What do we do?Our role in relation to people with disabilities includes:
- handling and investigating complaints about disability services
- inquiring into major issues affecting people with disabilities and disability service providers
- reviewing the care, circumstances and deaths of people with disabilities in care
- coordinating Official Community Visitors in their visits to licensed boarding houses and supported accommodation; and
- monitoring, reviewing and setting standards for the delivery of disability services.
What benchmarks do we consider?When we look at the conduct of disability services and the provision of support to people with disabilities, we consider relevant requirements, benchmarks and standards. These include the:
- Community Services (Complaints, Reviews and Monitoring) Act 1993
- Disability Services Act 1993
- Youth and Community Services Act 1973, and Youth and Community Services Regulation 2010
- United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- Disability Services Standards, and Standards in Action
- licence conditions relating to licensed boarding houses
- relevant policies and procedures, including ADHC policy requirements and guidelines
Our systemic work
We undertake a range of systemic activities, including projects, inquiries, and reviews, to examine major issues that affect people with disabilities.
We identify significant issues through a range of means, including our contact with people with disabilities, their families, representatives, and advocates; our handling of complaints, investigations, and reviews of deaths; contact with Official Community Visitors; and our monitoring of the delivery of disability services.
Our decisions as to which major issues we will examine through projects or other systemic work are informed by consideration of factors such as the vulnerability of the service receivers; whether any changes are underway or planned; whether others are looking at the issues; and whether there are alternative options for addressing the concerns.
We report on our systemic work in a number of ways, including our annual report; our biennial report on reviewable disability deaths; other public reports; and, where appropriate, special reports to Parliament.
We also undertake a range of other activities to address systemic issues and improve outcomes for people with disabilities, including:
- submissions to Parliamentary and other inquiries into issues affecting people with disabilities (such as the Productivity Commission’s Disability Care and Support Inquiry)
- provision of feedback to ADHC and other services on key disability plans, standards, and policies (such as the revised Complaints standard)
- meetings with Disability Commissioners from across Australia to discuss critical issues and identify areas for joint action
- meetings with relevant government and non-government agencies and services
Training and workshops
We provide training courses and workshops that are specifically targeted at people with disabilities or disability services. We also provide training to services and public sector agencies to improve their disability awareness.
- The Ombudsman's role in community services fact sheet
- Special report to Parliament: More than board and lodging - the need for boarding house reform
- Consultations with families of children with disabilities on access to services and support
- Special report to Parliament: People with disabilities and the closure of residential centres