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The Sydney Committment on Disability Research


16 December 2011

Endorsed by participants at the World Report on Disability: Implications for Asia and the Pacific symposium last week, the Sydney Commitment on Disability Research declares a strong way forward for research that will address the recommendations of the world report.

Attracting 220 people from 21 countries the symposium, hosted by the University of Sydney and co-sponsored by the World Health Organization, offered a forum for free, open and vigorous discussion of the World report on disability and its implications for the Asia Pacific region.

Opening Panel: Graeme Innes, Setareki Macanawei, Rex Bernardo, Janet Meagher, Damian Griffis
Opening Panel: Graeme Innes, Setareki Macanawei, Rex Bernardo, Janet Meagher, Damian Griffis

'The strongest message coming from this symposium is that we know what to do next,' said Gwynnyth Llewellyn, Professor of Family and Disability Studies in the Faculty of Health Sciences. 'This event has been a very a positive step forward in sharing evidence from the region and growing networks of researchers, people with disabilities, advocates and policy makers.

In closing the symposium participants committed to;

  1. Operationalising nothing about us without us as a key principle underpinning the research process - involving people with disabilities to understand their lived experiences but also to ensure research that is relevant to the barriers they encounter, to their aspirations, and to the purpose of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
  2. Taking a functioning approach to disability and using the ICF as a standard international classification so that we will have useful and comparable data to inform the policy goals of participation, inclusion, and health.
  3. Bringing a multi-dimensional approach to research, understanding people in their environments and interactions, using multiple methods in all domains of life and society, and over time.
  4. Linking researchers, universities, Disabled Peoples' Organisations, people with disabilities, and service providers in low, middle and high- income countries across the Asia Pacific region.
  5. Helping research make a difference by disseminating our findings to the widest possible audience and in accessible formats and by working with policy makers and practitioners to ensure that evidence translates into positive changes for people with disabilities and their families.

View the full statement

Access recordings and other resources from the symposium

Gwynnyth Llewellyn and Alana Officer from WHO
Gwynnyth Llewellyn and Alana Officer from WHO

Senator the Hon Jan McLucas, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers opened the Symposium
Senator the Hon Jan McLucas, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers opened the Symposium


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