After four and a half long years, in which people with disability told their stories and gave evidence with great determination and resilience, the DRC’s final report and recommendations are now with us. Copies of the report can be downloaded in various formats direct from the DRC website and an Easy Read version is also available.
The report contains 222 recommendations. These don’t cover 222 different topics – they’re grouped around nine themes including human rights, autonomy and access, First Nations people and disability services. The recommendations are encouraging to read.
It’s now up to the Federal Government to decide how it will respond to the recommendations. Unlike with other Royal Commission processes, the Government hasn’t moved quickly to embrace or endorse all recommendations. We must hope the response will be timely and above all made in close consultation with people with disability. It would be a contradiction of both the DRC process and the recommendations if this did not happen.
It’s regrettable that on some key points the Commissioners failed to agree on the best way forward, resulting in several split recommendations. This risks creating a lack of clarity or consensus on what now needs to be done, potentially setting back the momentum for transformational change.
DRC Commissioner Rhonda Galbally has called on governments to give significant weight to the views of the three Commissioners (out of six in total) with lived experience of disability. VALID supports Dr Galbally’s position. Worryingly, some voices are already beginning to argue the DRC’s vision goes too far, too fast and will cost Australia too much.
VALID calls for the full and timely implementation of all DRC recommendations in direct and ongoing consultation with people with disability and their families, carers, advocates and representative organisations.