Disability and mental health

The rights and needs of people with disabilities have been recognised in the goals for the United Nations agenda. The WHO and the World Bank ‘World Report on Disability’ emphasises the importance of providing equal access to healthcare, education and employment opportunities.

adult man with case worker


As an organisation at the nexus of research, teaching, policy and practice, we have an important role to playin innovation and knowledge translation in the eld of disability and mental health. Our researchers are working in disability and mental health to ensure that people living with a disability are living full and active lives. This includes engagement in life roles, work and social activities, environmental design, exercise and nutrition, mobility, neuropsychological ageing, and healthy and sustainable workforce participation.

Featured Expert

Professor Gwynnyth Llewellyn is Professor of Family and Disability Studies and Director of the Centre for Disability Research and Policy. She is an international leading authority on family and disability. More recently her work focuses on the health and wellbeing of women, children and youth with disabilities in low and middle income countries and building capacity in disability and development research in Asia and the Pacific region. Professor Llewellyn also plays an active role in World Health Organization work related to the disability and rehabilitation.

World Report on Disability

The first ever World Report on Disability, jointly produced by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank, notes that more than a billion people in the world today experience disability. The report provides the best available evidence about what works to overcome barriers to health care, rehabilitation, education, employment, and support services, to obtain appropriate data, and to create the environments which will enable people with disabilities to flourish.

In December 2011 the University of Sydney, in co-sponsorship with the World Health Organization, held a symposium to discuss a way forward for Asia and the Pacific Region. The outcome is the Sydney Commitment on Disability Research.