Around one in five Victorians has a disability and most people will experience some kind of disability at some time in their lives. Disability discrimination is one of the most frequent subjects of inquiries and complaints made to the Commission, as it can prevent people from participating in community life and enjoying other human rights.
This webpage is a one-stop reference for all the work the Commission is engaged with in regards to disability.
The Commission is researching how Auslan interpreters are provided to patients in Victorian hospitals, beginning with a series of interviews and focus groups with public hospital staff.
We are researching this issue because of concerns raised by our Disability Reference Group and other stakeholders, suggesting that there are gaps in how Auslan interpreters are made available in hospitals.
The project also builds on Deaf Victoria’s report An Inquiry into Access to Auslan Interpreters in Victorian Hospitals.
The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission has completed research into the experiences of people with disabilities reporting crime.
Launched by Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay on 21 July 2014, the report entitled Beyond doubt: the experiences of people with disabilities reporting crime is now available.
It documents the experiences of people with disabilities reporting crime and looks at both police practice and the upstream and downstream factors that affect reporting.
788,000 people move around the City of Melbourne (including the CBD) each day. The city also has a resident population of 23,000. Around 18 per cent of Victorians have a disability. While not all people with disability may experience access barriers, potentially around 140,000 daily visitors, and 4,000 city residents could benefit from a fully accessible environment.
Inaccessibility has a negative effect on businesses in the central business district and the city economy because customers, who could be accessing goods and services, may not do so if faced with accessibility barriers, be they physical, communicational or attitudinal.
In 2013 the Commission met with local businesses in the Melbourne CBD to hear about their experiences providing services to customers with disabilities. We found varying levels of understanding among businesses and staff about accessibility, customers’ communication needs and how they can improve customer service for people with disabilities, older people, parents or carers.
On 27 October 2014 the Commission launched the Come in... we're accessible online resource which provides information to businesses - owners, landlords, managers and staff - on how they can improve accessibility to meet their obligations under the Equal Opportunity Act. The resource includes a self -assessment so businesses can find out how accessible they currently are, as well as a suite of fact sheets including one for customers with disabilities.
The ‘Anti-Hate Spray’ campaign is part of the Commission’s work to address vilification, hate and other forms of discrimination.
The campaign was developed in response to our own research as well as academic work on preventing and responding to discrimination. We also drew on data from the complaints we receive at the Commission, as well as working closely with community and stakeholders on the Reporting Racism Reference Group.
The campaign is aligned with the National Anti-Racism Strategy and No To Homophobia campaign. Other supporters include the Victorian Multicultural Commission, Multicultural Arts Victoria as well as Victorian Government departments and agencies.
The campaign is designed to make it easy for people to do something without feeling afraid or that they are being judged. Importantly, one of its key aims is to reach people where they are – and where much of the discrimination is now occurring – online.
It also provides a place for people who would usually be unable, or unwilling, to make a formal report to let us know about their experiences.
See Anti-Hate Spray
In May and June 2013, the Commission ran a survey inviting people with disabilities to tell us about the accessibility of buses, trams, taxis and trains.
The report notes the results from this survey, which were also used to inform our submission to the Federal Government's review of the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport.
The Commission has met with Public Transport Victoria (PTV) and the key public transport providers in Victoria to inform them of the findings of this survey and discuss the steps they are taking toward accessible services.
The Commission has been researching the issues faced by families relinquishing children with disability into state care and has produced a report: Desperate measures: The relinquishment of children with disability into state care in Victoria. This follows concerns raised by the Commission’s Disability Reference Group, warning that families may be surrendering their children because they are not given enough support to continue full-time caring.
When you have a disability, taxi services are a critical means of public transport. Melbourne’s bus, tram and train networks will not be completely accessible for another twenty years. The Time to Respond reports discuss that despite recent reform to the taxi industry, waiting times and reliability continue to be serious barriers to accessible taxi services for people with disabilities.
See Time to respond
Accessibility at the Commission Video
There are many ways to access the Commission and our services. Watch this short video to find out how.
Disability Action Plan
The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission is committed to the elimination of discrimination against people with disabilities, and as a central part of this commitment, we have developed this Disability Action Plan.
Easy English, Auslan Resources
- Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities - Easy English
- Reporting crime: your rights - Easy English
- Information on discrimination in Easy English - November 2014 (includes “Information on how to make a complaint”)
- Information on discrimination in Auslan - Sep 2011
- Beyond doubt: the experiences of people with disabilities reporting crime
- Who's on board: Public transport for people with disabilities in Victoria
- Held back: The experiences of students with disabilities in Victorian schools - Sep 2012
- Locked out: Discrimination in Victoria’s private rental market - Aug 2012
- Desperate measures: The relinquishment of children with disability into state care in Victoria - May 2012
- Time to respond: Realising equality for people with a disability utilising taxi services - Nov 2007
- Time to respond: three years on - Oct 2010
- Submission to the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry - May 2014
- Submission to the Victorian Parliament’s Family and Community Development Committee - Mar 2014
- Submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission - application for exemption under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) - Dec 2013
- Submission to the VLRC's Crimes (Mental Impairment) Review - the application of the CMIA to the Children's Court - Dec 2013
- Submission to the 2012 review of the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport - Jun 2013
- Submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme Bill 2012 - Jan 2013
- Submission on the Draft Disability State Plan 2013-2016 - Jul 2012
- Submission to Setting the Scene: Taxi Industry Inquiry Issues Paper - Jun 2011
- Submission to Productivity Commission: Disability Care and Support - Apr 2011
- Submission to the Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee on the Mental Health Bill 2014 - Mar 2014
- Submission to the VLRC's Crimes (Mental Impairment) Review - Aug 2013
- Submission to the Department of Health with comments on the Mental Health Bill 2010 Exposure Draft - Mar 2011
- Victorian Toll & Anor v Taha and Anor; State of Victoria v Brookes & Anor (Court of Appeal) - August 2012
- Taha v Magistrates’ Court (Supreme Court) - Jun 2011
- Waters v DHS (Supreme Court) - Sep 2010
- PJB v Melbourne Health (Patrick’s Case) (Supreme Court) - Apr 2011
- Baumgartner (Mental Health Review Board) - Jul 2010
- Kracke v Mental Health Review Board (VCAT) - Nov 2008