Skip to main content

The experiences of culturally and linguistically diverse people with disability

  • Issues papers
Publication date

Our issues paper on the Experiences of culturally and linguistically diverse people with disability asked the public to share their views about how people with disability experience safeguards, what promotes quality in services, and how these may prevent and reduce their exposure to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation. 

Responses were received from people with disability, parents and family members, academics and organisations.

How to respond

Further responses to the experiences of culturally and linguistically diverse people with disability  Issues paper can be made via the submissions process.

Responses can be in any language. The Royal Commission will translate the response to English.

Please indicate if you consent to your responses being made public on our website.

Issues paper (Auslan) - The experiences of culturally and linguistically diverse people with disability

 

Experiences of culturally and linguistically diverse people with disability Issues paper

Introduction

We have released a new issues paper about the experiences of people with a disability from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

A person who comes from a culturally and linguistically diverse background may be someone who has migrated to Australia and has a different culture. Or a person who speaks or signs a different language at home other than English.

This video is a summary of the issues paper. The full paper is available on our website.

We want to better understand violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

We would like to hear from people with disability, their families, supporters and the wider community. We’re particularly interested in hearing about experiences of women and children with disability from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Your feedback will help us in our work. It will inform our recommendations to make it a safer, better society for people with disability.

Attitudes and understanding of disability

We want to hear about attitudes and understanding of disability within culturally and linguistically diverse communities:

  • What does disability mean in your culture?
  • How do attitudes and understanding of disability influence your interactions with your community, and in broader society?
  • Do communities have positive or protective attitudes towards people with disability?
  • Do community views support and include people with disability?
  • Do community attitudes exclude or disadvantage people with disability?

Challenges and barriers

We want to hear about the challenges and barriers for people with disability from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

How do you interact with services like:

  • health – for example doctors, hospitals, dentists, community health services, mental health services
  • immigration
  • police
  • courts
  • transport
  • group homes
  • NDIS?

Challenges and barriers might include things like:

  • lack of access to translated information and interpreters
  • lack of services that are sensitive to the needs of people from different cultural backgrounds.

Good practice

We are also interested in hearing about good practices and ways to better prevent and reduce violence, abuse neglect and exploitation of people with disability from culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

This may include things like:

  • promoting services to culturally and linguistically diverse communities so that people from different backgrounds are aware of them and can access them
  • providing cross cultural training for staff that includes awareness, understanding and skills in managing cultural differences.

How to respond

At the end of our issues paper, there is a list of questions about these topics that you can respond to. You don’t have to answer every question. You can respond in any way you like. This might be in writing or by a video recording.

To find the full issues paper, and more information about how you can respond, go to the

‘Policy & research’ section on our website.

www.disability.royalcommission.gov.au

Overview of responses to the Experiences of culturally and linguistically diverse people with disability Issues paper (Auslan)

 

Overview of responses to the Experiences of culturally and linguistically diverse people with disability Issues paper

Background

In March 2021 we asked people to tell us their views and thoughts about the experiences of culturally and linguistically diverse people with disability.

This video highlights some of the things people talked about in their responses.

What did people say?

People told us:

  • Like the rest of the community in Australia, multicultural communities have different understandings of disability which can include negative attitudes towards people with disability.
  • People with disability from diverse cultural and language backgrounds face barriers to accessing services including:
    • National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
    • health, like hospitals and GPs
    • courts and police
    • education
    • employment
    • migration.
  • People with disability from multicultural communities also have problems engaging with these services. This is because of:
    • negative attitudes and discrimination
    • a lack of awareness of services
    • a lack of trust in services 
    • a lack of access to information
    • the lack of culturally safe and appropriate services and supports, for example, being able to choose the type of professional interpreter (male/female, or face-to-face/telephone interpreter).

Here are some examples of what we were told:

  • Asylum seekers, refugees or migrants who do not have permanent visas cannot get financial support like the Disability Support Pension.
  • When it comes to health care:
    • there is not enough access to professional interpreters
    • services are not delivered very well, for example there may be delays in appointments so interpreters have to leave
    • there is lack of training for health professionals about how to respond to a person’s cultural needs, or how to work with interpreters. An example relevant to the Deaf community is when a Deaf person is at a medical appointment and the health professional only looks at the interpreter and excludes the Deaf person. This is not culturally appropriate.
  • Police and the justice system do not adequately respond to or support people with disability from migrant and refugee backgrounds.  This can have particularly negative impacts on people with disability who do not speak English or who have mental health issues.
  • It can be hard for students with disability from different cultural backgrounds to access adjustments and supports at school, like an education assistant or interpreter. This is because government agencies and the National Disability Insurance Agency often disagree on who has responsibility for funding these supports.
  • Families or communities from different cultural backgrounds may not acknowledge domestic and family violence, so they may not report it because they feel ashamed or stigmatised.

Proposals for change

People proposed a wide range of changes across lots of different areas. Some of these are:

  • Governments should include people with disability from multicultural communities in designing policies that affect them.
  • The Australian Government should provide resources and funding for more professional accredited interpreters.
  • People with disability are often refused visas to Australia because of their disability. The Australian Government should make it easier and fairer for people with disability to get a visa.
  • Governments should resource organisations to run programs that prevent and respond to violence and abuse against diverse groups of people with disability.

More information

You can find more information on our website, including:

  • the original issues paper requesting feedback on the experiences of culturally and linguistically diverse people with disability
  • the responses we received
  • an ‘overview’ or summary paper of the responses.

Go the ‘Policy & research’ section and click on ‘Issues papers’.

www.disability.royalcommission.gov.au