Disability Royal Commission turns spotlight on Indigenous people in remote communities

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The Disability Royal Commission five-day hearing on the operation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme in remote communities began on Monday.

Public hearing 25 will explore barriers to accessing the NDIS and disability services faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability in remote and very remote communities.

The recent National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey determined that more than one in ten of the 66,000 First Nations people with profound or severe disability ten live in remote or very remote locations.

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The hearing will examine to what extent inaccessibility to services cause or contribute to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of Indigenous people with disability.

Thirteen witnesses from or currently living in west Arnhem Land, Tennant Creek, Alice Springs, Fitzroy Crossing and Thursday Island will speak at the hearing.

During public hearing 4, Dr Scott Avery gave evidence that disability in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities was twice as prevalent, more complex and “compressed within a shorter life expectancy” compared to other Australians.

Representatives from the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council, NDIS and Marninwarntikura Women’s Resource Centre will give evidence at the hearing currently underway.

The hearing is being held in person at the Mparntwe (Alice Springs) Convention Centre and is open to the general public and media to attend.



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