Ashleigh DoRozario: Founding Member of the Queensland Law Society’s Diverse Abilities Network
At the beginning of this year, I became a founding member of the Queensland Law Society’s Diverse Abilities Network. As a solicitor with disability, being legally blind with low vision, I represent persons with disability in the Queensland legal profession.
In this position, I also work collaboratively with the Queensland Law Society’s Equity and Diversity Committee. The aim of the network is to:
- address accessibility issues within the legal industry;
- seek greater diversity and inclusion within the profession;
- advocate equal opportunity and
- provide a support network for practitioners with disability accessibility, discrimination or human rights issues.
With a view to destigmatising disability and creating an awareness of our diverse abilities, we have published various articles in the Queensland Law Society’s Procterpublication, together with an Accessibility Guide which contains a list of simple measures that may greatly assist people with disability who frequent or visit legal practitioners and law firms, or event physical and virtual events..
‘Nothing about us, with us’is a phrase widely distributed amongst the disability community which champions disability rights, and provides that no policy should be decided by any representative without the full and direct participation of people with disability.
This week, I have been very fortunate to be consulted by the Queensland Law Society on proposed submissions to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.
It has been a privilege to be included in the submission process as a lawyer with disability, and offer my lived experiences and suggestions for much needed policy reforms.
I look forward to future collaboration with the Queensland Law Society’s policy solicitors as the Diverse Abilities Network continues to propose responses to the Royal Commission Issues Papers, based on our personal experiences as lawyers with disability.
It has been a very cathartic process, and I am hopeful our contributions will help develop new policies and lead to real change within the wider community. Most particularly, we wish to destigmatise disability, create awareness of our diverse abilities and beneficial contributions to society, champion disability inclusion, and promote equal opportunity for people with disability in all aspects of life.
Last week, the Queensland Law Society shared my introductory video in relation to the Diverse Abilities Network. I wish to personally take this opportunity to invite you to connect with me should you have an injury, impairment, or disability. Likewise, if you simply wish to discuss disability or human rights, or how you may assist as an ally to persons with an injury, impairment, or disability, please contact me.
You can view my short introductory video here: