42 disability rights and advocacy organisations name for an finish to segregation of disabled folks

People with disabilities and our rights and advocacy organizations are fighting to end the segregation of people with disabilities in Australian education, housing and the workplace.

We urge the Royal Commission to recognize violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disabilities (Disability Royal Commission) that segregation of people with disabilities is discrimination and a violation of our human rights according to the UN Convention on Human Rights Represents disabilities (which Australia has signed).

The everyday reality for many people with disabilities is one of inequality and discrimination. Many of us are separated from the rest of the community by legal, political and practical frameworks that allow “special” separate agreements.

This is especially true for people with intellectual, cognitive or psychosocial disabilities, people who are neurodivergent, people with multiple disabilities and others who are stored in segregated settings and environments due to a lack of adequate services and support.

In our educational system, children and young people with disabilities are not always welcome at their local school with their non-disabled colleagues and do not have access to the supports and adaptations for a fair education. For many, this is the beginning of a pipeline to segregated environments in later life, including exploitative workplaces where people with disabilities can legally be employed for a fraction of the minimum wage.

Many people with disabilities live in clustered life situations such as group houses or dormitories where housing and support services are managed by the same organization (imagine if your landlord also employs the person who will help you shower and decide where to relax and what you do eat for lunch).

This can lead to very dangerous situations if someone experiences violence, abuse, or neglect in their home, making it very difficult for a person with a disability to complain or change providers without putting their home at risk. People with disabilities are still dramatically over-represented in homeless populations.

Separate systems are often justified by the low expectations of people with disabilities and poor beliefs about what is “in our best interests”. However, it is important to remember that there are well-established funding arrangements and interest groups in relation to disability, education, mental health, and old age, care and other service systems, and to ask who really benefits from maintaining these systems.

The Disability Royal Commission has been tasked with making recommendations to prevent violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disabilities. They commit to doing this in a rights-based framework, but we still have no real indication that they view the segregation of disabled people as a violation of our human rights.

In line with Australia’s international human rights obligations, it is important that concerted action to end the segregation of people with disabilities is mainstreamed into all critical disability reform processes.

We have fought long and hard for a Disability Royal Commission and now they must take this opportunity to push for real change.

You can read the full position paper here:

This position paper is endorsed by:

The logos of: Children and Youth with Disabilities Australia, Women with Disabilities Australia, National Ethnic Disability Alliance, First Peoples Disability Network Australia, Inclusion Australia, Australian Federation of Disability Organizations, Disability Advocacy Network Australia, People with Disabilities Australia, Self Advocacy Sydney Inc. , Gippsland Disability Advocacy, Disability Rights Legal Service in Villamanta Inc., Down Syndrome Australia, Disability Discrimination Legal Service Inc., Stand Up For You, Advocacy and Support Center, All Means All, Disability Advocacy Service Inc., Independent Advocacy South Australia , Spinal Cord Injury Australia, Speak Out Advocacy, Regional Disability Advocacy Service, Queensland Advocacy Incorporated, Imagine More, South Australian Social Services Council, Rights Information and Advocacy Center, NSW Physical Disability Council, Rights In Action, Disability Advocacy and Complaint  the Service of South Australia, Advocacy Law Alliance, Leadership Plus, Mackay Advocacy Inc., Disability Justice Australia, Australian Coalition for Inclusive Education, People with Disabilities WA, Family Advocacy, Disability Advocacy Victoria Inc., Australian Center for Disability Rights, Belonging Matters Inc., ACT Council of Social Services, Queensland Inclusive Education Collective, WA Developmental Disorder, Melbourne East Disability Advocacy.

Do you support this position paper?

If you want to help us end the segregation of people with disabilities in Australia you can publicly support this paper by adding your details below (your email will be kept private but all other details / comments can be posted on this website ) or, at our discretion, posted in materials associated with the #EndSegregation campaign).

  • Surname*
  • E-mail*
  • Do you represent an organization? *


  • If so, what is the name of the organization you represent?
  • If you would like us to display your logo, please upload it here: Accepted file types: jpg, gif, png, pdf.
  • Do you have any comments you want to add?

jQuery (document) .bind (‘gform_post_render’, function (event, formId, currentPage) {if (formId == 5) {}}); jQuery (document) .bind (‘gform_post_conditional_logic’, function (event, formId, fields), is in there) {}); jQuery (document) .ready (function () {jQuery (document) .trigger (‘gform_post_render’, [5, 1])});

/ Public release. The material in this public release is from the original organization and may be of a temporal nature and edited for clarity, style and length. Full view here.

Comments are closed.