logotype

Category: Disability Royal Commission

Deaf Australia and affiliated organisations express profound disappointment in Disability Royal Commission recommendations

Transcript

The final reports of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation of People with Disabilities, handed down on September 29 2023, have left the Deaf community disappointed. Despite extensive submissions by Deaf Australia and numerous other deaf organisations and individuals detailing the lived experiences of the Deaf community, not one of the 222 recommendations explicitly addresses the unique challenges faced by Deaf, Deafblind, hard of hearing and Deaf+Disabled people.

While recognising our identity as a disability group, we primarily identify as a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) community, embracing the proud language of Auslan, culture, values, arts, and shared heritage. The barriers we encounter in every aspect of our lives do not stem from our deafness but are imposed by societal expectations, even from within other disability cohorts, dictating how we should be, communicate, act, and live.

Our disappointment in the recommendations of the Disability Royal Commission (DRC) is an understatement; we are profoundly disillusioned with the disparity between the promised potential of the DRC and its actual delivery. The broad and sweeping recommendations run counter to our advocacy, particularly during public hearings including Public Hearing 29, where the experiences of violence against Deaf and Deafblind people were discussed. We question the absence of focus on critical issues such as early intervention, language deprivation, Auslan as a human right, and the utmost necessity of a bilingual and bicultural model for deaf babies and children.

Of particular concern is the recommendation for the closure of special schools, a direct contradiction to the Deaf community's consistent call for more bilingual and bicultural schools. Institutions like Toowong State School in Queensland, where both deaf and hearing children learn in two languages—Auslan and English—are emblematic of the inclusive educational environments we champion. The closure of Deaf schools across Australia, despite our community’s pleas, has resulted in deaf children struggling in mainstream settings without adequate support and the presence of other deaf peers. What hearing people see as inclusion of deaf children is integration: a physical placement with an Auslan interpreter IF they are lucky with no other deaf peers, deaf mentors and deaf teachers of the deaf fluent in Auslan. This has failed spectacularly for deaf children. The International Disability Alliance’s Inclusive Education Report (2020) has explicitly stated: -

“...sign language access for learners who are deaf... [is] essential for meeting the right to education; this access cannot always be provided in local settings...”

While acknowledging the DRC's recommendation on Auslan interpreting, it is crucial to recognise that it only addresses service provision and fails to dismantle social barriers hindering our community's full engagement with society. Utilising Auslan interpreters does not mean that there is a true and inclusive society at play where any Deaf person can interact with any person they meet, but instead asks that the Deaf person waits until a qualified non-Deaf person is available to act as an intermediary. This recommendation is more about providing jobs to hearing people than about empowering our community members to become full citizens in their own communities.

Further, this recommendation holds little meaning without the right and ability to use Auslan. Ignoring crucial statistics, such as the high percentage of deaf babies born into non-signing families (97%) and the resulting language deprivation (50-70%), demonstrates a careless disregard for the unique challenges faced by the Deaf community.

The stories that emerged from the DRC are not new to us, as the national peak advocacy body for all Deaf, Deafblind, hard of hearing, and Deaf+Disabled people who use Auslan, and as Deaf individuals ourselves. We acknowledge the bravery of those who shared their traumatic experiences during the proceedings. However, it is disappointing that none of the recommendations recognise these stories, from language deprivation and educational inadequacies to systemic denial of access and shocking experiences across all stages of life and did not translate these into genuine recommendations that would lead to real change.

We urgently call upon the Australian Government and state and territory governments to rethink a one-size-fits-all approach to disability, and to consider the vital need for bilingual and bicultural approaches in early intervention and educational settings for all children born or becoming deaf, deafblind, hard of hearing, and deaf+disabled. We expect their responses to reflect this consideration by March 31.

Visual description

Opening slide: Graphic features white Deaf Australia logo on a green and brown gradient background. Below this is a circle shape with Royal Commission logo on purple background. Title reads "Deaf Australia and affiliated organisations express profound disappointment in Disability Royal Commission recommendations. Published: 18th December 2023."

Video: Shirley is sitting in a black desk chair against a white wall. She is wearing a black t-shirt and signing in a professional and plain manner towards the camera.

