The Victorian Government is conducting an inquiry into abuse in disability services. The first stage of the inquiry has already been completed. Stage 2 is happening now. The inquiry is investigating why the abuse of people with disability is not reported. It is trying to find ways to improve systems and stop abuse from occurring. People can make submissions about their experiences to the inquiry. Speaking up about abuse can be confronting. But hopefully this will help keep people safe from abuse and neglect. Submissions to the inquiry close on 30 October 2015.
Many people with a disability do not report being a victim of crime.
A recent report, Beyond Doubt, said that many people with disabilities had bad experiences when reporting crimes to police. They felt the police did not treat them with respect. The report also said police worried they did not have the skills to understand different types of disabilities. The report made a number of recommendations. It recommended the police create a code of practice on how to respond to people with disabilities. The police commissioner has said he will take on board all the recommendations. The report was produced by the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.
Victorians with a disability have a website made for them. It is called the Act Resources Guide. The website has information about the Victorian Disability Act 2006 . It is written in a way that is easy to understand. There are also short films on the website that are in Plain English and captioned. People with a disability helped to create the Act Resources Guide. If you want to easily understand the Victorian Disability Act 2006 this website is especially for you.
Are you a young person with disability who lives in Victoria? Do you want to know what your rights are and how to defend them? If so, then the Youth Disability Rights Hub is for you. The hub is a website where you can find plain English legal information for people with a disability. It is divided into 12 topic areas including employment, education, transport, travel, housing and money. The website is targeted for young people with a disability, aged between 12 and 25. But it may also be helpful to people over 25.
We all have a right to work in Australia. It is unlawful to discriminate against a person with a disability in the workplace. But if you have a disability, how do you decide when and if you should tell a prospective employer about it? Peter is Deaf and he doesn’t always disclose his disability in an interview. Marcus tells his prospective employer he has a disability at the interview stage. Employees do not have a legal obligation to disclose their disability to an employer however disclosure may be practical in some situations.
All people have a right to work. In Australia, it is unlawful to discriminate against a person with a disability in the workplace. People with a disability have work rights including being protected from discrimination when applying for a job. They can negotiate flexible work arrangements and request reasonable adjustments in their workplace. People with a disability can contact organisations if they think they have experienced discrimination. They can make a complaint about their experience.
Guide Dogs should never be refused entry to public places
Recently, my husband, Phil, and I took my dog guide, Zora, to a dog play park. Afterwards, we sat down with a coffee in a nearby café. The manager of the café came over and warned me that, in future, I couldn't bring my dog to the cafe. My husband informed the lady that it was against the law to refuse entry to a dog guide. The manager pointed out that the café had an outdoor area where we could sit. This exchange highlighted the need to educate the public about the rights of dog guides.
3CR participant Peter Ball has a laugh being interviewed at the radio rehearsal (Image: Vinisha Mulani)
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is coming up on Monday 3 December. This year marks its 20th anniversary since its start by the United Nations 20 years ago. I am participating in a special radio show this year. It will feature two bands, interviews and readings. Find out what is happening in your community on the day and get involved.
I recently watched the television show Insight . They talked about genetic testing. This is where tests can be made to an unborn baby to test for disabilities or diseases. I was unsure about the idea of this testing before becoming disabled. I think people who agree with this view have good intentions. But some of their opinions come from a lack of understanding. Many people with disabilities suffer not because of their disability but because of other people's attitudes and a lack of proper care. I agree some genetic testing can be helpful but it should not get out of control.
A Victorian report has found six out of ten students with a disability are bullied at school. It also found half of all students with a disability and their parents reported discrimination at school. The report is by the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission. It looked at how students with disabilities are coping in government, Catholic and independent schools throughout Victoria. More than 1,800 students, parents and educators were involved in the study. There are more than 100,000 students with disabilities in Victorian schools.