Directions for South Australia – Accommodation

Introduction:

Article 19 of The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to which Australia is a signatory, recognises:

The equal right of all persons with disabilities to live in the community, with choices equal to others, and … [to] their full inclusion and participation in the community.

There is no one type of accommodation model that will suit the needs and wishes of all people with disabilities. Just like any member of the community, people with disabilities have the right to choose their home; where and with whom they live.

Therefore, it is important that different options and accommodation types are available throughout South Australia to give people with disabilities the ability to choose the level of support within accommodation that best suit their needs.

As one option, private or government-provided residential homes need to fit with the standards of accessibility in the Building Code to allow all areas of the home to be navigated safely by a person with disability.

These standards as outlined in the Building Code should be updated, with consultation directly with people with a disability who will be most affected by the standards decided on.

Where a private or government-provided home is the most suitable option for a person with disability, appropriate measures need to be taken to ensure that that person can access relevant and necessary supports to allow them to live at home.

Where supported accommodation, or a share-home situation would be more appropriate, or preferred by the person with disability, there should still be a choice provided to ensure that they are living in an age-appropriate facility, and can access necessary supports.

Action:

Dignity Party believe that, just like any member of the community, people with disabilities have the right to choose their home; where and with whom they live so in South Australia we must:

— Ensure no person is forced to live in a particular type or form of accommodation or with a particular group of people unless they, or their families or advocates, have chosen and agreed that this accommodation best meets the individual’s needs;

— Provide a full range of necessary supports, including personal and in-home supports as well as community supports, to ensure people with disabilities can be involved and included, and in no way segregated or isolated, from the community;

— Make all community facilities and services available to members of the general community, on equal terms and conditions, to all people with disabilities, with facilities and services that are responsive to the needs of people with disabilities;

— Encourage building of accommodation based on Universal Design Principles, promoting accessibility that will further benefit all members of our community;

— Encourage all individuals, families or groups of concerned people to build accommodation that is designed to meet the specific needs of an individual with a particular disability;

— Allow people with disabilities to move to a different accommodation type if their current accommodation is not suitable to their needs;

— Ensure the government, regardless of political alignment or agenda, provides administrative and financial support to individuals, families and organisations to build a wide range of appropriate, accessible accommodation for people with disabilities.