Closing slide: Graphic features white Deaf Australia logo on a green and blue gradient background. Text reads “Deaf Australia is a Deaf-led advocacy and information organisation in Australia representing all Deaf, Deafblind, and hard-of-hearing people and others who use Auslan (Australian Sign Language) as their language of preference. Contact us: [email icon] [email protected], [website icon] deafaustralia.org.au, [Instagram and X icons] @deafaustralia, [Facebook icon] DeafAustraliaInc”

Download the Media Release

To download the Media Release in Word document and PDF formats, please fill out the form below:

DRC Recommendations Update 20th October

Transcript

Hello! I’m Catherine [gives name sign] and I work at Deaf Australia as a policy officer. I want to let you know that we at Deaf Australia are aware of the numerous DRC reports that was released on 29th September. Deaf Australia is collaborating with Deaf Victoria, Deaf Connect and Deaf Bendigo Hub in making a decision as to where we go next from here. The DRC reports has 222 recommendations that tells the government what they must do to improve the lives of people with disabilities and deaf people too. We will give you updates as time goes on as we need to read through the reports carefully. Bye!

Visual descriptions

Opening slide: Graphic features purple background with white text. White Deaf Australia logo in the upper center. Royal Disability Commission logo centered beneath that. Title reads "Update regarding recent DRC recommendations. Published: 20th October 2023"

Video: Catherine a white woman with short brown hair. She is wearing a black shirt and sitting against a beige wall. She signing in a professional manner towards the camera and smiles throughout her message.

Closing slide: Graphic features white Deaf Australia logo on a green and blue gradient background. Text reads “Deaf Australia is a Deaf-leg advocacy and information organisation in Australia representing all Deaf, Deafblind, and hard-of-hearing people and others who use Auslan (Australian Sign Language) as their language of preference. Contact us: [email icon] [email protected], [website icon] www.deafaustralia.org.au, [Instagram and Twitter icons] @deafaustralia, [Facebook icon] DeafAustraliaInc”

Royal Commission publishes over 1,500 narratives of people with disability

Media Release 11 September 2023

Royal Commission publishes over 1,500 narratives of people with disability

Today the Royal Commission published 1,586 narratives on its website. The narratives are deidentified experiences of people with disability, their families and supporters and are based on experiences shared in private sessions and submissions to the Royal Commission between 2019 to 2022.

Private sessions and submissions guaranteed the experiences of people with disability, their families and supporters remained central to the work of the Royal Commission. [DA Note: You can find Deaf narratives by filtering by CALD on the left side of the screen. Not all CALD narratives are about Deaf people.]

These experiences assisted the Royal Commission to better understand the nature and extent of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability.

The following are two examples of narratives published today.

Khari: “Being black in this state [WA] was hard, but being black and in a wheelchair was a nightmare because absolutely no-one sees you.”

Len: “As someone with a learning disability, I’m not stupid. I’m quite intelligent, and I work outside the box … I actually consider my learning disability a gift.”

The narratives can be accessed at disability.royalcommission.gov.au.

Please direct all inquiries to the Disability Royal Commission media team on 0436 841 166 or via our email [email protected].

ENDS

The Disability Royal Commission “What Australia Told Us!” Online Sessions 

What Australia Told Us – National Information Sessions

This year DRC are holding a series of national information sessions, ‘What Australia Told Us!’

In these sessions, we share what we’ve learnt about people with disability and their experiences of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation since our inquiry began. This includes:

·      how people engaged with us

·      ways people shared their experiences 

·      what we learnt from people who took part in private sessions or made submissions.

We are holding two online sessions in June, and are inviting people who are Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing to attend.

More information about the sessions is also available our website.

DRC National Information Sessions – What Australia Told Us

What Australia Told Us – National Information Sessions

The Disability Royal Commission has launched a series of national information sessions titled “What Australia Told Us!” to engage people with disability, their families, carers, advocates, and other stakeholders in understanding the Royal Commission’s work to date.

The information sessions will be face to face events held in each state and territory for people to learn more about what we have heard about violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability. The first session will kick off in Brisbane, Queensland on 16 March 2023. Our schedule is provided below.

