We want to find out:

  • what is good and we should keep
  • what is old and needs updating
  • what is new that we need to add.

We have organised our ideas and questions into seven discussion topics. These are explained in detail further down the page.

  • Topic 1 – Inclusion, accessibility, and leadership
  • Topic 2 - Principles which support the rights of people with disability
  • Topic 3 – The DSA, NDIS and other national disability programs
  • Topic 4 – Quality and safeguards
  • Topic 5 – Regulation of providers
  • Topic 6 – Creating a Tasmanian Disability Commissioner
  • Topic 7 - Supported decision making and consultation

Your Ideas - You may have other ideas about what needs to be in or out of the DSA not covered by these topics.

If there are issues or questions about the DSA that are important to you that don’t appear here, we want to know about them.

More information and questions about each of these topic areas is available in the Review of the Disability Services Act 2011 Discussion Paper or the Review of the Disability Services Act 2011 Discussion Paper - Easy Read.

Discussion Topics

If something is inclusive it means everyone can take part.

If we say we are committed it means we agree with an idea or action. It also means we will do things to support that idea or action.

The Tasmanian Government is committed to supporting the rights of people with disability as set out in the National Disability Strategy and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

This commitment seeks to improve the lives of people with disability, their families and carers , and to provide leadership for a community wide shift in attitudes.

This commitment includes the 1 in 4 Tasmanians who report that they have a disability, not only those who are NDIS participants.

Tasmania has shown leadership in supporting this commitment through plans such as Accessible Island: Tasmania’s Disability Framework for Action 2018-2021 and in the Disability Action Plans of Tasmanian Government Departments.

In most other parts of Australia commitments are included in disability related legislation. Until now, inclusion and accessibility have been in the Principles in the DSA but have not been its core purpose.

Questions:

  • How could the DSA be changed to advance and drive the inclusion of people with disability in the Tasmanian community?
  • In what ways could the DSA contribute to inclusion of people with disability in the social, economic, civic, political, and cultural life of Tasmania?
  • What role could the DSA have in driving action and removing barriers in areas like community attitudes, employment, and discrimination, and in access to mainstream supports including education, health, transport and housing?

The DSA includes principles linked to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The DSA principles are similar to the ones included in the NDIS Act (2013).

The DSA principles form the basis of everything covered by the DSA and are important in guiding the behaviour of people using the DSA.

Questions:

  • Do the DSA Principles reflect an up to date way of describing disability and the ways in which people with disability live and are supported?
  • Do the DSA Principles need to change and if so, how?

The DSA sets out the rules for disability service providers. These rules applied when the Tasmanian Government used to manage funding (before the NDIS).

This means the same rules for service providers aren’t needed in the DSA anymore.

The NDIS has been the main way of delivering specialist disability supports for people with disability since 2019.

The Australian Government also manage other disability focussed programs like the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building program (ILC) and Disability Employment Services.

Questions:

  • What does the DSA need to include to work with Australian Government funded programs? For example: the NDIS, ILC and Disability Employment Services.
  • What rules need to be in the DSA for services which are still funded by the Tasmanian Government? For example, the Tasmanian Government still funds advocacy services.
  • What other rules in the DSA do we need to keep, change, or add?

The DSA includes the principle that people with disability have the same right as other members of Australian society to be respected for their worth and dignity and to live free from abuse, neglect and exploitation. This principle is supported by rules which ensure that supports are safe and of high quality.

The safeguards in the DSA need to be updated to complement and support safety and quality systems already in place for NDIS, including the National Quality and Safeguards Commission.

Some jurisdictions have additional quality and safeguarding roles like community visitors, authorised officers or Disability Commissioners.

The DSA includes rules relating to Restrictive Interventions. Restrictive interventions are any practice or intervention that restricts the rights or freedom of movement of a person with disability. The NDIS Rules identify 5 types of restrictive interventions: these are seclusion, chemical restraint, mechanical restraint, physical restraint, and environmental restraint. The DSA definitions are defined differently and Chemical restraint is not currently included.

We already know that we need to change the parts of the DSA relating to Restrictive Interventions to bring it up to date. We have done a separate consultation about Restrictive Interventions and will use the results as part of this review of the DSA.

Although we have already done a consultation about Restrictive Interventions, we are still happy to hear your ideas about what needs to change in the DSA.

Questions:

  • How could the DSA support quality and safeguarding without duplicating the NDIS or NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission?
  • How could the DSA provide quality and safeguarding for services that are not part of the NDIS?
  • Are there other roles or tools which would offer additional quality and safeguarding protections for Tasmanians with disability?

The Tasmanian Disability Services Regulations (the Regulations) have applied to disability providers in Tasmania since 2015. The Regulations reflect the National Standards for Disability Services.

The Regulations provide a standard that a disability service provider must meet in respect of the rights of a person with disability who is a consumer of their services. The Regulations have a greater focus on human rights, person-centred approaches, and promoting choice and control on the services accessed by people with disability.

  • The Regulations address the six areas of:
  • rights
  • participation and inclusion
  • individual outcomes
  • feedback and complaints
  • service access, and
  • service management.

The NDIS Code of Conduct, NDIS Practice Standards and NDIS registration process cover many of the same areas. There is duplication between the Tasmanian and National frameworks for achieving safety and quality in disability supports.

Some people with disability receive supports from providers who are not registered with the NDIS and from other community and Government providers. The NDIS Code of Conduct applies to unregistered providers, however, the oversight role of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission is limited when it comes to unregistered providers.

Questions:

  • As the National Standards for Disability Services cover local providers, does the DSA need to continue to include regulations about the delivery of supports for people with disability?
  • Are the Regulations still required or do the NDIS Code of Conduct and the NDIS Practice Standards do the same job?
  • What other regulation might be required and what role could the DSA have in oversight of non-NDIS services?

The Tasmanian Government has committed to establishing a Tasmanian Disability Commissioner.

This role would promote the safety, health, and wellbeing of people with disability.

We think this role would help to ensure people with disability receive the inclusive and accessible supports and services they need, including individual supports and other Tasmanian Government services.

An amendment to the DSA would be one way to create and describe this type of role.

Questions:

What types of things would this role do?

  • What powers could they have?

The principles in the DSA uphold the rights of people with disability to determine their own best interests, including the right to exercise choice and control, and to engage as equal partners in decisions that will affect their lives, to the full extent of their capacity.

The principles promote the inclusion of people with disability in decision-making that affects them, and where possible supports people with disability to make decisions for themselves.

The DSA, and commitments like Accessible Island, promote the principle that people with lived experience of disability must be included in the design and decisions about the services which support them.

Some other parts of Australia include minimum standards for consultation in their Legislation or require the preparation of disability impact statements for new initiatives and developments.

Questions:

  • Does the DSA have a role in promoting supported decision making or ensuring that substitute decision makers, disability and other service providers act in the best interests of people with disability when it comes to making informed decisions?
  • How can the DSA better ensure that the voices of people with disability are listened to and people with disability are at the centre of decisions made by the Tasmanian Government?
  • Could the DSA include stronger guidance about who, when, on what issues, and how people with disability are included in consultations?
  • What could be included in the DSA to encourage consultation?

Your ideas?

  • You may have other ideas about what needs to be in or out of the DSA not covered by these topics.
  • If there are issues or questions about the DSA that are important to you that don’t appear here, we want to know about them.

Questions:

  • What else do you think we need to know about so that Tasmania’s future disability legislation can help to make things better for people with disability?
  • What needs to be in the DSA to make these ideas happen?
  • What else should included in the DSA?