A leading disability advocate says she was forced to strip off clothing in full view of other visitors by security officers during a "demeaning" screening at Parliament House.
Christina Ryan, founder of the Disability Leadership Institute, was visiting Parliament House for a function on September 17, when she was stopped in her wheelchair by three security officers after going through metal detectors.
Ms Ryan said Parliament House security asked to feel her belly, before asking to remove items of clothing during the incident.
"I felt utterly demeaned, like I was a lump of meat," Ms Ryan said.
"I have no idea why that was deemed necessary, other than that I didn't fit their definition of normal. It was very inappropriate."
The disability advocate said she had been used to going through security scanners at important buildings such as the United Nations headquarters and large airports in her power wheelchair, often without any issue
However, Ms Ryan said the security screening at Parliament House was among the worst she had experienced.
After arriving at Parliament House with just the essentials in order to move through security more easily, Ms Ryan said a security officer tried to remove a bag that was fixed onto the back of the wheelchair to prevent theft before she went through metal detectors.
"I agreed that they could look in there, and then they started to remove things out of there with having me agree that it was OK to do," Ms Ryan said.
"I had to ask for them to speak to my face, rather than just speaking to the back of my head."
After going through a metal detector, Ms Ryan tried to move off to the side to make way for others coming through but was blocked by a barrier and had to ask officers to move it.
"I was then asked to strip down and take off the outer layers of clothing," she said.
"At this stage, I had three people standing over my chair and no one was explaining what they were doing."
One security officer asked Ms Ryan to lift up her shirt so they could feel her stomach.
"I was absolutely shocked. I was so distressed and angry at this stage and I was trying to stay calm," she said.
"I lifted up all the layers of clothing and showed them my underwear.
"There was no private area, and there was no opportunity to do [that sort of search] at Parliament House."
A spokeswoman for the Department of Parliamentary Services said they were looking into the incident.
"The department is deeply concerned about the experience reported by Ms Ryan and commenced inquiries [on Monday] morning," the spokeswoman said.
"It is important that citizens with a disability are treated respectfully when security screening is conducted and the department will ensure that if any shortcomings are identified that they will be appropriately addressed.
"We are attempting to contact Ms Ryan to speak with her about the incident."
The incident comes after two previous complaints were made by Ms Ryan to the Human Rights Commission about treatment by security staff at Parliament House.
Despite resolutions made by the Department of Parliamentary Services to change processes when security screening people with disabilities, Ms Ryan said nothing had changed.
"I've been working in this field for 25 years and I've been visiting Parliament House since 1993," she said.
"This was the worst example I've come across and far beyond anything I've dealt with.
"I'm asking to be treated respectfully and expect to be treated as a human and not an inconvenience."
After detailing her experience on Twitter, Ms Ryan said she had been inundated with support by many people in the community.
She said she hoped for screening processes at major institutions like Parliament House to be updated to make it less intrusive for people with disabilities.
"I would like to be able to go there without feeling anxious or intimidated," she said.
"The processes being put in place aren't working and they need to understand that disabled people will come and that we have a right to be there.
"Just because we're different, doesn't mean that there's something wrong that they need to treat as suspicious."