Date: 
Friday 1 December 2017

People with disability still face a lot of barriers in today’s society in Australia.

To mark this year’s International Day of People with Disability, held on Sunday 3 December 2017, Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Alastair McEwin, is releasing Working towards Equality for People with Disability, which outlines the things he will do to address the big issues that people with disability have told him about.

Commissioner McEwin says: “I have spoken to many people with disability in Australia about their lives and the changes they need.  Based on what I have been told, I have developed a list of big issues I will focus on to improve the lives of people with disability over the next four years.”

Working towards Equality for People with Disability is based on the findings of Commissioner McEwin’s national consultations, Shaping our Future: Discussions on Disability Rights, held in 2016 – 2017.  The consultations were held in every capital city around Australia and a few regional areas.

“It was clear from my consultations that there are many issues facing people with disability in Australia today.  Amongst the biggest of these issues are ones such as housing and education.

“We want to see people with disability live in our communities where they like and with whom they like.  To achieve this, I will work with government and community stakeholders to encourage the government to pass new laws so that new housing is accessible to people with disability.  I will also advocate for choice and support for people with disability to live in accessible housing in the community.

“I also want to see people with disability have access to quality education on an equal basis with other people.  I will therefore advocate for the importance of inclusive education for people with disability.  This will include increasing awareness in schools and educational settings of the Disability Standards for Education.”

Housing and education are amongst the six big issues the Commissioner will focus on during his term. The big issues are:

  • Employment
  • Education
  • Housing
  • The criminal justice system
  • Implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
  • Violence

Commissioner McEwin says: “I look forward to continuing to work with the disability community, government and the wider community to achieve full equality for all people with disability in Australia.  I also look forward to achieving the theme of this year’s International Day of People with Disability, which is ‘Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all’.”


Download a copy of Working towards Equality for People with Disability