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Attorney-General’s Department Disability Access and Inclusion Plan 2020–2024

Our Disability Access and Inclusion Plan (DAIP) outlines our commitment to support people living with disability. It identifies the actions we will take to improve disability access and inclusion for AGD staff and ensure equality of access to our services. 

Our plan supports the State Disability Inclusion Plan.

AGD Disability Access and Inclusion Plan 2020-2024 PDF (3MB)

AGD Disability Access and Inclusion Plan - Easy Read (6MB) 

Acknowledgement of Country

The Attorney-General’s Department (AGD) acknowledges and respects Aboriginal1 people as the State’s First Peoples and nations, and recognises Aboriginal people as Traditional Owners and occupants of lands and waters in South Australia.

We recognise:

  • the spiritual, social, cultural and economic practices of Aboriginal people come from their connection to traditional lands and waters
  • maintaining cultural and heritage beliefs, languages and laws are of ongoing importance to Aboriginal people today
  • Aboriginal people have made and continue to make a unique and irreplaceable contribution to South Australia.

We acknowledge Aboriginal people have endured past injustice and dispossession of their traditional lands and waters and the effects of such injustice and dispossession are still felt today.

  [1] In South Australia, Aboriginal is used to describe Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Opening Statement

I am pleased to present AGD’s first Disability Access and Inclusion Plan 2020-2024 (DAIP).

As a department, we are committed to workplace diversity and a culture of respect, and to delivering our services with impartiality and professionalism.

We strive to ensure our services are accessible and considerate of people with disability, particularly people with disability who face additional barriers as members of other diverse groups, including women, children, Aboriginal people and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

This DAIP has been developed in consultation with our staff, members of the community and disability organisations, and aligns with the values of the department and our aim to deliver a workplace and services that are fair, accessible and responsive to those who live with disability.

It outlines strategies and actions for the department as a whole and responsibilities for specific business units in safeguarding people’s rights and ensuring equality of access to our services.

I look forward to working with my colleagues across the department to implement this DAIP and to improve disability access and inclusion for our staff and the South Australian community.

Caroline Mealor, Chief Executive

Contact Details

Attorney-General's Department

10 Franklin Street

Adelaide, SA, 5000

Phone: (08) 207 1555

Email: AGDDisabilityAccessandInclusion [at] sa.gov.au (AGD: Disability Access and Inclusion) 

Website: agd.sa.gov.au

About the Attorney-General’s Department

AGD promotes justice by protecting the rights of all South Australians, holding people to account according to the law, improving safety, and contributing to an efficient and fair justice system.

We promote fair, timely and economical access to justice by providing legal, civil, prosecutorial and legislative services to the community, ministers and agencies across government, as well as specialist policy advice.

We foster community safety and wellbeing by advocating for and protecting the rights of individuals, particularly the most vulnerable, and promoting cultural diversity and equality.

AGD also has regulatory and compliance functions. We work with businesses and provide services direct to the public to achieve better compliance and promote a fair, secure and balanced marketplace, where consumers are protected and know their rights.

AGD supports the work of independent statutory officers that have a formal reporting relationship to Parliament. AGD also supports the South Australian Computer Aided Dispatch, South Australian Government Radio Network and the State Rescue Helicopter Service, which support the Minister for Emergency Services and Minister for Police.  

AGD also incorporates Planning and Land Use Services. This division of the department manages the planning and land use system for our State, to grow the economy and create more vibrant places for our communities; and support the effective functioning of Local Government and outback communities.

Our staff

AGD had 1,508 employees during 2019-202. Of these, one-third work in areas that provide direct services to the community, including Consumer and Business Services, the Fines Enforcement and Recovery Unit, the Public Trustee, Office of the Public Advocate, the Ombudsman, and Office of the Commissioner for Small Business.  

In terms of diversity, 2.8% of AGD staff identify as Aboriginal, and 10.4% speak a language other than English. 

Persons with a declared disability made up 3.2% of AGD staff in 2019-20.  

  [2] Note this figure excludes Planning and Land Use Services, which joined the department on 29 July 2020.

Access and Inclusion Planning – the Strategic Context

This DAIP is part of a whole-of-government approach to improving access and inclusion for all South Australians living with disability.

The Disability Inclusion Act 2018 (SA) supports the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities acknowledging that people living with disability have the same human rights as other members of the community.

The Disability Inclusion Act 2018 (SA) requires:

  • the South Australian Government to develop and publish a State Disability Inclusion Plan, and
  • for State authorities to develop disability access and inclusion plans that relate to the specific supports and services they provide.

Inclusive SA, South Australia’s first State Disability Inclusion Plan, was launched on 1 November 2019.

