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 our staff and ensure equality of access to our services.
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.
- 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.
 In South Australia, Aboriginal is used to describe Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
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
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.
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.
 Note this figure excludes Planning and Land Use Services, which joined the department on 29 July 2020.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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 DAIP 2020-2024 actions
Our actions align with the four themes and 12 priorities set out in the State Disability Inclusion Plan, Inclusive SA.
Accessibility is about ensuring that people with disability have equal access to programs, employment, training, goods and services, premises, communication, information and technology.
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.
The Disability Inclusion Act 2018 (SA) defines disability in relation to a person as including long-term:
- 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 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.
An Australian Government national hub for workplace and employment information for people with disability, employers and service providers.
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 involves creating facilities, built environments, products and services that can be used by people of all abilities, to the greatest extent possible, without adaptations.