People with disability will be better protected from potential abuse and neglect under proposed legislation released today for public consultation. Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said the reforms would regulate how National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) providers use restrictive practices such as restraints, seclusion, or medication. “Some people with complex and severe disabilities exhibit behaviour that is harmful to themselves or the people that care for them,” Mr Ward said. “Restrictive practices were traditionally used as the first response to harmful behaviour, but now it is widely recognised that there are safer and less restrictive practices available. “We have consulted with people with disability, carers and the sector, to ensure NDIS providers are working to reduce and, wherever possible, eliminate restrictive practices. This proposed reform is another step in the right direction.” States, Territories and the Commonwealth have worked to develop a consistent approach that focuses on the rights of people with disability. This reform seeks to reinforce the national approach and give workers and providers clarity about their obligations. The draft legislation aims to expand the Ageing and Disability Commissioner’s (ADC) role to include:  Promoting the reduction and elimination of the use of restrictive practices, such as restraints or seclusion;  The oversight, monitoring, review and reporting of Restrictive Practices Authorisation (RPA) for NDIS providers; and  The power to compel information, data and reports from NSW NDIS providers regarding restrictive practices. NSW Government agencies would be required to apply common principles for disability-related restrictive practices and to report annually to the ADC on their compliance. Consultation on the draft bill will be open until Friday, 19 February 2021. To read the draft legislation and to have your say, visit the website.

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