19. Complaints / Rights

Cover  Complaints/rights   

Everyone has the right to make decisions, change these decisions and to learn from their mistakes. Once a person turns 18 years old they have the same rights as every other adult (whether you have a brain injury or not).

So this means that any person with a disability has the right to decide how they want to spend their time, what they want to eat, what they want to wear and where they want to live. You have the right to decide what you want to do in all aspects of your life.


There may be some people that do not know your rights and stop you from making your own choices and decisions or treat you differently from other people.

There are two main types of discrimination:

  • Direct discrimination is when someone treats you differently because you have a disability.
  • Indirect discrimination occurs when your disability stops you from doing something. This may occur if you are unable to walk up or down stairs and need to catch a train when there is no lift at the train station. If there is no lift you cannot get to the train platform and therefore not catch your train.
Discrimination is illegal


It is OK to complain if you feel that your rights are been taken away or you are being treated unfairly.

What should I do if I think I am being discriminated against?

  • Talk with someone you trust (such as a friend or a family member). Discuss what is happening to you and talk through a plan of action to bring a change to the situation.
  • If it is happening at work think about talking with your boss to see if he or she can change what is happening.
  • If you are being discriminated against by an organisation ask someone who works for the organisation about their complaints policy.

If you need more advice or have not been able to change the situation for yourself and want some assistance try talking with:

A member of your rehabilitation team Community Legal Centre 1800 101 810 (in your local area) (to find the centre closest to you):

Disability Discrimination Legal Centre of NSW   1800 800 708

Brain Injury Association of NSW (02) 9749 5366      1800 802 840

The Disability Complaints Service (02) 9319 6549      1800 424 007