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Apology Overdue for Institutionalisation of Disabled People

25 September 2012

Apology Overdue for Institutionalisation of Disabled People

CCS Disability Action strongly supports the Disability Rights Commissioner, Paul Gibson’s, call for an apology for the institutionalisation of disabled people.

CCS Disability Action, Disability Partnership Leader, Peter Wilson is clear that institutionalisation is wrong.

“Institutionalisation shuts people away from their family, friends and the community. I agree with Paul that institutionalisation caused great harm to disabled people and their families.”

“In the old institutions, disabled people were disempowered and spent their lives isolated from the community. All the important decisions were made by non-disabled staff who controlled the lives of the people living there. There was abuse and neglect with few opportunities to leave and live in the community.”

Peter is also clear that institutionalisation occurred because the voice and rights of disabled people were ignored.

“This is why the Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities and disabled leadership is so important. We need to listen to what disabled people say they want, instead of making decisions for them.”

CCS Disability Action wants to join the Disability Rights Commissioner in starting a national conversation about apologising for institutionalisation. They also want the Government to look at modern practices of institutionalisation, such as the large number of people under the age of 65 living in aged care facilities.

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