19th April 2017
When the Disability Services Commissioner (DSC) was established in 2007 it was clear that many people with a disability experienced significant barriers to making complaints about their experiences with disability services. Those barriers included limited communication, a fear of retribution and an acceptance of the status quo.
Eight years of complaints data collected from Victorian disability service providers via the Annual Complaints Reporting (ACR) process has been used to inform a newly published paper, ‘Disability services complaints data (2007 – 15): What have we learned so far?’. This paper focuses on complaints made directly to service providers – over 12,000 complaints – between 1 July 2007 and 30 June 2015.
DSC has seen growing confidence in people with a disability, their families and carers to make complaints about their disability services. Many more people are speaking up now than in 2007. Service providers are increasingly recognising the benefits of proactive and sensitive complaints handling.
The Australian disability services sector is currently experiencing one of the most significant social reforms in Australia’s history – the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The data collected by DSC via Victoria’s mandatory complaints reporting framework has valuable lessons for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and for the development of a national quality and safeguarding framework. This paper contributes to that process by identifying important themes for discussion.
For more information, please contact Disability Services Commissioner on firstname.lastname@example.org or 1300 728 187.