Engaging children with disability in supported decision making

Children with disability, like all children, have the right to express themselves and to have their views heard. The human right to make decisions is enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN General Assembly, 1989) and the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNPRCD) (Articles 7 and 12) (UN General Assembly, 2007). National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funded providers have an enforceable obligation under the NDIS Code of Conduct (and NDIS Practice Standards) to uphold the rights of NDIS participants to participate in decision making.

However, the Australian Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (2020) has revealed the way systems have commonly failed people, including children, with disability. Central to these failures, especially in education and care, is a lack of respect for the capacity of people with disability to express their preferences or for these preferences to be heard and realised. Exercising self-determination is important not only for a child’s wellbeing and a sense of identity but also for their social and emotional development (Brown & Brown, 2009; Nota, Ferrari, Soresi, & Wehmeyer, 2007).

Australian Institute of Family Studies
Friday 24th February, 2023

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