The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability is seeking information about the use of restrictive practices on people with disability.

Restrictive practice refers to any action that limits the rights or freedom of movement of a person.

Restrictive practices are used in many settings, such as homes, including group homes, in health settings, in detention, at schools and at work.

They can include the use of physical restraints such a holding a person down on the ground, or the use of medication to sedate a person.

It can also include the use of mechanical restraints such as tying a student to a chair in a classroom, disconnecting the power of an electric wheelchair or taking a person’s communication device away from them.

The Chair Ronald Sackville AO QC said restrictive practices are a key area of inquiry for the Royal Commission.

‘We are asking for information about when, where, how and why restrictive practices are used on people with disability.

‘We want to hear about the effects of restrictive practices, which we know, can cause physical injury, psychological harm and may even cause death.

‘We want to hear about how the use of restrictive practices can be avoided, and hear about alternative measures and strategies.

‘We are also interested in understanding how laws and policies around restrictive practices can be improved,’ said the Chair.

The restrictive practices issues paper is the latest in a series of publications released by the Royal Commission. They provide an opportunity for individuals, organisations and experts to help inform the Royal Commission.

Download and read the issues paper:

Watch the Auslan video – Restrictive Practices

How to respond

The Royal Commission encourages responses from individuals and organisations to the issues paper by 28 August 2020, although submissions will also be accepted after that date. Responses to the issues paper can be provided, either:

  • electronically to
  • in writing to GPO Box 1422, Brisbane, Queensland 4001
  • by phone on 1800 517 199 or +61 7 3734 1900, we can make a time with you to take your response over the phone (between 9:00am to 6:00pm AEDT Monday to Friday)
  • by audio recording
  • by video recording.

Responses can be in any language. The Royal Commission will translate the response to English.

Please indicate if you consent to your responses being made public on their website.