Disability service providers in Victoria are required to take human rights into consideration whenever they make a decision.
Service delivery principles for disability services
There are service delivery principles for Victorian disability services that specifically relate to human rights, they include:
- Maximising the choice and independence of people with a disability so they can achieve their individual goals
- Providing services in a manner that respects the privacy and dignity of the person with a disability
- Acknowledging the important role families have in assisting their family member to realise their potential.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) represents a fundamental change to how supports for people with disability are funded and delivered. The full scheme commenced in Victoria on 1 July 2019.
NDIS services are regulated by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission. The NDIS Commission aims to uphold the rights of people with disability, including the right to dignity and respect and to live free from abuse, exploitation and violence. These aims, together with the principles for delivery of services in Victoria are in keeping with Australia's commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Laws that protect the rights of people with a disability
There are specific laws that protect the rights of people with a disability, they include:
- UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2007
- Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006
- Victorian Disability Act 2006 (2 July 2019 amendment)
- Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (2 July 2019 amendment)
Disability Abuse Prevention Strategy-Dignity, respect and safer services
Victoria introduced new legislation amending the Disability Act in 2017 to strengthen oversight of the disability sector and to promote a culture of zero tolerance of abuse of people with disability in Victoria.
The Disability Abuse Prevention Strategy outlines Victoria's zero tolerance approach to abuse. It provides a guide for individuals, service providers and the sector to understand promote and enhance safeguards and to prevent abuse. The Strategy recognises the role that service providers and the disability sector have in stopping abuse from happening and has a key focus on building the capacity of people with disability to assert their rights and to act in their own interest.
A range of resources have been developed or funded by the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing to assist service providers embed a culture of zero tolerance of abuse in their organisations, see Disability abuse prevention - resources to build capacity page on our Services website.
Implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The Implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - a resource for services providers publication has been developed by the Senior Practitioner – Disability to assist people with a disability, their families and carers to become more familiar with the rights and obligations as set out in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It explains these rights and obligations in an easy-to-understand way, and highlights some implications for policy and practice within disability services. It also provides some guidance about practical measures support services might take to give effect to these rights and obligations.
Disability advocacy and self-advocacy
Disability advocacy and self-advocacy organisations play a vital role in promoting and advancing the rights of people with a disability. For more information see Disability advocacy and self help.
Disability self help grants
Disability self help grants are available to assist disability self help groups. For more information, see Disability self help grants.