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Rights and attitudes

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This issues paper looks at the awareness and recognition of the rights of people with disability. We want to learn more about the level of awareness that people with disability, and the wider community, have about the rights of people with disability.

We are also interested in attitudes towards people with disability. We want to know more about how those attitudes develop and what can be done to change them.

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

Issues paper - Rights and attitudes (Auslan)

 

Rights and attitudes Issues paper

We are the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.

We have released an issues paper. We invite you to respond. Your feedback will help us in our work.

In this issues paper, we are looking at advocacy.

We are also looking at attitudes towards people with disability.

We are interested in understanding awareness and recognition of the rights of people with disability.

Rights

The United Nations has a convention that outlines rights of people with disability across all aspects of life.

This includes home, family, education, work, healthcare and justice.

It is the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD).

It says that people with disability have the right to live free from exploitation, violence and abuse.

These rights are not automatically part of Australian law.

We want to understand how aware people are of the rights in the CRPD.

We also want to know how organisations and governments promote and protect these rights in laws, policies and practices.

Advocacy

Disability advocacy is acting, speaking or writing to promote, protect and defend the human rights of people with disability.

People can advocate for themselves or for someone else.

We want to know how well advocacy is working for people with disability.

In particular, how well it prevents or helps respond to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.

We are also interested in understanding how people with disability are supported to understand their rights, and how to protect them.

Attitudes

Attitudes are thoughts, beliefs and feelings that can influence our behaviour.

Attitudes can be a barrier to inclusion.

They may also contribute to increased risk of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.

We want to understand how the attitudes of people, organisations and governments impact people with disability.

Your response

At the end of our issues paper, there is a list of questions about these topics.

You do not have to answer every question. You can respond in any way you like.

This might be in writing or by a video recording.

To read the full Issues Paper, and for more details on how to respond, go to the Policy & research section on our website.

Overview of responses to the Rights and attitudes Issues paper (Auslan)

Overview of responses to the Rights and attitudes Issues paper (Auslan)

 

Overview of responses to the Rights and attitudes Issues paper

Introduction

The Disability Royal Commission published an issues paper on rights and attitudes in April 2020. The issues paper looked at attitudes in the community towards people with disability and awareness of the rights of people with disability. We asked people to respond to the issues paper sharing their views and experiences. In total we received 66 responses.

We have published an overview document that provides a summary of what we were told in the responses. The responses will help inform our work and our recommendations to make a better, safe society for people with disability.

This is an Auslan video of the overview document.

What did the responses say?

Responses to the issues paper highlighted how negative attitudes, ableism and biases affect people with disability throughout their life.

Stigma comes out in stereotypes that portray people with disability as a burden or an object of fear or pity. These stereotypes reinforce negative attitudes towards people with disability.

Responses show how ableist attitudes mean people with disability are treated in a patronising way from childhood into adulthood.

We were told about the things that contribute to a person being maltreated, excluded, bullied, abused, neglected or exploited like:

Rights – there is a lack of awareness and understanding of the rights of people with disability.

Advocacy – there is not enough advocacy support and services available.

Assumptions – some people assume people with disability cannot make decisions, which limits their autonomy, choice and control.

Attitudes – people with disability can be considered ‘inferior’, a ‘nuisance’, ‘not fully human’ or ‘of no value’.

Media – people with disability are underrepresented and misrepresented in the media. Disability continues to be portrayed as a problem, reinforcing negative attitudes. 

Proposals for change

Respondents to the issues paper made many proposals for change. Proposals include:

  • that the Australian Government adopt a constitutionally enshrined charter of rights
  • that information and resources about the rights of disability are universally accessible for all
  • co-designing strategies and initiatives that raise awareness in the community of the rights of people with disability, starting from a young age
  • increasing funding for advocacy programs and services, including self-advocacy support
  • increasing participation and representation of people with disability in the media, and that media coverage should place a positive emphasis on disability.

More information

For more information on the overview document and people’s responses to the issues paper on rights and attitudes, visit the ‘Policy & research’ section on our website.