Disability Rights and Services

Disabled people, as well as their families, carers and nominees, should be able to actively participate in policy, service planning and delivery.


The Australian Greens believe that

  1. Disabled people have a universal and immutable right to agency, safety, bodily autonomy, privacy, education, employment, housing, social support, and healthcare. These rights are inherent in all disabled people and must be promoted and recognised in interpersonal, community, and all other settings.
  2. Disability is a term that is used by people including people with physical and non-physical disabilities, neurodivergent people, people with chronic health conditions, and people with psychosocial disabilities (including mental health conditions). 
  3. Disabled people have a right to participate in decision-making and policy creation in their communities. This right should be supported in all decision-making spaces and recognised as essential to successful policy creation and implementation. 
  4. Disabled people should have individualised choice and control over services and supports and where an issue overwhelmingly affects disabled people, they should be supported to lead the creation and implementation of all policy responses.
  5. First Nations People’s experiences and disabilities must be recognised and responded to by governments, decision-makers and service providers. 
  6. The affirmative and biopsychosocial models of disability should underpin all policies related to disabled people as well as the removal of the social, cultural, economic and environmental barriers disabled people have to negotiate. 
  7. The human rights of disabled people, as articulated in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) must be protected including being implemented in Australian domestic law.
  8. All forms of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation perpetrated against and experienced by disabled people must be eliminated. 
  9. Self-identification of a disability should always be treated as credible, and only questioned by those with relevant experience. Disability includes all physical and mental disabilities, chronic health conditions, psychosocial disabilities (including mental health conditions) and neurodivergence.
  10. To ensure equity and drive attitudinal change to disability, governments must provide the necessary funding in all areas of life and for services and supports for a person's disability. Governments have responsibility to ensure that quality services and supports are delivered in all areas, to all disabled people.
  11. Disabled people must be given time, space and support to explore disability as a social identity and the opportunity to develop a sense of pride around this identity. Embracing Disability Pride is essential to the strengthening of the disability movement as a whole.
  12. Disabled people must have access to inclusive, comprehensive and high-quality services and support to provide for their life goals and meet their needs regardless of their age, culture, language, income, geographical location or the nature of their disability.
  13. Government has a responsibility to engage in authentic and comprehensive co-design for the development, delivery and evaluation of policies in a way that prioritises the experiences of disabled people.
  14. The lived experience of disabled people is not homogenous, and there is diversity within the disability communities which must be recognised. These intersectional identities and experiences should be respected, celebrated, and reflected in the creation of policies which affect them and services to support them. 
  15. Disabled people should be able to make informed choices about services and to tailor the support options available to them. These must be affordable to disabled people with government support as needed.
  16. Disabled people have the right to equitable access to employment. Workplaces need to increase their disabled workforce, by making their workplaces accessible, innovative and inclusive for all disabled people.
  17. All disaster and emergency planning and delivery must be fully inclusive of disabled people, including targeted guidance, support and funding to meet the particular needs and requirements of disabled people with continuity of service provision during these periods.
  18. Access to language is a right of all people. All media and government communication should be accessible to disabled people in all settings and contexts, including but not limited to being provided in Auslan and Easy English.
  19. Access to physical places is a right of all people.
  20. Disabled children and young people have the right to education on respectful relationships, body autonomy and other areas that support them in safe, equal and respectful sexual expression and experiences on the same basis as their peers. 
  21. Disabled people have the right to sexuality, and to explore their physical, social and emotional needs for consensual intimacy and sexual expression. 
  22. Carers, family, and kinship often play an important part in supporting disabled people to live their lives and achieve their goals. They must be well supported to undertake and maintain their role to ensure their wellbeing.
  23. The responsibility to create access and inclusion belongs to and benefits the whole of society. All levels of government have a responsibility to work together to legislate for, and actively promote, access and inclusion in all spheres of life so that it becomes the expected norm.
  24. Disabled children and young people are to have opportunities to develop their voice and self-advocacy rights, including being engaged in policy and program development.


