Queensland Law Society

QAI book aids clients with intellectual disability

A new publication by Queensland Advocacy Incorporated (QAI) will assist people with intellectual disability who have been charged with an offence.

The book, About the Police, the Court and Lawyers – What to do and what not to do, uses plain English and simple illustrations to guide Dan (who has an intellectual disability) and Hannah (who Dan needs to help him make decisions about everyday things) through the criminal justice process in Queensland.

The book is funded by the Legal Aid Queensland Community Legal Education Collaboration Fund and produced by QAI’s Justice Support Program (JSP) in collaboration with the Endeavour Foundation

QAI consulted widely with individuals (including JSP clients) as well as staff and clientele of the Endeavour Foundation to ensure that the book is as easy to understand and remember as such a difficult subject can be for people who have had little or no experience of the police and the criminal court.

Being arrested or questioned by the police or having to go to court is not something you would expect a person like Dan to cope with by himself, so the book is designed to be read by a parent, carer or support worker to the person with intellectual impairment, this way they both learn their roles and ‘what to do and what not to do’.

Members who know of someone like Dan who would be vulnerable in such a situation are encouraged to download the book or contact QAI to order a free printed copy for Dan to keep after it’s been read to him.

The book will be officially launched by the Minister for Disability Services later this month.