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Restrictive practices

  • Issues papers
Publication date

Our latest issues paper looks at the use and impact of restrictive practices on people with disability. We want to know about the effects of restrictive practice on people with disability. We are also interested in understanding how laws, policies and practices around restrictive practices can be improved to better prevent and protect people with disability from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.

The issues paper asks 13 questions to help people and organisations to provide responses. The paper is available in Easy Read, PDF and DOCX.

How to respond

The Royal Commission has extended the deadline for this issues paper. We encourage responses from individuals and organisations by 02 October 2020. After this date, any comments about this issues paper can be made via the submissions process.

  • electronically to
  • in writing to GPO Box 1422, Brisbane, Queensland 4001
  • by phone on 1800 517 199 or +61 7 3734 1900, we can make a time with you to take your response over the phone (Monday to Friday, excluding national public holidays)
  • by audio recording
  • by video recording.

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

We may make your response public unless you tell us not to.

Issues paper (Auslan) - Restrictive practices

We are the Disability Royal Commission.

We have written an issues paper on an important topic. We invite you to respond.

Your responses will help us in our work.

We are interested in the use of restrictive practices on people with disability.

Restrictive practices stop a person from moving around freely, or how they want.

Restrictive practices include seclusion, for example, locking a person in a room.

Restrictive practices also include using restraints.

Examples of retrains might be holding a person down on the ground so they cannot move in hospital.

Or using medication to change their behaviour.

Or tying a person to a chair in a classroom or locking a fridge in a group home to stop a person from accessing it.

Or always telling a person that doing an activity is too dangerous even if it isn't.

Restrictive practices can hurt a person.

They can cause physical or psychological harm.

They may even cause death

Approaches to restrictive practices

There are lots of laws and policies about restrictive practices.

There are national agreements to try to reduce or stop the use of restrictive practices in Australia.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme has rules about restrictive practices.

Many people believe restrictive practices are not needed.

Other people believe that they are sometimes needed to protect people from harming themselves or others.

Research shows that restrictive practices can be prevented or avoided.


This issues paper includes 13 questions.

These questions ask about different things such as:

  • Where, when, how and why are restrictive practices used on people with disability?
  • What is the impact of restrictive practices?
  • Are restrictive practices needed?
  • What rules should there be around restrictive practices?
  • What alternatives are there to restrictive practices?

Your response

You so not have to answer every question.

You can response in any way you like.

You can response writing or video recording.

To read the full issues paper, and for more details on how

to response, go to the Policy and Research section on our website.

Thank you.