Restrictive practices – illuminating communities

Ms Susan Connell1

1disAbility Living Inc, Australia

The NDIS Quality & Safeguarding Commission has implemented new obligations and reporting requirements for all NDIS registered service providers. Previously, the disability sector, particularly in South Australia, was largely unregulated in terms of behaviour support planning and restrictive practices.  This oral presentation draws on organisational learnings to discuss the changes that have occurred and the impact new requirements have on service providers and NDIS participants.

disAbility Living Inc is primarily an accommodation based provided for people with acquired brain injuries and intellectual disabilities.  We also provide short term accommodation and therapy based services to individuals with intellectual disabilities.  The project is only using data collated from individuals supported by disAbility Living who have an intellectual disability.

By reviewing incident reports, Positive Behaviour Support Plans and conducting a work practice audit across all disAbility Living lifestyle support sites, we have collated baseline data related to the current use of authorised and unauthorised restrictive practices.  Additionally, we referred to NDIS information and reports to determine the use of restrictive practices nationally and establish a benchmark.  On the basis of this research, a comprehensive process has been implemented to reduce and eventually eliminate restrictive practices in disAbility Living services.

This paper describes the process disAbility Living undertook to achieve mandated reporting requirements as well as methods to reduce restrictive practices including training of staff, comprehensive positive behaviour support plans, work practice audits and sharing information across state and national communities of practice.

It is crucial that providers have sound processes and practices in place to address the use of restrictive practices – not only to meet legislated requirements but to ensure that the rights of NDIS participants are upheld and they are able to make their own lifestyle choices.


Susan is a Developmental Educator with multiple years’ experience in the not-for-profit sector. She has a particular interest in working with youth and adults in complex behaviour support. Susan also has focused on supporting organisations to develop best policy and practices around positive behaviour support and restrictive practices.

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