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Australians with disabilities to have a greater say over restrictive practices

Australian Parliament House in Canberra
Photo: Dreamstime

Australia’s Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink will introduce legislation to the Parliament this week to establish a new authorisation regime that ensures restrictive practices are used only as a last resort and in consultation with the person with disabilities or their guardian.

“This legislation strengthens protections for National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants of all ages and gives people with disability a stronger voice about how they are safely supported,” said Minister Lensink.

“It also removes the ambiguity currently faced by NDIS providers.”

Minister Lensink said people with lived experience and NDIS providers were consulted on the draft bill and consultation will continue.

“The rights, dignity and safety of people living with complex disabilities must be at the core of decision-making on the use of restrictive practices,” said Minister Lensink.

“This new legislation will enable NDIS providers to fulfil their duty of care to staff and ensure participants are not at risk of harm to themselves or others, while reducing reliance on the use of restrictive practices over time.”

Restrictive practices are regulated under the NDIS Act and can include anything from minor safety changes in the home such as a lock on a cupboard, through to need to physically restrain someone’s movement.

The legislative change introduces a new authorisation process for NDIS providers, aligning South Australia with the national principles regarding restrictive practices.

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