The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with a Disability commenced in Sydney this week

18 February 2020

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability commenced its hearing on Tuesday 18 February 2020 at Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush.

The hearing will investigate the access to, and treatment of, people with cognitive disability, including people with intellectual disability, autism and acquired brain injury, in the health system.

At the request of a number of witnesses, the Royal Commission used Monday 17 February to hold a closed familiarisation session.

Over two weeks, the hearing will explore:

  • the extent to which people with intellectual disability disproportionately experience significant health problems
  • barriers faced by people with cognitive disability when accessing and receiving health care and services, including barriers to communication and health professionals’ attitudes, values and assumptions
  • training and education of health professionals with respect to patients with cognitive disability
  • delayed diagnoses and misdiagnoses of people with cognitive disability
  • diminished life expectancy of people with cognitive disability
  • specific issues for First Nations people with cognitive disability with respect to health care and services.

Senior Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission, Ms Kate Eastman SC, will be responsible for conducting the hearing. Four Commissioners will attend:

  • The Hon. Ronald Sackville AO QC (Chair)
  • The Hon. Roslyn Atkinson AO
  • Barbara Bennett PSM
  • Professor Rhonda Galbally AC

The hearing will be livestreamed on the Royal Commission website and include live captioning and Auslan-English interpreters.