Text reads: Children and young people with disability.

CYDA welcomes Disability Royal Commission report, but calls for a more ambitious plan to end segregated education



⚠️ Content note: Reference to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability.

Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA) welcomes the release of the final report of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.

We acknowledge and commend the tremendous effort that has gone into this historic document, with the Commission having held 32 public hearings and received close to 8000 submissions, including 22 from CYDA, since 2019.

While we are encouraged by the report’s recommendation to phase out segregated education by 2051, we believe this timeline is not ambitious enough.

“The proposed 28-year roadmap will condemn another two generations of children into a system where segregation prevails and inclusion does not,” CYDA CEO Skye Kakoschke-Moore said.

“Protecting the right of children with disability to learn alongside their peers in mainstream classrooms is about shaping a society that genuinely embraces diversity and inclusion from the earliest ages.

“Governments must not drag their feet and risk further entrenching discriminatory practices for decades to come.”

Research overwhelmingly shows that students of all abilities experience significantly better learning, social, behavioural, and physical development outcomes when they are taught in truly inclusive settings.

While we are heartened to see a move towards an education system that recognises this, the report’s unambitious timeline and the 3-3 split between Commissioners highlights a clear need for a more profound national conversation on the subject.

CYDA broadly embraces other recommendations made in the report on issues like restrictive practices, employment and a review of the Migration Act which currently prohibits families with disability from entering and remaining in Australia.

We support the Eight-Point Action Plan to Eliminate Restrictive Practices detailed in a Research Report delivered to the Commission, but call on governments to go further than the DRC’s recommendations by targeting the drivers of the system that produces restrictive practices.

We urgently call on policymakers to quickly but thoroughly consider and act on all the report’s findings.

“Today may prove to be a pivotal moment for disability rights in Australia,” Ms Kakoschke-Moore said.

“It represents an opportunity for a new beginning, a chance for us to take a meaningful step toward an inclusive society that understands, supports and values children and young people with disability.”

CYDA will continue to conduct a detailed review of the 12-volume report’s 222 recommendations over the coming days and weeks.

We encourage all stakeholders, policymakers, and the broader Australian public to actively engage with its findings.

About CYDA

Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA) is the peak national body representing people with disability aged 0 to 25. CYDA’s vision is that children and young people with disability living in Australia are afforded every opportunity to thrive, achieve their potential, and fully participate in all aspects of society.

You can find updates on our response to the Disability Royal Commission here: https://cyda.org.au/advocacy/disability-royal-commission-2/

For more information or further comment, please contact CYDA: 
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (03) 9417 1025