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.

NDIS for people with brain injury forum - watch the presentaions here

ensuring choice and control

forum photos

forum photos

A recent forum hosted by Brain Injury Australia and CDRP, in association with Royal Rehab and attended by people with a brain injury, families, carers, service providers, researchers and policy makers was a sold out success.

You can watch the presentations here:

- Professor Dr Hans Reinders, Professor of Ethics and Mental Disability, Free University, Amsterdam

- Vicki Lovegreen OAM, NDIS participant

- Associate Professor Natasha Lannin, Alfred Health and La Trobe University

- Ian Maynard, Deputy Chief Executive Officer - Operations, National Disability Insurance Agency

- Moderator: Professor Gwynnyth Llewellyn, Director, Centre for Disability Research and Policy
- Kerry Stafford, Executive Director, Acquired Brain Injury Services NSW
- Rachael Alderton-Smith, Case Coordinator and Training Coordinator, Headstart ABI Services, Newcastle
- Vicki Lovegreen OAM, NDIS participant
- Ian Maynard, Deputy Chief Executive Officer - Operations, National Disability Insurance Agency
- Mary Hawkins, Director – Engagement, New South Wales Central, National Disability Insurance Agency

“Often people with acquired brain injury require complex care arrangements and until recently we have seen very young individuals forced to live in nursing homes in Australia due to a lack of appropriate services and support,” said Professor Llewellyn. “This is completely unacceptable, so it is vital we discuss what we have learned from research and the NDIS trial sites thus far to determine how we can best support families and individuals to achieve their goals and live the way they want to.”

The University of Sydney's Disability Inclusion Week 2016 Depressed Cake Stall

"...Where there is cake, there is hope. And there is always cake.”

cake stall

The 5th – 9th September is Disability Inclusion Week at the University of Sydney. To highlight the issue of hidden disability on campus the Centre for Disability Research and Policy's Stream Leaders Dr Michelle Villeneuve and Dr Jen Smith Merry hosted a Depressed Cake Stall at the Faculty of Health Sciences campus.

Occupational Therapy students and staff showed tremendous creativity in baking depressed cakes and treats and were on hand to provide information on the support services available to staff and students.

The event was a huge success in getting people talking about mental health. And $578 was raised for ReachOut.com

Symposium: End of Life and people with Intellectual Disability

informative and just a bit emotional

End of Life Symposium photos

CDRP and Sunshine hosted a successful symposium on The End of Life and People with Intellectual Disability. Sessions were held on numerous aspects of helping people with intellectual disability to understand and cope with death. One attendee commented that the presentations were “wonderful if not a bit emotional”.

Presentations from the day will soon be available on the Dying to Talk project page.

To download the draft program and abstracts CLICK HERE

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

Effects of ABRACADABRA Literacy Instruction on Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

This study explored the effects of ABRACADABRA, a free computer-assisted literacy program, on the reading accuracy and comprehension skills of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ABRACADABRA is a balanced literacy instruction program, targeting both code and meaning-based reading abilities. Twenty children with ASD, aged 5–11 years, were assigned by matched pairs to the instruction group or wait-list control group. Literacy instruction was delivered on a 1:1 basis in participants’ homes over a 13-week period (26 sessions per participant). Pre and post instruction assessment using standardized measures revealed statistically significant gains in reading accuracy and comprehension for the instruction group relative to the wait-list control group, with large effect sizes. These findings indicate that children with ASD may benefit from ABRACADABRA literacy instruction.

Benjamin Bailey, Joanne Arciuli, and Roger J. Stancliffe Journal of Educational Psychology, June 20, 2016

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.