The role and structure of the Office of Disability has been shaped by an extensive consultation and engagement process undertaken across the State in 2020, and its formation answers calls from peak and advocacy bodies in the disability sector for such a body to be formed in WA.
The Office of Disability will provide disability sector stewardship, advice on State and Commonwealth systems, and drive work and innovation to advance inclusion and participation of people with disability in Western Australia.
It will also provide leadership to implement, monitor and further develop 'A Western Australia for Everyone: State Disability Strategy 2020-2030'.
The Office will support the WA Government to deliver on its long-term commitment to empowering people with disability to participate in all aspects of the community and the economy.
Importantly, the Office will also have a role in informing and advising government on the experiences between Western Australians with disability, their families and carers and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
The WA disability landscape is changing rapidly and there is a need for the State Government to adapt to continue its proud history of fostering positive outcomes for the 411,500 people living with disability across the State.
A number of key priorities for 2021-22 have been identified:
- Embedding the Office of Disability in the disability landscape.
- Implementing the State Disability Strategy and Accountability Framework.
- Stewardship of the disability system (in a COVID-19 environment).
- NDIS full Scheme Bilateral preparation.
- Responding to the Disability Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.
- Disability Services Act review.
- Restrictive practices policy implementation – requirements for the use of regulated restrictive practices for people who are receiving disability services that are funded by the NDIS or by the State Government in Western Australia.
- Stakeholder engagement to inform the development of legislation for the authorisation of restrictive practices within Western Australian disability services.
- Closing the Gap – disability specific response planning.
Community engagement report
Between 15 July and 10 September 2020, a total of 59 engagement sessions were held throughout the State. In addition to sessions held in the Perth metropolitan area, engagement sessions were also held in the Goldfields, Mid-West, South-West, Great Southern, Pilbara and Kimberley regions.
The engagement process provided a unique opportunity for people with disability, their families, carers, disability support organisations and the broader community to share their views about what is needed to improve outcomes for people with disability, their families and carers.