The sessions will provide information to the community on our work to date at the Disability Royal Commission, including:

  • How people engaged with us.
  • Ways people shared their experiences.
  • What we learnt from people who participated in private sessions and submissions.
  • How you can stay informed.

We will provide Auslan Interpreters at the event.

Please let us know if you, or any of your members, have any additional accessibility requirements for the online workshop when you register.

Please note that this event is not an opportunity to discuss final report recommendations or findings. Rather, we want to share back the major themes we have heard from the community throughout the course of our inquiry.

Event dates, locations, and registration
BRISBANE
Level 5, Waterfront Place
1 Eagle Street, Brisbane

Thursday, 16 March 2023
AM Session: 9:30 am – 11:30 am AEST
PM Session: 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm AEST

Register via Humantix.

PERTH
Ibis Perth City

Tuesday, 28 March 2023

Register via Humantix.

HOBART
Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel Hobart

Tuesday, 28 March 2023

Register via Humantix.

SYDNEY
NSW Teachers Federation Conference Centre Surry Hills

Tuesday, 18 April 2023
AM Session: 9:30 am – 11:30 am AEST
PM Session: 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm AEST

Register via Humantix.

CANBERRA
Rex Hotel Braddon

Thursday, 20 April 2023
AM Session: 9:30 am – 11:30 am AEST
PM Session: 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm AEST

Register via Humantix.

DARWIN
Darwin Innovation Hub

Tuesday, 16 May 2023
9:30 am – 11:30 am

Register via Humantix.

ADELAIDE
Elder Hall Adelaide

Thursday, 15 June 2023
9:30 am – 11:30 am

Register via Humantix.

MELBOURNE
Ibis Hotel Melbourne

Tuesday, 13 June 2023
9:30 am – 11:30 am

Register via Humantix.

ALICE SPRINGS
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Alice Springs

Thursday, 18 May 2023
9:30 am – 11:30 am

Register via Humantix.

DRC Deaf Public Hearing

Sign up for the event in your city

SYDNEY
Student Lounge, Parramatta Office
BRISBANE
Board Room, Moorooka Office
ADELAIDE
Community Hall, Adelaide Office
DARWIN
Harry's Place, Darwin Office
MELBOURNE
Expression Australia

DRC Auslan Video:

Transcript

Hello, I’m Alex and I work here at the Disability Royal Commission.

We are holding a public hearing soon that will look at the experiences of culturally and linguistically diverse people with disability.

This includes experiences of people who are Deaf and identify as culturally linguistically diverse, as members of the Deaf community using Auslan.

The hearing starts on Monday 24 October and goes until Friday 28 October. It will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre in Melbourne.

You can attend the hearing in person. Or you can follow the hearing on the Royal Commission’s website. It will be broadcast live with Auslan interpreters and captions.

The first part of the hearing, Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th October, will focus on the Deaf community; d/Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing people will share their experiences.

Experts from the Deaf community will help us better understand:

  • the importance of Auslan and Deaf identity
  • barriers to acquiring Auslan, for example in schools
  • the role of interpreters, and access to information and communication in Auslan.

This will help the Royal Commission better understand how Auslan and Deaf identity can help prevent violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.

Evidence in the hearing will help inform the Royal Commission’s Final Report and recommendations for a more inclusive society.

For more information, visit our website and search ‘Public hearing 29’.

Join us on Monday 24 October for this special occasion!

More information: www.disability.royalcommission.gov.au

Please join us with Deaf Connect and Expression Australia to watch the DRC Deaf Public Hearing together.

This event will live stream the Disability Royal Commission Deaf Public Hearing on Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th October.

This is an event will be held at various locations around Australia in person, where Deaf people can come together, watch the hearing and share their experiences. You can check out more information regarding the public hearing on the DRC website.

Sign up for the event in your city below:

SYDNEY
Student Lounge, Parramatta Office
BRISBANE
Board Room, Moorooka Office
ADELAIDE
Community Hall, Adelaide Office
DARWIN
Harry's Place, Darwin Office
MELBOURNE
Expression Australia

Outlook Blog (December 2020 – January 2021)

Video translation of Deaf Australia Outlook (December 2020 – January 2021)

Members Blog

Happy belated New Year, we certainly hope you had a festive and safe holiday. We hope that 2021 will be an exciting year for all of us and we all stay safe and are keeping well.

