THE AUDIT OF DISABILITY RESEARCH IN AUSTRALIA 2000-2013


In 2012, the DPRWG engaged the Centre for Disability Research and Policy, University of Sydney to prepare a report on the audit of disability research in Australia. The Audit was undertaken over a 14 month period to the end April 2014 by the Centre for Disability Research and Policy, University of Sydney with team members from People with Disabilities Australia (PWDA), National Disability Services (NDS) and University of Melbourne. The Audit team was supported by an Advisory Committee representing NGOs in the sector, DPOs and the DPRWG.


The focus of the audit of disability research was to provide a comprehensive picture of the current state of disability research in Australia. This included exploring and determining the gaps in disability research evidence to target areas that have not been efficiently resourced previously or where there has been little research to date.


The process of conducting the Audit covered three inter-related components.


The first component entailed developing a conceptual framework based on the human rights and social equity approaches embedded in national legislative, governance and policy documents. These approaches promote the social and economic participation of people with disabilities, their health and wellbeing.


The second component involved reviewing the scientific and grey literature from 2000 to 2013 to produce a descriptive map of disability research in Australia in this time period. This stage provided a broad analysis based on title and abstract of all research meeting the criteria determined for the purpose of the Audit. The analysis focused on identifying gaps in disability research and ascertaining research challenges to develop recommendations for improvement or addressing gaps.


The third component involved a review of evaluation of evidence frameworks used most typically in health, social services and policy research. This review provided the foundation for developing a ‘fit for purpose’ hierarchy of evidence framework that could be used to guide disability research in the future.


The report is presented in three documents which are available here:

Report of Audit of Disability Research in Australia

Report of Audit of Disability Research in Australia supplement

Report of Audit of Disability Research in Australia Executive Summary


The report is also available on the following website The National Disablity Research and Development Agenda




For more information please contact:


T: +61 2 9351 9533
www.sydney.edu.au/health-sciences/cdrp