Behind Closed Doors authors Ben Keely and Samantha Connor with Senator Linda Reynolds

Behind Closed Doors: Preventing Violence, Neglect and Abuse against West Australians with Disability

On Monday 29th June, People With disabilities WA (PWdWA) and Developmental Disability WA (DDWA) co-hosted a forum that focused on a report released earlier this year entitled ‘Behind Closed Doors: Preventing Violence, Neglect and Abuse against West Australians with Disability’. The authors of the report, Samantha Connor and Ben Keely, presented key issues that were raised in the report, which delved into the history and current-day state of the disabilities and health services industries in Western Australia.

The report came about as a result of the WA Disability Abuse Inquiry launched last year, during which 51 people came forward with a personal story about their experience living or working within the disabilities sector or having a loved one with a disability. In the report, Connor and Keely discuss many of the case studies and their implications in teaching the industry and the wider community of the importance of equality and inclusion for people living with a disability.

The ‘Behind Closed Doors’ report identifies sixteen key recommendations for governing bodies and the organisations that assist people living with a disability. These sixteen points focus on, among other things: exposing institutionalised abuse and neglect through proper reporting and documentation of incidences as well as appropriate responses; giving a stronger voice to people with disabilities and their families when commenting on policies that will directly affect them and their loved ones; encouraging the sharing of best practices between organisations; and increasing the services and funding available to people with a disability such as training programs and access to advocacy services.

There are many fantastic organisations operating within Western Australia that are championing the fight for equality for people living with a disability. Both PWdWA and DDWA ensure people with disabilities and their families have a voice within the community through their advocacy services. Meanwhile, Inclusion WA has been built on a strong foundation of support and social inclusion, believing in the simple truth that everyone should have equal access to the community and all it has to offer.

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