Hayes Ability Screening Index



“Identification of intellectual disability is one of the most difficult issues for personnel . . . [as] disability is not necessarily obvious from a person's appearance and some people with an intellectual disability attempt to conceal their disability or deny its existence”. . .
NSW Law Reform Commission, Report No. 80, 1996

Do you support clients with an intellectual disability who are in contact with the criminal justice system, as victims, witnesses or offenders? Are you part of a service where it is important to identify people with intellectual disabilities, in order to safeguard their rights?

Research shows:

  • In NSW Local Courts, over 10% of accused persons have deficits in cognitive reasoning, a 2009 study shows.
  • Over-representation of people with intellectual disabilities at various stages of the criminal justice system has been found in other jurisdictions including the United Kingdom, USA, Canada, Norway and Finland.
  • People with intellectual disabilities in the criminal justice system are likely to have co-existing mental health or substance abuse diagnoses.