Inclusive SA and the disability access and inclusion plans developed by individual State Authorities will together support South Australia’s implementation of the National Disability Strategy (NDS), which is a coordinated plan across all levels of government within Australia to improve the lives of people living with disability, their families and carers.

Our DAIP sets out the actions we will take over the next four years to achieve a more accessible and inclusive South Australia. Our actions align to the key themes and priorities in Inclusive SA.

Our commitment to disability access and inclusion

We are committed to improving access and inclusion for all South Australians with disability.

Recent achievements include:

  • Disability awareness online training is mandated for all new employees.

     
  • A specialist legal team has been established within the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) which considers questions of admissibility where a potential witness is a person living with disability that affects their capacity to give an account of their experiences or to respond to questions. The team has built considerable staff expertise and knowledge to support vulnerable victims and witnesses.

     
  • ODPP has regular liaison with the South Australia Police Public Protection Branch (Victim Management Unit) and regularly discusses the conduct of interviews with people with a disability and associated issues.

     
  • In partnership with Guide Dogs SA/NT, ODPP completed Stage 1 of the Canine Court Companion (CCC) project in December 2019. The CCC project aims to reduce the stress and anxiety of vulnerable victims and prosecution witnesses at legal assessments and criminal justice proceedings. In Stage 1, a black Labrador named Zero provided support and comfort to victims and witnesses during legal assessments and other meetings with ODPP staff. Future stages of the project include support in court waiting areas (Stage 2) and court rooms/CCTV suites (Stage 3).

     
  • Recent accommodation changes to the Public Trustee’s tenancy have increased compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act (1992) (Cth) in relation to wheelchair accessibility for the reception desk, entrance and meeting rooms, and toilet/shower facilities.

     

We will integrate disability access and inclusion planning with work and activity required under our other relevant strategies and frameworks, including:

Consultation process

To prepare our DAIP, we sought advice from AGD business units on current and planned initiatives, undertook a staff survey, and sought submissions on our draft DAIP from the South Australian community and disability sector groups and representatives.

Staff survey results

An AGD staff survey was conducted between 17 and 31 July 2020. There were 46 responses from a range of AGD business units, including 12 individuals who identified as living with disability. Most respondents strongly agreed or somewhat agreed that AGD is inclusive and supportive of persons living with disability.

Over 90% of respondents strongly or somewhat agreed that their business unit, or AGD overall, is inclusive and supportive of persons living with disability. The majority of respondents with disability also agreed or strongly agreed.

The main areas identified for improvement were promoting awareness of disability, facilitating access to information for people living with disability, and improving physical access to and within AGD buildings.

Public consultation

The following public consultation was undertaken:

  • A draft AGD DAIP was published for community feedback on the AGD website between 14 to 28 September 2020.
  • A link to the draft AGD DAIP was included on the YourSAy Disability Access and Inclusion webpage and provided to the Department for Human Services Disability Engagement Group for dissemination.
  • Thirty-four disability organisations were contacted to inform them of the draft DAIP and the options available to provide feedback. The organisations contacted included peak bodies representing people with disability who are also members of other diverse groups, including women, children, Aboriginal people and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

We received six responses to an online survey and written submissions from Julia Farr’s Purple Orange and the Australian Migrant Resource Centre. Discussions were also held with representatives from Autism SA, Aboriginal disability service organisation Incompro and child disability advocate KYD-X.

Feedback received was broadly supportive of the draft DAIP. Comments focused on the need to support people with disability to prepare and provide meaningful responses during engagement processes, the need for disability advocacy services, building access issues, the limitations of digital equipment covered under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), and a lack of services in rural areas.

The importance of actively involving persons living with disability in the development, implementation and review of programs was also raised, as well as the recognition of diverse groups in the disability sector.

Where appropriate, feedback received has been incorporated into this DAIP. For example, we have strengthened our actions regarding consultation and engagement with people with disability and seeking the input of disability peak bodies. Other suggestions will be considered as part of the AGD’s ongoing effort to increase disability access and inclusion.

Consultation will continue after the DAIP has been published and comments are always welcome. The DAIP will be reviewed on a regular basis.

Monitoring Implementation of our DAIP 2020-2024

Implementation of this DAIP and annual reporting on progress will be supported and monitored by a DAIP Implementation Group, comprising representatives from AGD business units and AGD staff living with disability or caring for someone with disability. Disability advocates and organisations, including the Disability Engagement Group, will also be engaged where appropriate.

Progress will be reported to the AGD Executive Management Group and the Chief Executive of the Department for Human Services by 31 October each year. In accordance with the Disability Inclusion Act 2018 (SA), AGD will formally review the DAIP at least every four years.

