First people with disability today told the Disability Royal Commission that it is time for action to make disability rights real.
“It’s been more than a decade since Australia signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, yet for First People with disability, we are still not included in the community,” said Damian Griffs, CEO, First Peoples Disability Network (FPDN).
“Today we told the Disability Royal Commission about how many First People with disability don’t have access to the services and supports they need, and are often criminalised and excluded because of their disability”.
The Disability Royal Commission hearing is examining the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Australia on 8 and 9 November 2021.
“We need Australia to take an intersectional approach to implementing the CRPD to make sure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability are fully included,” said Mr Griffis.
“FPDN has long called for the CRPD to include cultural issues to recognise the ways that First People with disability live.”
“There needs to be a formal way to measure and report on how we are going in realising the rights of people with disability, such as through Australia’s Disability Strategy, where for example there’s a report to Parliament every year,” says Mr Griffis.
“We also need an urgent roll out of specific advocacy for First People with disability, who can go out on country and talk with the whole community about how to fix barriers.”
“Disability and human rights are important knowledge that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability, their families and communities need to know and use in everyday life, so we have developed a culturally safe ‘Know your Human Rights’ training workshop to empower community to understand how to use this knowledge and be confident to speak up for their rights.”
“This Lester Bostock Human Rights Training, named after one of our founding Elders, needs to be available to all First People with disability, their families and community across Australia. But this kind of training, delivered by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability, also needs to be done by all NDIS services and disability workers.”
“With investment in advocacy and rights education, we could make a big difference in how Australia delivers on the promise of the CRPD. Australia is a very wealthy country, and should be measured by the highest possible standard in disability rights,” says Mr Griffis.
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