is the policy on the NDIA website?
A targeted consultation is being conducted primarily by jurisdictional governments. In consultation with relevant governments, NDIA will also support this process by publishing the policy framework on our website.

Feedback provided on the ILC policy framework via the website will be sent directly to DSS for inclusion within the national process. NDIA will not filter responses and is not responsible for the final decision on how the feedback will be adopted.

Provide feedback
We would appreciate all feedback on the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building Policy Framework.

You can submit your comments via this feedback form until 15/3/15.
Link to feedback form: feedback form:

Workskills Competition 2016.

Workskills Olympics for people with disabilities.

To be held in Boreaux France 2016.

Expressions of Interest.
Abilympics holds work skills and some leisure competitions for people with disabilities every four years.

Are you outgoing?

  • Over 18 years of age?
  • Do you enjoy socialising?
  • Do you have a special ability?
  • Are you available in March 2016?
  • Would you like to represent Australia in the 9th International Abilympics in Bordeaux, France?

Abilympics West Australia Association Inc have participated in every Abilympics Event since its inception in Tokyo in 1981.
Like the Olympics and Paralympics the events are held every four years to encourage people with disabilities to participate in workskill competition.

Abilympics aim at improving employment potential, self esteem and helps foster International friendships.

For more information and an application form, please go to our website:

Expressions of Interest close: 30 June 2015.

Unsuccessful applications will be notified by: 30 September 2015.

People nominated for WORKSKILL categories are given priority selection over competitors in the LEISURE categories.

Contact Abilympics for more information.

Consumer rights for people with a disability

We provide information for consumers buying disability-related products and services, including participants under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

You have rights under the Australian Consumer Law. You have the right to expect that a product or service will do or perform as it should. If not, you may be entitled to a repair, replacement or refund. You have the right to truthful and accurate representations. Sales agents cannot mislead or deceive you. You have the right to fair treatment.

Contact the he Department of Commerce (Western Australia)

Visit the he Department of Commerce website for more information and links:
Department of Commerce

To contact the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) visit their website at:

Empowering the voices of people with disabilities in Western Australia