Our DAIP will be available to our employees, contractors and agents, and the South Australian community. It will be promoted on the AGD website, including in Easy Read format, and may be made available in other accessible formats and languages upon request.

Our Disability Access and Inclusion Plan 2020-2024 actions

Our actions align with the four themes and 12 priorities set out in the State Disability Inclusion Plan, Inclusive SA.

Inclusive SA Theme 1: Inclusive communities for all

Social inclusion is a priority for people living with disability as it affects all aspects of their lives. It is our aim that the contributions and rights of people living with disability are valued and understood by all South Australians and that their rights are promoted, upheld and protected. We also want to ensure that people living with disability are supported to advocate for their own rights.

Theme 1 includes the following priorities:

1. Involvement in the community

2. Improving community understanding and awareness

3. Promoting the rights of people living with disability.

Our actions under Theme 1:

Action 1.1

Ensure all internal and external stakeholder engagement activities are accessible to all members of the community, including people with disability, in line with State Government Guidelines (Priority 1).

All business units are responsible for this action.

This action is ongoing.

Measure:

Disability access and inclusion are incorporated in communication and engagement strategies and activities. All new documents, video, and web-based content have inclusive and accessible design.

Action 1.2

Promote the 2021 National Disability Strategy to staff and people accessing our services through AGD websites and general service delivery (Priority 2).

Strategic Communications is responsible for this action.

This action will be completed by June 2021.

Measure:

Promotion strategy developed and implemented.

Action 1.3

Commemorate International Day of People with Disability annually and celebrate the contributions people with disability make to society (Priority 2).

Strategic Communications is responsible for this action.

This action is ongoing.

Measure:

Annual promotion of International Day of People with Disability.

Action 1.4

Raise awareness of the specific needs of people with disability by engaging persons with disability / disability advocates to present to AGD staff on experiences and information about working with and supporting persons with disability (Priority 2).

All business units are responsible for this action.

This action is ongoing.

Measure:

Number and type of disability information sessions held for staff each year.

Action 1.5

Review and update content of AGD online disability awareness training consistent with Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment updates (Priority 2).

Human Resources is responsible for this action.

This action will be completed by June 2021.

Measure:

AGD online disability awareness training is reviewed and updated.

Action 1.6

Review current completion rates of AGD online disability awareness training (currently mandated to new employees) and encourage all staff to complete (Priority 2).

Human Resources is responsible for this action.

This action will be completed by December 2021.

Measure:

Report completed of AGD online disability awareness training.

Action 1.7

AGD induction process to include information about working with people living with disability and support available for employees with disability in the workplace (Priority 3).

Human Resources is responsible for this action.

This action is ongoing.

Measure:

The AGD online induction program is updated to include information about working with people living with disability and support available for employees with disability in the workplace.

Action 1.8

Ensure departmental internal and external complaints systems are accessible to people with disability (Priority 3).

All business units managing a complaint process are responsible for this action.

This action is ongoing.

Measure:

Departmental complaints materials and procedures are assessed against accessibility standards as part of existing cyclic review process.

Action 1.9

Develop practice guidelines with relevant stakeholders to address disability discrimination (Priority 3).

The Equal Opportunity Commission is responsible for this action.

This action will be completed by June 2021.

Measure:

Practice guidelines developed.

Action 1.10

The Public Trustee to liaise regularly with the Office of the Public Advocate and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) / National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to discuss the impact of the NDIS in the community and ensure the Public Trustee remains up to date with NDIS / NDIA initiatives impacting its customers (Priority 3).

The Public Trustee is responsible for this action.

This action is ongoing.

Measure:

Monthly liaison meetings are conducted.

Action 1.11

Promote disability rights and inclusion in decision making (advance care planning, guardianship and supported decision making) (Priority 3).

The Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) is responsible for this action.

This action is ongoing.

Measure:

Community education sessions conducted. Accessible information sheets about advance care planning, decision making and the work of OPA are developed.

Action 1.12

Undertake a supported decision making project, in partnership with the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) to document the wishes of Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) clients who have impaired decision making capacity (Priority 3).

OPA is responsible for this action.

This action will be completed by June 2023.

Measure:

Research report with recommendations completed.

Action 1.13

Collaborate and share information with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to ensure all eligible clients of the Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) have a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan which meets their needs (Priority 3).

OPA is responsible for this action.

This action will be completed by 30 June 2022.

Measure:

Information Sharing Schedule developed between OPA and the NDIA.

100% of OPA clients identified as eligible for NDIS have transitioned with an activated plan.

100% of restrictive practices used for NDIS / OPA clients are authorised.