The Australian Greens want:

  1. Disabled people to hold leadership roles across all levels of society, particularly in the NDIS and disability ministries.
  2. The implementation of universal access and inclusion to ensure the full and equal participation of disabled people in life and community. This includes the removal of environmental, social, cultural, attitudinal, political and communication barriers.
  3. All federal, state, and local governments must eliminate all forms of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation experienced by disabled people, and establish comprehensive and accessible complaints and redress processes. 
  4. Resourcing the NDIS to make it easier to access, transparent, collaborative, accountable and providing disabled people with the supports they need throughout their lives.
  5. The national implementation of a framework of supported decision-making to ensure equal recognition of disabled people as persons before the law and their ability to exercise legal capacity.
  6. The abolition of restrictions based on age, nationality or residential status which prevent people residing in Australia from applying for the NDIS.
  7. Services that are led and co-designed by the disabled community.
  8. Regular reviews of services designed and co-designed by the disabled community and timely implementation of recommendations.
  9. The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to make decisions transparently and clearly communicate to participants the process and how long it will take with regular publicly available reporting.
  10. The NDIS appeals process to be adequately resourced, efficient, fair, transparent and equitable.
  11. To ensure that physical and digital spaces are accessible to disabled people by providing a range of accessibility measures to meet different disability-related needs.
  12. Secure resourcing for individual and systemic disability advocacy organisations to enable them to expand their services and support for disabled people.
  13. Universal access to legal advice, advocacy and supports for disabled people so they have free and equitable access to the legal system. 
  14. First Nations-specific disability services to be culturally safe and to have permanently funded First Nations identified positions in all of these disability service providers. First Nations-specific disability services to have a majority of First Nations workers.
  15. Funding for programs and initiatives that promote respect and understanding,and eliminate ableism and discrimination experienced by disabled people.
  16. A guaranteed liveable income for disabled people and their carers. Income support provided commensurate with additional costs of living for disabled people, and without means testing and mutual obligations.
  17. To strengthen the Disability Discrimination Act and enhance the powers of the Australian Human Rights Commission, including granting greater powers in discrimination complaints, and the ability to initiate complaints to enable systemic change and reduce the burden on complainants. 
  18. Sufficient resourcing for the NDIA and the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission which allow these organisations to do their work competently.
  19. To have a fully resourced Australian Disability Discrimination Commissioner.
  20. The provision of culturally appropriate and specialised services for disabled First Nations peoples in every jurisdiction. 
  21. Training in disability pride, trauma-informed practice and all forms of anti-racism and anti-discrimination, for all organisations, health care professionals and people providing support roles. Training to be led by people with lived experience, including First Nations Peoples, people of colour and disabled people who are paid for their time. 
  22. To implement all articles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by 2030 and ensure the operationalisation of these articles within our domestic policies across federal, state and territory governments. 
  23. All disabled people to have access to temporary out-of-home care and in-home support that meets their diverse social and identity requirements.
  24. All accommodation services including crisis, shelter and emergency housing, [sexual, family and domestic violence] to be accessible to all disabled people, that meet their diverse social and identity requirements, including in remote and rural areas.
  25. Accessible and affordable housing that enables flexible and appropriate options that allow disabled people to live in, and as a part of, the community, either alone or with whomever they choose. 
  26. The provision of appropriate alternative accommodation and other transition supports for young people who seek to leave residential care facilities.
  27. Access to full healthcare for disabled people, including the removal of social, financial, political and physical barriers.
  28. The implementation of comprehensive training and oversight, including disability awareness, to ensure disabled people receive fully inclusive healthcare. 
  29. Employment, education and career support available to disabled people at any stage of their participation in the workforce.
  30. Guaranteed, properly-paid, meaningful employment for any disabled person who wants to work, including a comprehensive transition plan for those leaving Australian Disability Enterprise programs.
