15 December 2021

Life Without Barriers supports the work of the Disability Royal Commission (DRC) and thanks the Commission for its ongoing work to provide opportunities for people with disability, their families and supporters to share their stories.

The public hearing in December, which focussed on experiences of people in two Life Without Barriers homes, has highlighted occasions where Life Without Barriers has not met expectations of people and families in the homes in Lismore and Melbourne. Life Without Barriers Chief Executive, Claire Robbs, offered a heartfelt apology to each person who shared a poor experience of Life Without Barriers with the Commission.

“We have learned a great deal from the information people with disability and their families shared, and their views and perspectives will help us further improve in the areas where we did not offer the consistently high standard we strive for.” Ms Robbs said.

We are very open to change and consistently adapt the way we offer services in order to be responsive to the needs and choices of people with disability. Over the past 10 years Life Without Barriers has proactively made numerous improvements informed by our work with people with disability, our frontline staff, our partnerships across the sector and our work with Government. These include:

  • The establishment of a National Safeguarding Unit and a specialised Behaviour Intervention Support Team.

  • Training improvements for frontline staff that have oversight by the Life Without Barriers Board including strengthened human rights training and monitoring for frontline staff and managers.

  • Implementation of comprehensive training materials to increase capability to prevent and respond to any form of violence, abuse, neglect, exploitation, or discrimination.

  • The introduction of a thorough incident management system which records and escalates incidents.

  • A dedicated National Complaints Manager with responsibility to support complaint resolution and to ensure people, families, and staff are kept informed during the progress of complaints

  • The establishment of a National Disability Housing Unit providing specialist tenancy management services for people with a disability who require specialist housing solutions.

  • A technology platform to record and monitor all Community Visitor reports and a program to support staff and frontline managers to report all engagement with Community Visitors.

Over 30 years, Life Without Barriers has established strong and trusting relationships that enable us to partner with people and change lives for the better. Our staff are led by our values. Their dedication, imagination and the respect they bring into each relationship is fundamental to how we offer people support in a way that they ultimately choose.

We will continue to listen to and be guided by people we support long into the future.

Life Without Barriers will continue to support the Disability Royal Commission and review and consider any further information the DRC provides.

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