Inclusive SA Theme 2: Leadership and collaboration

People living with disability want to have a greater role in leading and contributing to government and community decision making. It is our aim that the perspectives of people living with disability are actively sought and that they are supported to participate meaningfully in government and community consultation and engagement activities.

Theme 2 includes the following priorities:

4. Participation in decision making

5. Leadership and raising profile

6. Engagement and consultation

Our actions under Theme 2:

Action 2.1

Include people with disability and / or disability advocates and peak bodies in the development, implementation and review of relevant policies, programs and initiatives (Priorities 4 and 6). This includes, where relevant, people with disability who face additional barriers as members of other diverse groups including women, children and young people, Aboriginal people and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

All business units are responsible for this action.

This action is ongoing.

Measure:

People with disability and / or disability advocates are engaged to inform the development, implementation and review of relevant policies, programs and initiatives, including the use of co-design where appropriate.

AGD Diversity webpage for staff promotes and facilitates engagement through the inclusion of contact information for disability advocates and support groups.

Action 2.2

Lead Inclusive SA action 13 to ensure high quality and co-ordinated engagement with the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability, including providing consistent, accurate and relevant information, through a dedicated response unit led by AGD (Priority 5).

The Royal Commission Response Unit is responsible for this action.

This action is ongoing.

Measure:

Royal Commission Response Unit established and engaging with the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.

Action 2.3

The Equal Opportunity Commission to provide submissions to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability in response to any issues raised that fall under the jurisdiction of the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (SA) (Priority 5).

The Equal Opportunity Commission is responsible for this action.

This action will be completed as required over the course of the Royal Commission’s investigation and reporting requirements.

Measure:

The Equal Opportunity Commission provides written responses to the Royal Commission on relevant issues within its jurisdiction.

Action 2.4

Actively engage people with disability during the refit of new office accommodation (Priority 6).

Facilities and Security is responsible for this action.

This action is ongoing.

Measure:

People with disability are actively engaged to inform refits of new office accommodation.

Inclusive SA Theme 3: Accessible communities

The accessibility of the built environment, quality services and information are key to ensuring people living with disability are included and have the opportunity to equally participate in all aspects of community life. It is our aim to increase accessibility to public and community infrastructure, transport, services, information, sport and recreation and the greater community.

Theme 3 includes the following Priorities:

7. Universal Design across SA

8. Accessible and available information

9. Access to services

Our actions under Theme 3:

Action 3.1

Lead Inclusive SA  Action 16 to elevate the design quality of South Australia’s built environment and public realms through promoting design quality policy and the principles of Universal Design (Priority 7).

Planning and Land Use Services is responsible for this action.

This action is ongoing.

Measure:

Guidance document on the Principles of Universal Design is prepared.

Action 3.2

Lead Inclusive SA  Action 18 to contribute to national work on the possibility of introducing Silver or Gold level Liveable Housing standards for all new housing to be applied through the National Construction Code from 2022 (Priority 7).

Planning and Land Use Services is responsible for this action.

This action is ongoing.

Measure:

Contribute, where applicable, to the Australian Building Code Boards Accessible Housing Project.

Action 3.3

New fit-outs in AGD workplaces to be assessed against the Building Code of Australia (Priority 7).

Facilities and Security is responsible for this action.

This action is ongoing at the time of fit-outs and lease negotiations.

Measure:

New fit-outs comply with Building Code of Australia.

Action 3.4

Ensure AGD websites, intranet and digital applications meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1, and the Online Accessibility Policy and guidelines, including content design, plain English writing, site functionality and visual representation of information (Priority 8).

Strategic Communications and all business units managing a local website are responsible for this action.

This action will be completed by June 2024.

Measure:

Websites and intranets managed by AGD and its business units meet digital accessibility standards for government.

Existing content is systematically reviewed to ensure it meets accessibility standards.

Action 3.5

Develop Easy Read versions of major and relevant AGD strategies, fact sheets and brochures (Priority 8).

Strategic Communications is responsible for this action.

This action is ongoing.

Measure:

Easy Read versions of documents developed and promoted.

Action 3.6

Convert State Records website indexes from PDF to accessible formats (.xls) (Priority 8).

State Records is responsible for this action.

This action is ongoing.

Measure:

Number / proportion of .xls indexes available on the State Records website.

Action 3.7

Undertake feasibility study for waiving fee for digitisation of state records for persons with disability (Priority 8).

State Records is responsible for this action.

This action is will be completed by July 2021.

Measure:

Feasibility of waiving fee is investigated and implemented if achievable.

Action 3.8

All AGD service contracts and grant agreements to include provision for delivery of accessible services to people with disability (Priority 9).

