An Adelaide mother has told the disability royal commission her son suffered severe injuries and was made to live in filth while in residential care.
- The royal commission heard from a community forum in Adelaide today
- A mother told the commissioner her son was severely injured while in care
- Another mother, who has a disability, said her children were taken away from her
Karen Rogers said her son Daniel, 39, who has autism, epilepsy and a profound intellectual disability, suffered bruising to his stomach and legs and bite marks to his arm.
She said it took staff four days to notify her of the injuries, which they could not explain.
“Daniel is one of the most vulnerable of vulnerable people. He can’t tell us what happened,” she said.
“I can’t think of anything that could have caused that. It was suggested he had a fall, but he’s never had a fall in his whole entire life.”
Ms Rogers addressed commissioner Alastair McEwin during South Australia’s first community forum held in Adelaide today.
She said her son was once made to mop the floor as punishment for singing during the night.
She said she decided to bring her son home after he received hospital treatment for his injuries.
“His room was a tip. There was dirt on the floor. There was faeces on the wall,” she said.
“His bedding, his clothing, his shoes, everything was not in good condition.”
Ms Rogers added said her son was sent home with another person’s medication but without his own clothing.
While she said it was wonderful having her son home, it was also challenging.
“Daniel is very, very happy, and he’s actually talking more and using a lot more words,” she said.
“The NDIS has been a nightmare for us, it’s been quite devastating actually … we’ve had to prove Daniel is disabled.”
Mother says her children were taken away
Seven other people gave testimonies during the community forum in Adelaide today.
One mother said her children had been taken away from her and compared them to the Stolen Generations.
She said she had been accused of child neglect and abuse based on her intellectual disability, and said she was not offered support to care for her five children, who also live with disabilities.
She told the commissioner she was treated as though she had the plague and was not allowed access to her children even though she said they were in worse conditions now and had been made to sleep on mattresses on the floor at their new accommodation.
Another speaker said the NDIS had made life more difficult and had not delivered on its commitment to provide choice and control to people with disabilities.
People with disabilities face barriers in workplace
During a separate testimony, a company director said there were barriers and cover-ups in workplaces.
Nadia Moffatt, whose body was partially paralysed after a brain haemorrhage as a child, said she had gained multiple degrees and career successes despite being told she would amount to nothing.
“I came across barriers where people with power tend to stifle change so that they can keep control of their little patch,” she said.
“I also noticed a culture where control freaks assemble, so I feel they might feel empowered over the vulnerable because quite often we won’t stand up for ourselves.
“We really need people from a diverse background at the table, not on the menu.”
Two more community forums will be held in South Australia before the second hearing begins in Melbourne.