A national legal service has captured common concerns of people with a disability about discussing their experiences with the Disability Royal Commission and has turned them into a video and flip book to highlight ways to reduce these concerns and encourage people to share their stories.
Your Story Disability Legal Support, a joint initiative between National Legal Aid and National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, provides legal support and advice to people wanting to share their stories with the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.
Legal Aid NSW CEO Brendan Thomas said many people considering taking their experiences to the Disability Royal Commission shared common concerns around confidentiality, retribution and payback.
“We’re hoping the flip book and video will make clear how our free independent legal advice can support people with a disability, their families and/or carers when sharing their stories with the Disability Royal Commission,” Mr Thomas said.
“Many people have important experiences they want to share but they’re worried about being punished or denied critical services in retribution for speaking out.
“We want to assure people they may still be able to share their experiences in a safe way that suits them.”
Mr Thomas said questions from more than 1000 phone calls and 500 legal advice sessions with clients fed into the content for the flip book and video.
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services co-chair Nerita Waight said the service is working closely with other organisations to support people with disability in a culturally appropriate way.
“The Your Story website includes the new resources and frequently asked questions and it also has information specifically designed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Ms Waight said.
“Most importantly, we’re partnering with other organisations like First People’s Disability Network, which have developed their own incredible artwork and video explaining the Royal Commission and the ways it will work with First Nations people, and they’re also linked to the Your Story website.”
The flip book and video can be found here.
People can access Your Story Disability Legal Support online www.yourstorydisabilitylegal.org.au or by phone: 1800 77 1800 Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm (AEST).
Media contacts: Amanda Catania (07) 3917 0407 / 0413 001 039
Caroline Page (07) 3917 0457 / 0403 182 309