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ADAI Disability Royal Commission Advocacy Service

We provide a free Advocacy Support Service

Advocacy for Disability Access and Inclusion Inc. provides free advocacy support services to people who are engaging with the Disability Royal Commission. This can include:

  • information about the Royal Commission
  • advice about other services available and referrals to those services.

You can contact us on (08) 8340 4450 or free call 1800 856 464.

We’ll post regular updates and information about the Royal Commission on the

ADAI Disability Royal Commission Advocacy Facebook page

Follow us to make sure you know what’s happening.

What is the Disability Royal Commission?

The Australian Government has set up a Royal Commission to look into violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability and report on what needs to change.

The Royal Commission’s Terms of Reference cover what should be done to:

  • prevent, and better protect, people with disability from experiencing violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation
  • achieve best practice in reporting, investigating, and responding to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation
  • promote a more inclusive society that supports the independence of people with disability and their right to live free from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.

The inquiry will cover all forms of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation experienced by people with disability, in all settings and contexts. Then the Royal Commission will report on what needs to change to improve the system. But it won’t take action on individual cases.

Submissions for the Royal Commission have now closed. The Final Report is due in September 2023.
If you have made a submission, or have other questions for the Royal Commission you can:

Hearing from people with disability, families, support people, organisations and the broader community has helped the Royal Commission understand the extent and the impact of violence, neglect, abuse and exploitation against people with disability. This will help them to make recommendations to prevent it from happening again.

The Royal Commission website has up to date information about what’s happening and how people can be involved. This includes the dates and locations of community forums and public hearings, and how to take part. For regular updates, people can subscribe to the Royal Commission’s mailing list by sending an email

Free Legal Advice Service

A free legal advice service has been set up to help people who need legal information or advice about telling their story to the Royal Commission. In South Australia this will be delivered through the Legal Services Commission and the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement.

You can get help by phoning free call 1800 771 800 between 9:15am and 5:15pm AEDT, Monday – Friday, excluding public holidays.

Free Emotional Support Service

Some people may be upset by some of the things that come up for them as a result of the Royal Commission. A free counselling and referral service is available through the Blue Knot Foundation.

You can get help by phoning free call 1800 421 468 or (02) 6146 1468 between 9:00am and 6:00pm weekdays and 9:00am and 5:00pm weekends AEDT.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing and/or speech impaired, you can contact the Blue Knot Foundation through the National Relay Service on 133 677.

If you need support in another language, please use the free of charge Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) by:

  • calling the National Counselling and Referral Service on 1800 421 468 and asking for an interpreter. The counsellor will make the arrangements, or
  • calling TIS National on 131 450 and asking to be connected to the National Counselling and Referral Service on 1800 421 468.

You can also get help from Beyond Blue, phone 1300 224 or Lifeline Crisis Support, phone 13 11 14. These services are available 24 hours/7 days.

ADAI’s Organisational Submissions

ADAI has written five systemic submissions for the Royal Commission. These are:

The Guardianship and Administration Act 1993: The Case for Free Legal Representation – Submission No.1

This submission was originally written in 2021, and updated in December 2022.

This submission discusses the pressing need for people facing applications for a Guardianship Order and/or an Administration Order to be legally represented as of right. This submission is partly based on ADAI’s direct involvement in applications issued under the Guardianship and Administration Act 1993.

Education: Systemic Neglect of Students with Disability – Submission No.2

All students have a right to an education. In South Australia, this is supported by legislative and regulatory frameworks such as the Disability Standards for Education 2005 (Cth) (the Standards), the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth), the South Australian Department for Education’s Children and Students with Disability Policy. Australia is also a signatory to the United Nations, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2006 (UNCRPD) which prohibits discrimination against people with disability and describes the rights of persons with disabilities and the expectations to achieve and maintain these rights. By ratifying the UNCRPD, Australia has an obligation to protect, ensure, and promote these rights. The structure of the education system does not support the right to access, and the balance of power is held strongly by the schools and the Department for Education (the Department). This can lead to the individual needs of students being missed or ignored.

Gaps in Post-Care Support for Young People with Disabilities Ageing Out of the Child Protection System – Submission No.3

Advocacy for Disability Access and Inclusion Inc. SA (ADAI) holds serious concerns about the gaps in post-care support for young people with disabilities transitioning out of the Department for Child Protection (DCP) system. Many of these young people are especially vulnerable and the legislative and systemic social support frameworks are not adequately protecting them from harm.

Culture and Capability of the NDIA – Submission No.4

This submission was originally prepared by Advocacy for Disability Access and Inclusion Inc. South Australia (ADAI) for the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme’s Inquiry into the Culture and Capability of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

This submission will provide examples of ADAI’s interactions with the NDIA and issues experienced by our clients. For the reasons outlined in this submission, ADAI considers that the NDIA has a poor culture. ADAI has advocated for clients who have felt so disempowered and disrespected by NDIA staff and representatives that they have felt like giving up on the system, or “throwing in the towel”, as one advocate put it. ADAI recommends urgent improvement to operational processes and procedures to ensure that the NDIS is as accessible and functional as intended.

The Importance of Advocacy in the Reduction of Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability – Submission No.5

This submission is focused on the provision of advocacy to uphold the rights and ensure the safety of people with disabilities. This submission has been informed by the knowledge and experience of ADAI advocates. The focus of this submission is on the provision of advocacy to people with disability and its role in the prevention and protection of people with disabilities from experiencing violence, abuse, neglect, and exploitation. This submission provides a small snapshot of the work undertaken by ADAI advocates and outlines some of the issues advocates have identified.

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