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Insights: Disability Royal Commission and Reform Update

The Albanese Labor Government is committed to improving life for people with disabilities. This week, they took a big step by sharing an update on their progress after receiving the final report from the Disability Royal Commission.

At the same time, they introduced new guidelines for Disability Employment Services, showing they’re serious about making sure everyone gets a fair chance.

In Darwin, there was a meeting this week called the First Nations Roundtable. It provided an opportunity for First Nations communities to share their thoughts on the Disability Royal Commission’s findings. First Nation’s groups are talking with Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth and Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney about the specific challenges faced by First Nations people with disabilities.

Minister for Social Services, Amanda Rishworth, says the government is determined to make Australia safe and welcoming for everyone, including those with disabilities. They know they need to work closely with different groups to make lasting changes based on the Royal Commission’s 222 recommendations.

Minister Rishworth said, “we are taking tangible actions to improve access to employment for people with disability through reform to Disability Employment Services, including an immediate lift in quality, and have strengthened safeguarding arrangements for people with disability outside the NDIS through enacting the new Disability Services and Inclusion Act 2023”.

During the Royal Commission, the government put in place new policies and plans, and they’re planning more changes soon. Under the new Quality Framework, DES providers will be rated on whether their services exceed expectations, meet expectations, or require further improvement.

The Department of Social Services has analysed the National Standards for Disability Services audit results from 2023 against the Disability Employment Services Quality Framework. Initial results indicate 85 per cent of providers are meeting requirements and 15 per cent need further improvement.

Quality assessments commenced in January 2024 with initial assessment results due in the second half of the year.

Minister Rishworth says that everyone, including all levels of government and the disability community, needs to work together to make things better for people with disability and that all governments – both Australian State and National governments are committed to creating a fairer and more inclusive society for everyone.

If you want to know more about what the government is doing in response to the Disability Royal Commission, you can visit the Department of Social Services website here:


Written by Amanda Robinson, B.A., MMentalHealth Prac.

Amanda is a professional with over a decade of dedicated experience in the fields of Mental Health and Disability. Her extensive expertise lies in navigating the intricate landscape of the Disability Sector. She brings a unique perspective to her work, being both a person with lived experience of disability and a compassionate carer. She has a passion for advocacy, making her a staunch champion for the rights and well-being of individuals facing similar challenges.

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