The safety and privacy of clients is our priority. These case studies have been deidentified to protect clients’ identities.
We supported Lucy to safely share her story
Lucy (not her real name) lives with a vision impairment in a regional community. She wanted to tell her story to the Disability Royal Commission but did not feel she would be able to put together her submission independently. Lucy wasn’t comfortable going to local services because her community is small, and everyone knows each other. A lawyer from Your Story Disability Legal Support travelled to meet with Lucy in her area and assisted her to prepare an anonymous submission to the Royal Commission. Lucy expressed her gratitude to the lawyer for being mobile and flexible, and said she felt comfortable and supported.
We connected Matthew with other services before supporting him to prepare a submission
Matthew (not his real name) lives with a learning disability and psychosocial disabilities. He contacted Your Story Disability Legal Support about making a submission to the Disability Royal Commission. Matthew’s situation was complicated. He was unable to engage with advocacy supports in his area, had several ongoing legal matters relating to fines, debts and family matters, and needed social support in various areas, including housing. A Your Story lawyer arranged for Matthew to get specialist legal support for his legal matters. We also linked Matthew in with our social worker who worked with him over several weeks and supported him to access much needed social supports in his state. When Matthew’s legal and social matters had been addressed, he began working with our lawyer to prepare his story to share with the Royal Commission.
We provided Robert with private session support
Robert (not his real name) and a disability advocate booked an appointment for legal advice with a lawyer from Your Story Disability Legal Support. Our lawyer reviewed Robert’s draft submission to the Disability Royal Commission and gave legal advice about the different ways that he could share his submission. For example, he could send it in with extra legal protections or he could tell it to a commissioner in a private session. Robert decided to register for a private session. When it was Robert’s turn for a private session, the lawyer was there to support him alongside his disability advocate. Robert said that Your Story’s support prior to and at the private session was invaluable to him and greatly appreciated.
Being in prison was no barrier for Peter to share his story
A lawyer from Your Story Disability Legal Support spoke to Peter (not his real name) who is an inmate at a New South Wales prison. Peter has physical disabilities and wanted to tell his story to the Disability Royal Commission to improve the experiences of people with disability in prison. Our lawyer could not meet Peter in person due to COVID-19 restrictions, so arranged a series of phone calls. During these phone calls, they put together Peter’s submission. Once they had a draft prepared, our lawyer read out Peter’s submission in full to check that he was happy with it before submitting it to the Royal Commission. Peter told Your Story he was grateful to speak to a lawyer on a number of occasions.
We collaborated to create a safe space for Janine to participate in a private session
Janine (not her real name) lives with an intellectual disability and other disabilities. She was living in transient accommodation when she was referred to Your Story Disability Legal Support. Over a series of phone calls, one of our lawyers discussed with Janine her options for sharing her story with the Disability Royal Commission and how she could do this safely and confidently. They also linked Janine with an advocate who could provide additional support. Our lawyer then travelled to meet Janine and the advocate in a space they felt comfortable with and supported Janine to participate in a private session. With Your Story’s support, Janine was able to confidently do her activities and be supported in a safe space while she told her story to the Royal Commission.
We supported Michael and his nephew to stay safe while letting other carers know they’re not alone
Michael (not his real name) cares for his nephew who has a disability and lives in supported accommodation. Michael is his nephew’s guardian and financial manager and contacted Your Story Disability Legal Support about making a submission to the Disability Royal Commission. Our lawyer supported Michael and his nephew through the submission process. They also assisted them to obtain a Notice to Produce, which gave them extra legal protections and meant they could not be hurt or disadvantaged for giving information to the Royal Commission. Michael wanted to make sure he and his nephew were safe but could also share their story so other people in the community knew they weren’t alone.
We supported Sandra to tell her story at her own pace and in a way that worked for her
Sandra (not her real name) cares for a young child with a disability. She contacted Your Story Disability Legal Support about making a submission to the Disability Royal Commission. With caring responsibilities and ongoing legal action, Sandra was feeling overwhelmed and wasn’t ready to write her submission straight away. A Your Story lawyer worked with Sandra on her submission during short telephone calls when her child was asleep or doing other activities. Our lawyer then travelled to meet Sandra at a place where she felt comfortable, and they worked together to finalise the submission. Sandra thanked the lawyer for waiting until she was ready to share her story.
We supported Mark to share his struggles with mental health and accessing services
Mark (not his real name) is a man in his 40s living in Sydney. He lives with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other disabilities and receives a disability support pension and NDIS support. Mark has had many different experiences of not being able to access community services. This was upsetting for him and made him feel angry, hopeless, depressed and isolated. Mark wanted to share his story with the Disability Royal Commission to help others who had been victimised, judged or mistreated because of their disability. But he wasn’t sure about the best way to do this and was concerned that going to the Royal Commission would impact his other legal proceeding.
Mark called Your Story Disability Legal Support’s information line in distress. The Infoline referred Mark to Your Story’s social worker for social support and made an appointment with a Your Story lawyer so he could get legal advice. Our social worker and lawyer worked together to support Mark, also linking him in with an advocate and another lawyer who could help with the other legal matters he was dealing with.
Because Mark wanted to name the people and organisations that had hurt him, our lawyer recommended telling his story to a commissioner from the Disability Royal Commission in a private session, so he would have extra legal protections and his story would be kept confidential. The lawyer also worked with Mark so he could tell his story safely, confidently and without exposing himself to legal risk. Our social worker helped Mark reduce the social barriers he faced by supporting him through the process of sharing his story and connecting him to mental health services. They also worked with Mark and in partnership with other service providers to improve the NDIS support he was receiving.
With Your Story’s support, Mark was able to access the services he needed whilst completing his goal of telling his story to the Disability Royal Commission. Mark told Your Story he was grateful for the support and understanding he received. He continues to be supported in the community today.
If this story has raised concerns for you or someone you know, you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.
If you’re taking part in the Disability Royal Commission and want free counselling support, contact Blue Knot’s National Counselling and Referral Service on 1800 421 468 from 9am-6pm AEST Mon-Fri and 9am-5pm AEST Sat, Sun and public holidays.
*Names have been changed to protect clients’ identities.