Plea to help people in disability homes
Colin Hiscoe has a simple request for the disability royal commission - please help.
Mr Hiscoe has begged the royal commission to help the people stuck with no voice and little options in disability group homes.
The self-advocate thinks the commission needs to get into the group homes, where as many as 17,000 Australians live.
"Please. Please help and support us," he said.
"I beg of you, please don't forget them."
Royal commission chair Ronald Sackville QC promised: "We won't and we will do our best."
Mr Hiscoe wants people with disability to have the same rights and choices as anyone else.
"When is it going to end, that people with a disability have the same basic human rights as anybody else in this community?"
George Taleporos wants the same thing.
"We just want what everyone else wants," Dr Taleporos, the policy manager for advocacy group Summer Foundation, said.
"We want an education. We want jobs. We want friends. We want relationships.
"It's not that special.
"But we can't do that if we're forced to live where we don't want to live."
Advocate Sarah Forbes fears people will be stuck in group homes - that typically house four-to-six people with disabilities - for another 30 years.
"There's a lot of advocates and families, and particularly people with intellectual disability, who are desperate for something better, something ordinary. A house just like anyone else," she told the Melbourne hearing on Thursday.
"At the moment, their options are more of the same or something that is basically the same thing but it has much nicer paint on the walls than the ones we had five years ago."
Ms Forbes said one man lived in 30 group homes before he finally found a place of his own, with a lot of family, advocacy and legal support.
She said one man spent six months physically restrained to a hospital bed because he did not have anywhere to go, while others were stuck in prison waiting for housing.