The final report from the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability was released in late September 2023. The Royal Commission ran for four years, held 32 public hearings with 837 witnesses and private hearings with 1785 witnesses, and received 7922 submissions. The final report is in 12 volumes and includes 222 recommendations.
Emerge Australia welcomes the Royal Commission’s report and see this as a landmark moment in the lives of Australians living with disability, including invisible disabilities like ME/CFS. We know that many in the ME/CFS community either spoke with the Commission or contributed to a submission, and we commend the courage and energy investment that it took to do this. That contribution helped ensure that the experiences of people living with ME/CFS was visible in the final report.
As we work our way through the recommendations and the implications for people living with energy-limiting conditions like ME/CFS, we think that Priya (not her real name), who lives with ME/CFS and was quoted in the final report, sums it up best:
“I want everyday Australians to know about people with disabilities that are not visible and that you can be disabled and not use a wheelchair. I want the public to know about the stigma and struggles people with disabilities that are not visible face. I believe that when [recommendations are] implemented, Australia [will] offer some of the best support for health and disability in the world. However, we need to do better. As Australians we have the power to be world-class leaders in how we treat our most vulnerable people. Let us rise up to the challenge.”
You can read the full report here: https://disability.royalcommission.gov.au/publications/final-report
You can read Emerge Australia’s submission to the Royal Commission below