Communication - outcomes of Disability Justice Plan public meetings

The Attorney-General's Department

You are here

Communication - outcomes of Disability Justice Plan public meetings

Note that the green stickers refer to the level of priority identified in the public meetings - the more stickers the higher the priority. 

There is a need to communicate effectively with people with intellectual disability/cognitive impairment and/or other complex communication needs during legal processes.   

Awareness of communication issues Image of two green stickers

  • Person with disability requires their communication to be acknowledged with the attitude “we believe you” – build relationships and trust, validate experience
  •  Lack of awareness by people working in criminal justice system about how to communicate effectively with people with intellectual disability or other complex communication needs Image of two green stickers
  •  Ability to describe or articulate incidents: evidence 
  • Recognition and acceptance of different communication methods – potential for people to use alternative techniques e.g. prediction  – important to effectively disclose crimes/abuse
  • Training and regulated support regarding communication access for support workers – across agencies within the criminal justice system and police, for example, forensic interview techniques Image of single green sticker
  •  Language used by agencies
  • Risks around provision of vocabulary/symbols/pictures
  • “Unfit to plead” (deaf) – problems with how psychologists ask questions and translation between languages
  • Prison staff and prisoners to be taught sign language and Deaf culture
  • Respecting the rights of deaf people to be heard and extra time allowed for Deaf person to express him/herself.

Communication support

  • Communication support person or assistant or intermediary available to aid communication/understanding for people with complex communication needs understanding and expression impairment (such as intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder or physical disability), to help with fear Image of single green sticker or to encourage people with disability (and their significant others) to communicate confidently and effectively about issues in their lives that are: painful, difficult, personal or worth celebrating
  • Access to a trusted and trustworthy advocate for communication assistance (to help the person tell their story) (e.g. acquired brain injury) Image of single green sticker
  • Providing Auslan interpreters in all stages of the process for Deaf clients/victims (and more funding to do so)
  • Access to appropriate assisted communication devices (including visual aids and other technology) – and additional funding for specialised communication requirements.

Communication about the process

  • A shop-front or one stop shop for people with disabilities/carers/service providers to go to, to find out who can help and what happens next 
  • Knowing where, when, how to access services, knowing who to talk to Image of single green sticker
  • “Talking down” – communication access – understanding process, options, consequences of decision making Image of single green sticker
  • Extra support to explain to deaf clients about complexities of legal system because interpreters role is as translator
  • Communication re: acceptable behaviour strategy
  • Those involved need to be kept informed about progress
  • Post mortem debriefing or follow up is very important
  • Continued acknowledgement that they are believed, be non-judgemental.

Information in accessible formats

  • Information to be communicated simply and accurately without jargon; lack of understanding of legal terms and the law Image of two green stickers
  • Lack of common language, pictorials, permission, conceptual tools across the disability sector and into the criminal justice system about boundaries, rights, roles and responsibilities about issues such as touch, sexual behaviour and feelings, communicating and seeking help and support Image of single green sticker
  • Information consistently produced and promoted in alternative formats such as large print, simple English, symbols, pictures, visual communication or with technology Image of single green sticker
  • Vulnerable people’s hotline (phone in) and support Image of single green sticker or a specialised disability counselling hotline Image of single green sticker
  • Lack of awareness of rights as victims/offenders
  • Universal common problems with all services in regards to access: assistance with applications; appropriate sign translation; and complaints processes
  • Services need to be actively promoted so that people know they are available
  • A disability support worker or team to work with the person to improve awareness.

Inter-agency communication

  • Better communication between services Image of single green sticker
  • Sharing of information between services and a need to expand the scope of the information sharing guidelines Image of single green sticker
  • Lack of communication between departments and services, including the sharing of information
  • A closer working relationship between the justice system and Disabilities SA
  • Communication between divisional processes and regional areas.

Ongoing consultation with people with disability

  • Consultation from people with disabilities across a range of needs and ages  Image of single green sticker
  • Targeting a broad audience for the consultation process including those with a lived experience.
Last updated: 
Sunday, 23 February 2014
Printer-friendly versionSend by email