Before Christmas, we were invited to participate in Deaf Community of Australia Forum (DCAF) with Shirley hosting the event and we were able to share with you the updates of what we have been doing.

Through Christmas, Deaf Australia has been preparing a submission to Department of Health to address accessible services for Deaf People who use Auslan in Hospital and Health Services and organising webinars for Disability Royal Commission and NDIS-ILC project.

  • Accessible Services for Deaf People who use Auslan in Hospitals and Health Services

There have been too many mistakes, too many bad stories, too many preventable situations that has not been adequately addressed to ensure that our health and wellbeing are looked after.

The submission outlined 4 key areas:

  • Hospitals
  • Medical and Allied Health Services
  • Telehealth Services and
  • National Relay Service

This submission has been sent to Department of Health through our role with Covid-19 Disability Roundtable hosted by Department of Health. Through this group, Deaf Australia have reminded them the importance that deaf people need to have access to interpreter when there are media announcements regarding Covid-19 and accessing interpreter for health and medical services which led to this paper.

Deaf Australia acknowledge that Deaf Victoria is undertaking parallel project in Victoria asking deaf people their experiences with Hospitals. We look forward receiving their report.

To view written submission (https://deafaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/Accessible-Services-for-Deaf-People-who-use-Auslan-in-the-Hospitals-and-Health-Services.pdf)

  • Disability Royal Commission

We are thrilled to inform you that there will be webinars throughout the year covering different topics with the Disability Royal Commission. Darlene Thornton will be facilitating these webinars on a fortnight basis and would love to hear your stories and experiences so Deaf Australia can prepare our report to Disability Royal Commission.

We also encourage you to participate if you wish to directly share your experience to Disability Royal Commission and we will be able to assist you with your submissions.

To view webinar program (https://deafaustralia.org.au/advocacy/drc/)

  • NDIS – Information, Linkage and Capacity (ILC) Building Grant (2019-2022)

We are ramping up with the project with Paula Thornton and Vanessa Alford taking key role with this project as Resource Officers.

Before Christmas, we had a full day workshop to discuss ideas, plans and strategy to improve our engagement with you.

This project will focus on 2 things:

  1. Improve information distribution and
  2. Developing appropriate and accessible resources that will strengthen deaf community’s knowledge and skills.

We will be using staff, volunteers and others to provide information, workshops or training through online and in person.

Deaf Australia is working hard behind the scenes to prepare and develop the program for this year. We look forward to an informative year for everyone. If you have any suggestions, please share with us by sending us an email – [email protected].

  • Other information:

National Relay Service – registration required by 20 April 2020 – if you on or after 20 April, your application process may take longer. Please register here.

4th WFD Conference in Thailand has been postponed to 20-22 April 2022 due to Covid-19.

Disability Royal Commission

Deaf Australia would like to welcome Ms. Darlene Thornton who has been appointed as Advocacy Support with Deaf Australia for the Royal Disability Commission.

Introductory video:

Transcript:

Hello, I am Darlene

Deaf Australia would like to let you know that I am working with Deaf Australia as Disability (Deaf) Advocacy Support to work on all matters related to the Disability Royal Commission (DRC).

I will be working in this role until 30 June 2022, working with you in the Australian Deaf Community and with Disability Royal Commission.

We will be focusing on few things like:

  1. Advocate for both individual and organisations;
  2. Provide information about DRC in Auslan and deaf-friendly language so everyone in Deaf Community can understand;
  3. Provide support and help with understanding of the DRC’s processes and what to expect; and
  4. Provide support and guidance when submitting a report or attending a hearing/ meetings with the DRC.

It is important for us to know how DRC work and what it means for us in the Australian Deaf Community, and why it is necessary to contribute by submitting reports and attending hearings.

If you have any issues, questions or concerns about DRC and how I will work with you or other members in the Deaf Community, please contact me at [email protected].

More information about Disability Royal Commission in Auslan videos will be coming soon.

Thank you and I look forward working and supporting you all in the Deaf Community about the Disability Royal Commission.

  • end
Skip to content
Verified by MonsterInsights