The Disability Services Act 2006
The Disability Services Act 2006 includes a number of ways to safeguard the rights of Queenslanders with a disability, and outlines requirements that apply to disability services funded or delivered by the department. It also regulates certain aspects of disability services provided by NDIS registered providers.
The Act states:
People with a disability have the same human rights as other members of society and should be empowered to exercise their rights.
As well as affirming these rights, the Act articulates some specific rights for people with a disability. These include rights when using disability services, such as the right to receive services:
- in a way that respects the confidentiality of personal information
- in a safe, accessible built environment appropriate to the person’s needs.
- The Act specifically recognises the right to live a life free from abuse, neglect or exploitation.
Positive behaviour support
The Positive behaviour support and restrictive practices framework safeguards the rights of adults with a cognitive or intellectual disability who exhibit severely challenging behaviours.
It provides for the authorisation of restrictive practices to support individuals in specific circumstances.
Disability Worker Screening
On 1 February 2021, new nationally consistent disability worker screening for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) commenced in Queensland to improve the safety and quality of services and supports delivered to people living with disability.
Queensland also continues to provide robust state screening for workers delivering certain state-funded disability supports or services.
The complaints management processes provides a channel for feedback on service quality and resolution of issues.
Monitoring and Investigation
The Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships has monitoring and investigative powers to monitor compliance with the Act.
The Australian Human Rights Commission promotes the rights of people with disabilities and is working to build a more accessible, more inclusive community. If you believe that you have been discriminated against on the basis of your disability, you can make a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission. You can also have someone such as a solicitor, advocate or trade union make a complaint on your behalf.
We know the importance of carers, which is why the work of Carers Australia is so important. It’s a not for profit, benevolent national peak organisation dedicated to improving the lives of carers, by working to ensure they’re adequately informed and resourced.
The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission is an independent agency established to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services. The Commission regulates NDIS providers, provides national consistency, promotes safety and quality services, resolves problems and identifies areas for improvement.
How to make a complaint
If you have a complaint or issue about your service not meeting the Disability Service Standards you should, in the first instance, contact the service manager.
That might mean issues around:
- Not getting a service or support that you should be provided with
- Not being allowed to make a complaint or your complaint being ignored
- Abuse and neglect
- Being unfairly exited from a service.
Complaints are important—they can improve the quality of services and can help others experiencing similar challenges. But, if you feel your concerns haven’t been properly addressed by your NDIS provider, you can complain directly to the NDIS Commission by:
Some great resources created by disability advocacy organisations:
Action on Disability within Ethnic Communities (ADEC)
Say No To Abuse videos explaining neglect and physical, emotional and financial abuse
Action for More Independence & Dignity in Accommodation (AMIDA)
Housing – Know Your Rights (12 minute video)
Advocacy for Inclusion
I need help from the police (PDF) (Easy English resource)
Council on Intellectual Disability (CID)
What is a restrictive practice? (Easy Read resource)
Abuse, neglect and bullying of people with intellectual disability
Your Service Your Rights cards
What to do if you have been scammed – Info Guide
Making a complaint about goods or services – Info Guide
DACSSA Disability Advocacy
Down Syndrome Australia
Healthy Relationships and Sexuality (Easy Read guide)
Healthy Relationships and Sexuality: Information for people with Down syndrome and their families
Women With Disabilities Australia
Violence Against Women and Girls with Disability video
Women with disability speak about the right to freedom from all forms of violence video (from WWDA’s human rights toolkit)
Your right to be safe from violence (Easy English)
Sex and Your Body video
Safety and Violence | Our Site (wwda.org.au)
Office of the eSafety Commissionner
Online safety for young people with intellectual disability
Resources for disability workers
Looking After Me Program (LAMP) – relationship and sexuality
Disability Workforce training and resources