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Fifth Progress Report

  • Report
Publication date

The Fifth Progress Report summarises the work carried out by the Royal Commission during the period 1 July to 31 December 2021.

Fifth Progress Report (Auslan)


Fifth Progress Report

The Disability Royal Commission has published its Fifth Progress Report. It covers our activities from 1 July to 31 December 2021.

Key updates

In the same period, the Royal Commission released information about two key updates.

In August the Australian Parliament passed legislation to ensure that all confidential information provided to us will remain confidential beyond the life of the Royal Commission. 

In October we released a report about the experiences of people with disability in relation to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. The report identifies where the Australian Government failed in rolling out vaccines to people with disability.

Public hearings

From 1 July to 31 December 2021 we held 6 public hearings. The hearings looked at:

  • People with cognitive disability in the criminal justice system, and the interface with the National Disability Insurance System.
  • First Nations children with disability in out-of-home care.
  • The experiences of women and girls with disability, focusing on family violence.
  • Making the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities a reality in Australian law, policies and practices.
  • How employers respond to systemic barriers to employment for people with disability.
  • Preventing and responding to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation in disability services run by Life Without Barriers.

Community engagement

In the second half of 2021 we worked with community leaders, organisations and advocates to access communities that we had not heard from. This led to an increase in the number of submissions from people with disability from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Submissions and private sessions

From 1 July to 31 December 2021 we received 878 submissions about people’s experiences of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.

We held 401 private sessions during the same period. This was an increase on the 282 held in the previous 6 months. 16 of these sessions were with people living in segregated environments, like group homes.

Some of the themes raised in submissions and private sessions included:

  • Children with disability being excluded from enrolling or attending school.
  • Impact of COVID-19 pandemic, including difficulties accessing vaccines.
  • Financial exploitation of people with disability by guardians who control their assets.

Our impact to date

Some of examples of the impact we are having:

  • In November 2020 we published a report about the experiences of people with disability during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Australian Government accepted 21 of 22 of the report’s recommendations, including keeping the Advisory Committee on Coronavirus for People with Disability throughout the pandemic, as well as the recovery period.
  • In September 2021 we published a draft report about the experiences of people with disability in relation to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. We recommended that the Australian Government use its best efforts to ensure that people with disability and disability support workers are vaccinated before easing restrictions. In October 2021, the Victorian Government announced $5 million to establish 10 disability vaccination pop-up clinics.
  • In December 2021, the Australian Government published Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-2031. This strategy has been shaped by the Royal Commission and refers to our reports and research.

More information

The full fifth progress report is available on our website.

It contains more details about our activities, as well as some personal stories people have shared with us.