Centre for Disability Research and Policy

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Image artwork copyright Helen Cooke, an artist supported by Sunshine's Community Access Program Art Studio.

A better life for people with disabilities in Australia and around the world

Our centre aims to change the disadvantage that occurs for people with disabilities. We do this through addressing their social and economic participation in society, and their health and wellbeing. By focusing on data that demonstrates disadvantage, we can develop models of policy and practice to better enable support and opportunity for people with disabilities.



Corakey.org article on the recent Labour Health Summit

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What’s the verdict on Labor’s Health Summit? Cautious optimism, but devil is in the detail and big concerns on disability
by Anne Kavanagh, Helen Dickinson and Gwynnyth Llewellyn
30 March 2017, croakey.org

"With the advent of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) it is easy to think that all is fixed for people with disability; in reality this is far from the case. If you have a disability you are more likely to have poor health outcomes; for example, people with intellectual disability die at least 25 years earlier than the general population. Much of this life expectancy gap is due to avoidable causes."
Read full article here

The authors are all Chief Investigators on the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence on Disability and Health along with other collaborators from the University of Melbourne, University of Sydney, Monash University, University of New South Wales, and RMIT.
Professor Anne Kavanagh is Director of the Gender and Women’s Health Unit in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health. Associate Professor Helen Dickinson is Director of the Centre for Public Service Research at the University of New South Wales. Professor Gwynnyth Llewellyn is Professor of Family and Disability Studies and Director at the Centre for Disability Research and Policy at the University of Sydney.

Webinar Recording: Transition to Retirement: Supporting Individuals with IDD in Australia to Develop an Active and Socially Inclusive Retirement

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The recording of the webinar for the American Association on Intellectual and Development Disabilities (AAIDD) on Transition to Retirement: Supporting Individuals with IDD in Australia to Develop an Active and Socially Inclusive Retirement (duration 58 minutes) is now available online.

Content Overview:
People with intellectual and developmental disabilities are living longer and large numbers are approaching the typical retirement age. In Australia, few pathways exist to support older workers to develop an active and socially inclusive retirement lifestyle. This webinar describes the implementation and outcomes of a highly successful transition to retirement (TTR) intervention used to support older workers to each join a mainstream community group of their choice.

Roger Stancliffe and Nathan Wilson are the two lead authors of the of the eBook Transition to retirement: A guide to inclusive practice which sets out in detail how to implement the TTR program and is supported by 26 embedded video clips. Stancliffe is Professor of Intellectual Disability at the University of Sydney’s Centre for Disability Research and Policy, and Wilson is Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Western Sydney University. With their TTR research colleagues, they have also published 8 peer-reviewed research articles on transition to retirement for people with IDD.



Latest Publications

Indigeneity and Disability

Twelve factors that can influence the participation of Aboriginal people in disability services

There is limited understanding of the views of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal workers about the factors that influence the participation of Aboriginal people in disability services. This inquiry identified and explored the factors that influence the participation of Aboriginal people in disability services, as described from the experiences of a sample of paid non-government disability service workers in New South Wales, Australia.

Schofield, T, Gilroy, J 2015, Indigeneity and health, A Sociological Approach to Health Determinants, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 99-122

Children, Family and Disability

Prevalence of parents with intellectual disability in Australia

Background: Parenting by people with intellectual disability is attracting increasing attention, and policymakers and service providers require empirical evidence to develop sound policy and service responses. The purpose of the study was to identify prevalence and demographic data on parents with ID in Australia compared with parents with other disabilities and the population of parents without disability.
Method: The Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, 2009, was identified as the most suitable survey, and design-weighted analysis was performed.
Results: An estimated 0.41% of Australian parents had intellectual disability, equating to 17,000 parents with ID. Parents with ID were more likely to have only 1 child and to reside outside a capital city compared with parents without disability.
Conclusions: These findings provide benchmark data for monitoring, over time, the prevalence of parents with ID and point to policy and service responses for parents with only 1 child and for those in outer urban, regional, and rural areas of Australia

N.W. Man, C. Wade, G. Llewellyn, Prevalence of parents with intellectual disability in Australia, J Intellect Dev Dis (2016), pp. 1–7 http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/13668250.2016.1218448

National Disability Insurance Scheme

In Search of an Integrative Measure of Functioning

Measurement of functioning and disability in the 21st century increasingly takes place in the context of complex relationships and interactions among people, communities, services and systems. One result of this complexity has been the development of a growing array of specialised measurement instruments, specific to purpose, health condition, setting or service provider. An alternative approach, particularly relevant for large national programs, is to seek or to develop an integrative, generic measure, relevant to diverse purposes and populations.
This paper examines Australian experience with two significant national programs – the NDIS and the Australian National Health Reform Agreement - and their unsuccessful search for a suitable measure of functioning. It goes on to set out the case for developing a generic, integrative measure of functioning (IMF), for use in rehabilitation, disability support, and related fields.

Madden, R.H.; Glozier, N.; Fortune, N.; Dyson, M.; Gilroy, J.; Bundy, A.; Llewellyn, G.; Salvador-Carulla, L.; Lukersmith, S.; Mpofu, E.; Madden, R. In Search of an Integrative Measure of Functioning. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 5815-5832.