Discrimination for families

    Overview

    People with disability can experience discrimination when they are treated less favourably than people without disability in similar circumstances. It is against the law to discriminate against someone because of their disability. The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 prohibits discrimination against people with disability in employment, education, publicly available premises, in the provision of goods and services, accommodation, clubs and associations, and other contexts.

    The social model of disability says  ‘disability’ is the result of the interaction between people living with impairments and an environment filled with physical, attitudinal, communication and social barriers. It therefore carries the implication that the environment must change to enable people living with impairments to participate in society on an equal basis with others.

    Discrimination against children and young people with disability

    Children and young people with disability often face discrimination. In the social model of disability, barriers and discrimination occur because of systems, attitudes, structures and institutions that are not inclusive or either directly or indirectly discriminate against people with disability. Children and young people with disability are often denied the right to inclusive education and to participate equally in mainstream settings as their peers without disability.

    The post-school transition to further education and employment for young people with disability is often poor and they receive little tailored information or support. This discrimination and inequality can continue throughout people’s lives, with significantly poorer outcomes for people with disability in areas including higher education, employment, health and social participation.

    Young people with disability experience significantly higher rates of unemployment than those without disability, due to a lack of reasonable adjustments and lower expectations by employers and, therefore, the need to rely on income support. Accessing and obtaining employment is typically characterised by disadvantage and exclusion.

    CYDA’s work is to advocate systemically for the human rights of children and young people with disability and the promotion of equality and non-discrimination.

    Relevant legislation

    There is international and federal legislation to protect people with disability against discrimination, including:

    More information

    For more information about discrimination and your rights, visit the Australian Human Rights Commission website.

    Visit our Get help page to find out more information about the anti-discrimination authority in your state or territory and where you can make a complaint. There are also disability legal services where you can get free legal advice about disability discrimination.

    Resources

    Media release: Year 12 students with disability forced to navigate fragmented support systems while completing final exams

    Media Releases

    November 2022

    Media release: Year 12 students with disability forced to navigate fragmented support systems while completing final exams

    Article

    Media release: The needs of young people with disability must be addressed in upcoming NDIS review

    Media Releases

    October 2022

    Media release: The needs of young people with disability must be addressed in upcoming NDIS review

    Article

    The impact of ending mandatory self-isolation  periods for people with COVID-19 on children and young people with disability.

    News

    October 2022

    The impact of ending mandatory self-isolation periods for people with COVID-19 on children and young people with disability.

    Download

    Being realistic about inclusion: What’s realistic for young people with disability?

    News

    September 2022

    Being realistic about inclusion: What’s realistic for young people with disability?

    Download

    Submissions

    July 2022

    National Disability Advocacy Framework 2022-2025 consultation

    Download

    Tips for early intervention from CYDA Webinar on Early Childhood

    Fact sheets

    June 2022

    Tips for early intervention from CYDA Webinar on Early Childhood

    Download

    Research & reports

    September 2021

    Locked out: Vaccination discrimination for children and young people with disability

    Download

    Submissions

    July 2021

    Endorsement of ARACY Covid Report to DRC

    Download

    National Youth Disability Summit Outcomes Report Card - Awareness, Access and Inclusion (Plain english PDF)

    Research & reports

    November 2020

    National Youth Disability Summit Outcomes Report Card - Awareness, Access and Inclusion (Plain english PDF)

    Article

    A horrific playground incident: how one school failed its students

    News & media

    October 2020

    A horrific playground incident: how one school failed its students

    Download

    More than isolated’: COVID-19 compounds inequities for children and young people with disability

    Media Releases

    May 2020

    More than isolated’: COVID-19 compounds inequities for children and young people with disability

    Download

    Submissions

    November 2018

    Queensland Human Rights Bill 2018

    Download

    Legislation & acts

    April 2018

    Disability Discrimination Act 1992

    External Website

    Submissions

    November 2017

    Australia's draft report to the UN committee on the rights of the child

    Download

    Submissions

    March 2015

    CRPD general discussion on the right to education for persons with disabilities

    Download

    Submissions

    January 2015

    Equality capacity and disability in commonwealth laws

    Download

    Strengthening participation of children and young people with disability in advocacy

    Research & reports

    October 2014

    Strengthening participation of children and young people with disability in advocacy

    Download

    Legislation & acts

    December 2006

    United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability 2006

    External Website

    Legislation & acts

    September 1990

    United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989

    External Website