Text reads: Children and young people with disability.

Disability Royal Commission

⚠️ Content note: This page contains references to violence, abuse, neglect, exploitation and child sexual abuse. Please click here to access details of support services.

About the Disability Royal Commission

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability – also called the Disability Royal Commission – started in 2019.

A Royal Commission is an independent investigation into issues of public importance. The commissioners are appointed by the government. 

The Disability Royal Commission did research, heard evidence and received almost 8000 submissions from people with disability and other witnesses talking about their experiences.

On 29 September 2023, the Final Report was made available to the public. This page includes information about what the Royal Commission findings and recommendations will mean for children and young people with disability.

Children and young people with disability do not get the opportunity to engage in their communities, education and employment at the same level as their non-disabled peers. This places them are at greater risk of experiencing violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation across any place or system and throughout their life course.

This information might be upsetting to read. You can find contact details for support services at the bottom of this page.

Green icon of a writing pencil.

Green speech bubble with the word “Education” in it.


CYDA calls for equity in education through:

Inclusive Employment

CYDA calls for equity in employment and economic participation through the implementation of a national comprehensive, consistent and evidence-based approach to support young people to find employment and overcome high unemployment and gain postschool qualifications.

Orange speech bubble with the words “Inclusive Employment”.

Grey speech bubble with the words “restrictive practices”.

Restrictive Practices

CYDA advocate for the elimination of all restrictive practices against children and young people with disability, in line with the National Framework for Reducing and Eliminating the Use of Restrictive Practices in the Disability Service Sector and further applying to restrictive practices used in other settings.

CYDA policy submission.

CYDA’s submission to the Australian Government on the Response to the Disability Royal Commission

The Australian Government has the authority to support and enact recommendations made by the Disability Royal Commission (DRC) in the final report it released in September 2023. In this submission, CYDA emphasises three critical areas identified in the report that the government should focus on to improve the lives of children and young people with disability: inclusive education, inclusive employment, and the elimination of restrictive practices.

Read More »

Neurodivergent kids ‘dumped’ from mainstream education amid debate over special schools

The Guardian

Disability community says royal commission a turning point, but action must follow for meaningful change


Advocates reissue calls to close down 'special schools' after disability royal commission split


Between 2019 and 2022, CYDA provided 22 submissions to the Disability Royal Commission on the issues that impact children and young people with disability, and their families and caregivers. 

We also supported young people with disability to speak out about their experiences at Royal Commission hearings and presented evidence from our research and surveys. 

Thank you to everyone who shared their stories. 

We understand that some of the information relating to the Disability Royal Commission may be distressing to read. If you would like further support please reach out to the support services below.

National Counselling and Referral Service

The Blue Knot foundation has a helpline set up specifically to support people who are affected by the Disability Royal Commission:

Other Counselling Support Services

If you need counselling support for any reason you can click on the links or call the numbers below:

Note: Lifeline, Beyond Blue, Kids Helpline and QLife all have webchat options on their websites for those who prefer or require written/text-based communication. Lifeline also offers a 24 hour text line.

Many other disability organisations have also developed information that may help you understand different parts of the report that may be relevant for you.