ACT Council of Social Service Inc.

Justice | Equity | Social Inclusion | Reconciliation

Media release: Strong stance on sexual expression rights welcome

4 February 2021

ACTCOSS today praised the ACT Government for calling on the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and the Federal Government to allow people with disability to use their National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funds for services to support sexual expression.

This follows disappointing and inappropriate statements on these issues by the Federal Minister for the NDIS, the Hon Stuart Robert MP.

ACTCOSS CEO, Dr Emma Campbell said: “The ACT Government has taken a strong and consistent public stance in declaring its support for the continued inclusion of sexual expression in NDIS plans.

“People with disability face discrimination and barriers to their full and equal participation in the community. ACTCOSS strongly supports comments by ACT Minister for Disability, Emma Davidson MLA, that the removal of sexual expression from NDIS plans would be out of line with the fundamental principles of the NDIS, which are to enable people with a disability to live an ordinary life, with choice and control in determining the most appropriate supports.

“This is an issue of human rights. People with a disability have the right to seek sexual expression. It is also vital that they remain in control of making decisions about sexual expression.

“ACTCOSS has endorsed Disabled People’s Organisations Australia’s Joint Position Statement which makes clear that enabling sexual expression can 'positively contribute to the overall quality of life and self-esteem for individuals, as well as meeting a range of other emotional, psychological, physical and social needs.’

“The inclusion of sexual expression in NDIS plans may also provide an opportunity to learn about respectful boundaries and the principles of consent, all of which are vital for an individual’s safety, wellbeing and full participation in society,” Dr Campbell concluded.

ACTCOSS calls on the NDIA and Minister Robert to accept the court decision that confirms that people with disability can use their NDIS funds for sexual expression.

ACTCOSS advocates for social justice in the ACT and represents not-for-profit community organisations.

For more information or comment, please contact
Dr Emma Campbell, CEO, ACTCOSS, on 0424 910 617 or 02 6202 7200.
Craig Wallace, Head of Policy, on 0477 200 755 or 02 6202 7208