Abstract: Introduction: In Queensland between 2019 and 2020, there was an average of 187 children aged between 10 and 17 in custody each day, with the majority of these children being First Nations children.1 15% of the children in custody had a suspected or diagnosed cognitive disability, and 8% had diagnosed or suspected foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).2 Considering the high rate of imprisonment of children with cognitive disabilities, many of these children being First Nations people, it is important to consider how this number can be reduced. This paper will discuss the barriers faced by children with cognitive disabilities when accessing the NDIS to gain disability support, with a particular focus on the experiences of children and their families living in regional and remote areas of Queensland (RRAQ). As many of the children living in these areas are First Nations, there will also be consideration of the specific barriers faced by these children and their families. Suggestions will then be given relating to how these barriers can be addressed. These suggestions will be provided with the goal of ensuring children in RRAQ are able to enjoy their child rights as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and of reducing the likelihood of children with cognitive disabilities from coming into contact with the YJS. A brief overview of two organisations working to address the barriers experienced by children and families living in RRAQ will then be given as an example of how barriers can be successfully overcome.
Triffitt, Abbie, n.d., The barriers to accessing the National Disability Insurance Scheme in regional and remote Queensland for children with cognitive disabilities and their families, Report, viewed 01 December 2023, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=39957.