All business units are responsible for this action.

This action is ongoing.

Measure:

Service contracts and grant agreements require delivery of services accessible to and inclusive of people with disability.

Action 3.9

Complete the Consumer and Business Services Improving the Customer Service Experience project, including improved service for persons with disability (Priority 9).

Consumer and Business Services is responsible for this action.

This action will be completed in stages, with full completion by June 2022.

Measure:

Current state analysis and implementation of improvement program completed for Licensing, Gambling, Associations and Charities, and Advice and Conciliation (December 2021).

Improved service to vulnerable populations, including people with disability, implemented (June 2022).

Improved customer complaints model implemented (June 2022).

ICT system upgrades to improve the customer service experience implemented (June 2022).

Action 3.10

Consider the installation of multimedia devices in queues at service outlets to support people with a hearing or vision impairment (Priority 9).

Facilities and Security is responsible for this action.

This action is ongoing, at the time of fit-out.

Measure:

The installation of multimedia devices is considered when developing service outlet fit-outs.

Action 3.11

Lead Inclusive SA  Action 27 – the Canine Court Companion pilot project, to provide increased practical support and assistance to vulnerable victims and prosecution witnesses involved with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (Priority 9).

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions is responsible for this action.

This action will be completed in 2021.

Measure:

Completion of Stage 2 and Stage 3.

Number of appointments attended by the canine companion.

Number of victims and witnesses supported.

Inclusive SA Theme 4: Learning and employment

Workforce participation is fundamental to social inclusion. It provides economic independence and choice, social connections and friendships, value, identity and belonging. It is our aim that people living with disability have access to inclusive places of study and that education and training provides pathways to meaningful and inclusive employment and volunteering opportunities.

Theme 4 includes the following Priorities:

10. Better supports within education and training settings

11. Skill development through volunteering and support in navigating the pathway between learning and earning

12. Improved access to employment opportunities and better support within workplaces

Our actions under Theme 4:

Action 4.1

Review accessibility of all corporate educational and training opportunities within AGD to employees living with disability (Priority 10).

All business units are responsible for this action under the guidance of Human Resources.

This action will be completed by June 2023.

Measure:

Review of corporate training undertaken and recommendations made to ensure accessibility to development opportunities as required.

Action 4.2

Participate in the Road2Employment Steering Group convened by Julia Farr Association Purple Orange, which steers a funded program aimed at building the capacity and capability of South Australian small to medium enterprises to provide employment opportunities for people with disability (Priority 12).

Glossary

Accessibility

Accessibility is about ensuring that people with disability have equal access to programs, employment, training, goods and services, premises, communication, information and technology.

Co-design

A range of activities and processes used in the design of services and products that involve people who use or are affected by that service or product.

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD), also referred to as multicultural, refers to the diversity of people from different countries, including English-speaking countries. People of CALD communities may have different cultural backgrounds, speak more than one language, be from different regions in Australia and/or align with different religions globally.

Disability

The Disability Inclusion Act 2018 (SA) defines disability in relation to a person as including long-term:

  • physical
  • psycho-social
  • intellectual
  • cognitive
  • neurological, or
  • sensory impairment, or
  • a combination of any of these impairments

which in interaction with various barriers may hinder the person’s full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.

Disability Engagement Group

A group of people who have nominated themselves to provide feedback on issues that are important to people living with disability in South Australia. The group is made up of people living with disability and their families and carers, and members of the community interested in disability matters. Information about the Disability Engagement Group is available at: https://dhs.sa.gov.au/services/disability/disability-sa-consultation.

Inclusion

Inclusion is about embracing and harnessing our diverse resources. It is about removing attitudinal, behavioural and physical barriers so that everyone feels valued and respected, has equal access to opportunities, and is empowered to participate and contribute their skills and perspectives to their workplace and society.

JobAccess

An Australian Government national hub for workplace and employment information for people with disability, employers and service providers.

NDS

The National Disability Strategy 2010–2020 is a shared commitment by all governments to work together to improve the lives of Australians with disability by guiding governments and other organisations to build the wellbeing of people with disability and their carers.

Reasonable workplace adjustment

A reasonable workplace adjustment is any adjustment to the workplace to accommodate a person with disability to fulfil the inherent duties of a role that does not significantly affect or disrupt the business operation of the workplace, put at risk clients or co-workers or cause unjustifiable hardship.

United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) is a human rights treaty that aims to change attitudes and approaches to people with disability. It reaffirms that all people with disability must enjoy human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Universal design

Universal design involves creating facilities, built environments, products and services that can be used by people of all abilities, to the greatest extent possible, without adaptations.