Thank you to those who have shared their stories and experiences so far for the submissions BCA is putting together for the Disability Royal Commission. Your experiences will shape our submission, and provide case studies and examples to promote systemic change for issues that are relevant to people who are blind or vision impaired.


A Royal Commission is an investigation, independent of government, into a matter of great importance. Royal Commissions have broad powers to hold public hearings, call witnesses under oath and compel evidence. Royal Commissions make recommendations to government about what should change.

In April 2019, the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability was announced.

On 16 September, three Blind Citizens Australia staff attended a community forum in Brisbane to provide information about the Royal Commission. The commissioners and QC Ronald Sackville (chair of the commission), introduced themselves and gave presentations outlining the terms of reference for the commission, accessibility measures to assist people with disabilities to make submissions, and the scope of inquiry.

The video of the forum can be found at:

The commission will be accepting submissions until at least 2022. BCA is able to assist people to make submissions until that time, or when the call for submissions is closed.

How BCA can support you

We encourage people who have experienced violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation at any time in their lives as a result of your disability to contact us and discuss how we can support you if you are thinking about making a submission.

All inquiries and any personal information provided which informs a submission will be held in the strictest confidence. Our Advocacy Projects Officer, Rikki Chaplin, will be coordinating assistance for people wishing to lodge submissions. He has a strong background in social work and counselling, and will assist people who experience any distress as a result of making a submission to locate ongoing support if needed.

BCA’s Submission

Towards the end of the period in which submissions can be lodged, BCA will make a broader submission which will address any key themes that emerge as individual submissions are compiled. Please note that any information which is used for the broader submission will be de-identified so as to preserve confidentiality. Consultations which will allow people to contribute their thoughts and experiences to this broader submission are being held in the lead up to the lodgement of BCA’s submission.
We are currently drafting responses to issues papers on:
  • Emergency Planning and Response (specific to 2019/20 Bushfires and COVID19)
  • Employment
  • Attitudes and Rights – which is quite broad, but we encourage you to think about practices which you may find inaccessible or inequitable, such as banking, public transport, access to information and online services. We will also mention the Disability Discrimination Act in our submission.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to play our part in ensuring that such violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation never occurs again, and to contribute to recommendations which strive to improve access and inclusion in the community.
If you have an experience to share, please contact BCA on 1800 033 660 and you will be connected to the appropriate staff member.
Rikki Chaplin is collating feedback on Attitudes and Rights. 
Jane Britt can connect with you on Emergency Planning and Response.
Naomi Barber is working on Employment.


For further information and to subscribe to the mailing list to receive updates to community consultations and hearings, please visit:

Royal Commission stories will feature on the ABC News broadcast platforms, but you can find a comprehensive record of their digital coverage here:

Emma Bennison, BCA’s CEO, shared her own experience of making a submission to the disability royal commission. Read her Probono Australia article and listen to her interview on Radio National Breakfast.