Australians living in disability group homes have been involved in more than 7000 reportable incidents in the past four years but advocates say that might just be "the tip of the iceberg".
A report by the National Disability Insurance Scheme Quality and Safeguards Commission examined the seven largest accommodation providers and found more than 1700 of those incidents involved a serious injury to a participant.
The startling figures are another problem for the NDIS, given fewer than 20,000 Australians live in disability group homes.
The report found more than 1700 of the incidents included abuse and more than 1200 involved neglect, while there were 960 cases of unlawful physical contact and 112 of unlawful sexual contact.
People with Disability Australia president Nicole Lee said the figures were galling but could be even higher due to reporting pathway issues.
"It's not a surprise at all ... there are issues with reporting pathways for people with a disability to reach out for help to make reports to access police ... this is potentially just the tip of the iceberg," she told AAP.
"Immediate action and funding to address this needs to be looked at as soon as possible but also done in collaboration with other areas ... the women's sector, the family violence sector as well."
NDIS Minister Bill Shorten admitted the figures were extraordinary.
"People who live in group homes often have less choice and control over their NDIS supports," he told ABC Radio.
"There is a negative aptitude and attitude by a small number of the workforce which is driving a high number of the issues."
Mr Shorten said the government was supporting changes to regulation and monitoring of supported accommodation.
The government will also launch a communication and engagement program to allow people in supported accommodation to exercise their rights and increase oversight of unregistered providers.
Ms Lee said ending segregated settings altogether would also protect the rights of people living with disability.
"Having lots of different involvement with the outside world outside of our homes, where you've got more people having oversight in your life, more people you've got connection with that can possibly identify that something's not quite right," she said.
Opposition NDIS spokesman Michael Sukkar said experiencing a house as a "home" was a large contributor to quality of life.
"The coalition commends the work of the commission and the co-operation of providers, and hopes the government will keep its promise to improve the lives of people with disability, and in this case, for those who live in supported accommodation," he told AAP.
Australian Associated Press
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