At the Disability and Community Research Group we bring together a wide range of research expertise to look into ways of improving the well being of people with disabilities and their families.
Our focus covers mental and physical disabilities across all age groups from the very young to the aged. These disabilities may be lifelong or acquired, acute or chronic and generally have a long term impact on individuals and families.
In recent years a more sophisticated understanding has developed of the ways that impairment impacts on everyday life and in how the community needs to adapt to the needs of the disabled.
There has also been a welcome recognition in the developed world of the greater role of disability, especially mental health issues, in other health issues. This ties in with a more general shift in research emphasis away from acute medicine to preventative health and early intervention.
As a result, governments are now much more aware of disability and there is growing research interest in the area.
There are six research teams within the Group. The following gives you an insight into the teams and some of their areas of research or success.
- Australian Family and Disability Studies Research Collaboration
One area of research is into families where a parent has a disability, especially an intellectual disability.
- Brain injury
This team has a program of research focusing on improving the every day interactions of people with acquired brain injuries including those who have had a traumatic brain injury or stroke.
- Communication Sciences and Disorders
Focuses on investigating the nature of communication difficulties and ways to help people either overcome their communication problem or participate fully in their community despite their difficulties.
- Mental Health
Runs a leading anxiety disorders clinic and is highly regarded for its research into mental health problems in child development, among a wide range of research activities.
- Participation in Everyday Life
A particular focus is on the role of play by children and adolescents with disabilities.
- Sensory Impairment
The Sydney Myopia study has been very influential in determining the causes of short sightedness.
Our research has led to many positive outcomes including the development of new treatments and a direct influence on federally funded public health programs.