Information about the law and disability rights

Our Information Sheets answer some questions that are often asked by people who have a disability about particular areas of law. aSome of the information is hard to understand. Some people may need support to be able to understand what these sheets say.

It is important that support is provided in a way that makes the information as accessible as possible. Everyone is entitled to all the information available about his or her rights. Some people who do not have a disability will also want to know the answers to these questions. This might include staff or carers who are providing support to someone with a disability. We have not written separate information sheets for these people. We think the best way for others to learn about the rights of people who have a disability is to think about that issue from the perspective of the person who has a disability. For this reason, we hope that these information sheets will be of use to all people who are involved in issues to do with disability and the law.

The information sheets are meant only to provide basic, general information. This is not the same as getting proper legal advice. If you are in doubt about some of the issues covered in the information sheets, or you want more specific advice, we suggest you speak to a lawyer or to someone else who has the appropriate qualifications to talk to you about the things you want to know.

We apologise for not having all the information sheets available online but we are updating them. We will make them available as soon as we can. Click on the link to read the information that you are interested in.

Access to information about you
Updated July 2015

Updated November 2014

Capacity and consent
Updated June 2015

Choosing a lawyer
Updated November 2014

DHHS & Child Protection
Updated November 2014

Duty of Care and Negligence
Updated November 2014

Updated March 2015

National Disability Insurance Scheme
Updated January 2015

Police Questioning, Arrests and Searches
Updated February 2015

Restraint and Seclusion
Updated February 2015

Sexual Rights
Updated November 2014

Special Disability Trusts
Updated February 2015

Updated November 2014

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Free Villamanta publications

People with Acquired Brain Injury and the Victorian Justice System: Rights and Resources (6.2MB)
Suzanne Brown, Glenn Kelly, Deidre Griffiths, Hayley Clarke and Ben von Einem, 2015

Produced by Diverge Consulting and Villamanta Disability Rights Legal Service Inc with funding from the Victoria Law Foundation

People Who Have an Intellectual Disability and the Criminal Justice System (1.7MB)

A guide and educational tool for people working in the criminal justice system: Judges, Magistrates, Court Staff, Lawyers, Advocates, Police and Corrections Workers

Your Rights Your Choices Booklet (Sept 2015) (7.7MB)

An easy to read, plain English book about legal rights for people who have an intellectual disability in Victoria.

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Application Form (for Guardianship, Administration, Enduring Power of Attorney)
Use this form to apply to the Guardianship List of VCAT for a guardian, an administrator, or an Enduring Power of Attorney to be appointed for a person with a disability.

Law Reform Commission Reports

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Victoria Law Reform Commission Guardianship Final Report
This report was tabled in Parliament on 18 April 2012

Other websites

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Australian Human Rights Commission: Disability Rights
The Australian Human Rights Commission deals with complaints of disability discrimination The site provides valuable information on disability related issues.

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National Disability Services (formerly ACROD)
NDS is a national industry association which provides useful information on current disability related issues and activities around Australia.

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Infoxchange 'is a not-for-profit community organisation that delivers technology for social justice'.

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DiVine (formerly Disability Online, Victoria)
'An online community for and by people with a disability'.

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Office of Public Advocate (Victoria)
Established in 1986, 'the Victorian Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) has promoted the rights, interests and dignity of people with disability (specifically intellectual impairment, mental illness, brain injury, physical disability or dementia) living in Victoria'

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Mental Health Legal Centre Inc.(Victoria)

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Speak Up and Be Safe

United Nations Declarations on the rights of people who have disabilities

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Declaration on the Rights of Mentally Retarded Persons 
Proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 2856 (XXVI) of 20 December 1971)

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Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons 
Proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 3447 (XXX) of 9 December 1975

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Principles for the protection of persons with mental illness and the improvement of mental health care 
Adopted by General Assembly resolution 46/119 of 17 December 1991

Some United Nations General Declarations on economic, social and political rights

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Universal Declaration of Human Rights 
Adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 1948

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International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 
Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966 entry into force 23 March 1976, in accordance with Article 49

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International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966 entry into force 3 January 1976, in accordance with article 27

Human Rights Organisations of the Australian and Victorian Governments

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Australian Human Rights Commission

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The Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission

Some Court/Tribunal Links

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The Federal Court of Australia

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The Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal 
(Anti-discrimination List Decisions)

Some Law Links

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Disability Discrimination Act 1992

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Internet search engine for laws of Australia (AustLII)

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Federation of Community Legal Centres of Victoria

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A web based app designed to help young people understand their options when they receive a fine

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Find a Lawyer Legal Referral Service
Law Institute of Victoria

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Victorian Law Reform Commission

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Victoria Legal Aid

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Victoria Law Foundation

Government Departments

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Department of Human Services (Victoria)

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Department of Social Services

Other useful resources

How to be disability inclusive
(DARU, January 2019)

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Managing Your Child’s Transition to Adulthood

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Guide to Remodeling a Home for Adults with Special Needs

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Special Needs Checklist: How Disability-Friendly is Your City?

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Vocational Training for Adults with Special Needs


Annual reports

Annual Report 2017-2018

Annual Report 2016-2017

Annual Report 2015-2016

Annual Report 2014-2015

Annual Report 2013-2014

Annual Report 2012-2013

Annual Report 2011-2012

Annual Report 2010-2011

Annual Report 2009-2010

Annual Report 2008-2009

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Strategic plan

Download Strategic Plan (2014-2017)


Contact Villamanta to order one of these books

Ian Parsons, Cripples, Coons, Fags and Fems, Villamanta Publishing Service (1999) 


Duty of Care, Negligence and User Rights, Villamanta Publishing and Training Services (1996) 


Ian Parsons, Oliver Twist Has Asked for More: the Politics and Practice of Getting Justice for People with Disabilities,  Villamanta Publishing Service (1994) 


People who have an Intellectual Disability and the Criminal Justice System, Villamanta Disability Rights Legal Service Inc (April 2012)  (free PDF version (1.7MB)


Annie Nash, '' Villamanta Publishing and Training Services (2001) 


Trish Jardine, Ian Parsons, Andrew Pitt and Deidre Griffiths, Your Rights Your Choices: An Easy to Read Book About Legal Rights for People with an Intellectual Disability in Victoria, Geelong Community Legal Service Inc (1989) (free PDF version revised Sept 2015 (7.7MB))