DAWA Council Members recently contributed to the public consultation on Western Australia’s disability legislation, combining their thoughts, experiences and ideas to outline a way forward for its reform. 

Anchored in a call for local stewardship from our State Government, DAWA’s submission included over thirty recommendations for strengthening Disability Services Act 1993 (WA). These recommendations focussed on: 

  • Establishing a strong, unified approach to how State and Local Government engage and support people with disability and those who share their lives.
  • Updating the definition and principles so they align with a human rights model, as well as reflect contemporary issues and the diverse spectrum of disability. 
  • Recognising, clarifying and validating the role family members and carers play in the lives of those with significant and complex disability. 
  • Enhancing the systems and safeguards for people with disability by introducing an independent arbiter, principles regarding restrictive practices, and provisions which make ill-treatment a criminal offence. 
  • Building the Office of Disability from Victoria’s blueprint — such as appointing a Secretary to drive strong policies and cohesive services, a Senior Practitioner to uphold the human rights of people subject to restrictive practices and compulsory treatments, and Community Visitors to monitor accommodation facilities. 
  • Creating provisions in the Act which address the intersectionality of disability and the unique themes and needs of people with significant intellectual disability and high levels of vulnerability. 
  • Implementing a robust, whole-of-government approach to Disability Access and Inclusion Plans, with higher standards, accountability and leadership. 
  • Bolstering the Ministerial Advisory Council on Disability by strengthening its diversity, functions, resources and accountability.

DAWA’s feedback reflects the lived experience and industry knowledge of people with disability, their families and carers, peak bodies, advocates, providers, and experienced stakeholders from diverse backgrounds. 

To read DAWA’s full submission, click here


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