The Centre for Disability Research and Policy at the University of Sydney is currently developing its next strategic plan for 2015-17, following the formal establishment of the Centre in March 2012.

The establishment of the Centre is a significant strategic endeavour to bring together the University’s leading research expertise in disability, so to create a greater understanding of disability and improve policy decision making.


A better life for people with disabilities in Australia and abroad


The social and economic participation of people with disabilities and their health and well-being over the life course

Our contribution

We will achieve this by playing a leading role in research innovation, knowledge exchange and translation in the field of disability.

  • We bring academic rigour. Our strength is scientific method.
  • We develop and trial models and we conduct proper evaluations of these models. On that basis we propose tried and tested solutions.
  • We provide robust recommendations to advance policy and practice.

Value Statement

The Centre exemplifies the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - the purpose of which is: 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.

We adhere to the principle: “Nothing about us without us”.

Strategic outcomes for mid 2014

By mid 2014 we will have achieved:

1. Connection, sharing and influence


Collaborating, forming partnerships across disciplines, working closely with and advocating for people with disabilities, disseminating knowledge and influencing policy.


1.1      Formed partnerships across disciplines.


1.2      Collaborated with community organisations, working closely with and advocating for people with disabilities.


1.3      Integrated education and research.


1.4      Involved people living with disabilities as experts of their own experience and responded to practical needs and demands.


1.5      Shared knowledge with a broad audience.

1.6      Influenced policies to ensure disability is acknowledged and respected.


2. Quality and diversity


Striving for excellence in research and teaching, attracting the best researchers and students including people with disabilities, and taking a broad view of disability.


2.1      Continually strived for excellence in research and teaching.


2.2      Attracted and supported the brightest researchers and the most promising students from Australia and abroad, including people with disabilities and those from a range of social and cultural backgrounds. 


2.3      Framed the work of the Centre in disability broadly, bringing an inclusive approach to disability and a disability focus to ageing, and addressing transitions in and out of disability over the life course.

3. Presence and longevity


Building our profile and becoming financially sustainable


3.1      Built a strong public profile in Australia and overseas as a leading global hub and an equal partner in global networks of similar centres on disability and ageing.


3.2      Become financially sustainable with a clearly articulated and implemented plan to achieve Centre of Excellence status by 2015.