  31. Disability services and programs support the right of disabled people to inclusive sexual education, sexual expression and consensual intimacy.
  32. Employment of disabled people on an equal basis with non-disabled employees in the workforce, with allowances for reasonable and necessary adjustment in accordance with the UNCRDP, at a liveable wage. Disabled people must be able to access pay equity, career advancement pathways, comprehensive support, and fair recognition of their skills.
  33. Education settings to be provided with the necessary funding and resources to ensure disabled students are educated in inclusive settings in accordance with their rights under Article 24, General Comment No. 4 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and in line with the Australian Greens Education policy.
  34. All educators and administrative staff to be provided with access to the ongoing training, support and additional resources they need to implement inclusive education practices. The implementation of this training to be developed in close consultation with disabled people, academic experts, inclusive education peak bodies, and teaching unions.
  35. The elimination of segregated education in all schools and educational facilities, and the implementation of system-wide inclusive education by no later than 2030. This must be supported by a comprehensive rights-based transition plan developed in consultation with the community. This will ensure that disabled students’ needs and rights will be met and protected in all stages of the transition to an inclusive education system that benefits all students. 
  36. Disability support workers to have improved workplace conditions including increased wages, leave entitlements, access to training and career development, qualifications where necessary, and fair pricing for support services. 
  37. A national model for identifying and certifying assistance animals; public advocacy of assistance animals; and provisions against discrimination on the basis of having an assistance animal.
  38. Regulation to eliminate the use of restrictive practices including seclusion, chemical restraint, mechanical restraint, physical restraint, and environmental restraint in all settings, including in education, service provision, the justice system and the family home. 
  39. A public guardianship and trustee system that is nationally standardised, run on a not-for-profit basis, and with strong safeguards for disabled people.
  40. Government to lead by example in disability employment including an employment quota and provision of paid on-the-job experience pathways for skills development in the Australian Public Service.
  41. Electoral systems to enable disabled people to participate in elections as voters; and to be enabled to participate as candidates where desired.
  42. All public housing and new builds meet accessibility standards.
  43. The elimination and total prohibition of forced or coerced sterilisation and the involuntary use of contraception. 
  44. The removal of systemic and structural barriers which prevent disabled people from equal participation in the justice system. 
    Provision of necessary supports to ensure disabled people. particularly people with intellectual and cognitive disabilities, are provided with the supports they need when they are in contact with the justice system.
  45. To ensure that people in prisons and detention centres have access to disability support and services, and the facilities are physically accessible.
  46. Increased government support for access to, and participation by, disabled people and their communities as both artists and audience members in culture, arts, festivals, media, and events. 
  47. The design and implementation of mechanisms used for the assessment of the barriers faced by disabled people and their support needs to be led by disabled people. Mechanisms and implementation processes to be independent, collaborative, and involve participants, carers and suitably qualified professionals.
  48. Communication supports to be available to enable disabled people to participate in the community, including in education, employment, civics, and healthcare settings.
  49. Nationally consistent universal design standards to ensure that physical spaces are physically and cognitively accessible and inclusive to disabled people.
  50. All workers in the disability sector to undertake training in preventing abuse, neglect and assault; to include timely recognition when abuse or neglect has occurred; and easily accessible, effective and safe reporting systems.
  51. To ban all therapies, treatments and practices which subject disabled people to violence, abuse and neglect and are non-compliant with Australia's obligations under the CRPD, including but not limited to Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) Conversion practices, and all other conversion practices used on neurodivergent people.
  52. Ensure Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) laws contain safeguards to protect disabled people from coercion, force, and exploitation.

(Disability Rights and Services Policy as amended by National Conference October 2023.)

The Australian Greens recognise that many people may experience co-occurring mental and physical disability and alcohol and other drug issues, and understand the importance of connected, wrap-around supports. Please refer to related policies for further information. 

Related policies: