Disability RC to hear private evidence


Chair Ronald Sackville QC said the voices and experiences of people with disability are at the centre of the royal commission.

"With the active participation of people with disability, advocates and the disability community, the royal commission provides a genuine opportunity to bring about the transformational change necessary to achieve a more inclusive society," Mr Sackville said on Friday.

"Such a society must unstintingly recognise the dignity, autonomy, equality and freedom of choice of people with disability.

"We are deeply conscious of the magnitude and complexity of the task we face. Even so, we embrace the challenge and are determined to meet it."

Releasing a progress report on Friday, Mr Sackville said it is critical to the royal commission's success that people with disability feel safe to share their experiences.

"We acknowledge that we shall also have to actively seek out people who otherwise may not have direct access to engage with the royal commission, for example people with cognitive disabilities living in closed environments."

The report noted the commissioners will begin the important task of holding private sessions from early 2020, to allow people to share their experiences in a less formal setting than a public hearing.

Mr Sackville said the royal commission had already heard in public hearings and community forums many harrowing accounts of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability.

The five-year child abuse inquiry held more than 8000 private sessions with survivors.

(Source)