Launch of new disability and rehabilitation research program

3 December 2009

To coincide with celebrations for the International Day of People with Disability, the University of Sydney's Faculty of Health Sciences today announced the launch of a new research program aimed at promoting high quality research and information on disability, rehabilitation and health, and providing leadership in research and education in this area.
'This program is transdisciplinary and will work throughout the University of Sydney and beyond to unite those with common interests in the fields of disability and rehabilitation through research, networking, collaboration, sharing of resources and education,' said Professor Gwynnyth Llewellyn, Dean of the Faculty.
The Australian ICF Disability and Rehabilitation Research Program (AIDARRP) has been established with awareness of, and adherence to;
•The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities that aims 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'.
•The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) that articulates a model of disability that recognises the central importance of participation and the removal of environmental barriers.
•The growing imperative that researchers and professionals work with people experiencing disability to understand and promote optimal participation.
•The need for improved evidence on outcomes and what works best for people.

Ros Madden
Ros Madden

AIDARRP is led by Ros Madden, who has a long history in the fields of disability information, statistics and classification, including playing a leading national role in the development of disability definition and data, and in the analysis and reporting of functioning and disability statistics at the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare until 2006, and working with the World Health Organization on the development and implementation of the ICF.
Ros is supported by a Reference Group and a Working Group comprised of leading experts, including people with personal experience of disability and academics from across diverse areas such as physiotherapy, mental health, family and disability, rehabilitation and policy and data development.
For more information on the research program, collaborations and upcoming events please visit