Many Australians are now living with long term disability or chronic conditions. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities aims to ‘promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity’. Its articles provide guidance to all involved with disability, including researchers.
It is a growing imperative that researchers and professionals work with people experiencing disability to understand and promote optimal participation. There is a need for improved evidence on outcomes and what works best for people. The International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (ICF) articulates a model of disability that recognises that participation and the removal of environmental barriers are of central importance; it provides a framework and classification for research and information capable of promoting the purposes of the UN Convention. It was designed to be relevant to a wide range of purposes, people, disciplines and sectors and is recognised as the national and international standard classification of functioning and disability.
Dr Michael Millington undertakes initiatives in ICF education and research on behalf of the Sydney WHO CC, and collaborates with NCCH on this site’