National Disability Agreement

A strong commitment to people with disability

The National Disability Agreement, introduced in 2009, represents the peak partnership agreement between the Australian and state and territory governments.  It features clear roles and responsibilities for each level of government and joins these efforts together though nationally agreed objectives and outcomes for people with disability, their families and carers.

The Agreement sets out the responsibility of the Australian Government to provide income support and employment support to people with disabilities.  It is the role of the states and territories to deliver specialist disability services such as disability supported accommodation, respite and community support services such as therapy, early childhood interventions, life skills and case management. 
The National Disability Agreement outlines the joint reform priorities that governments are focusing on. These are:

Build the evidence base for disability policies and strategies

A National Research and Development Agenda to be actioned from 2012; continued improvements to the Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers; and annual publication of the National Need and Supply Model including Population Benchmarks, will provide a stronger basis for future policy decisions

Enhancing Family and Carer Capacity

All governments are committed to strategies that focus on improving outcomes for carers, including the Commonwealth National Carer Strategy and relevant jurisdictional strategies. This encompasses carers of people with disability. 

Strategies for Increased Choice, Control and Self-directed Decision-making

Pursue individual and/or self-directed funding arrangements for disability services that emphasise choice and control by the person with disability.

Maintain innovative and flexible support models for people with high and complex needs

This may include options for younger people in, or at risk of entry into, residential aged care, people at risk of interaction with the criminal justice system (including those on forensic orders), and those who require support due to challenging behaviours, including those who are subject to restrictive practices.

Develop employment opportunities for people with disability

Through models for enhancing independence and work readiness at different life transition points.

For further information on National Agreements please visit the Ministerial Council for Federal Financial Relations website.

Disability Policy and Research Working Group

The Disability Policy & Research Working Group (DPRWG) is a standing committee of the Standing Council on Community and Disability Services Advisory Council (SCCDSAC).

It comprises members from Australian, State and Territory Governments disability agencies, nine jurisdictions in total. The DPRWG website contains information about the work of the DPRWG, and provides a forum for sharing information and publications about important issues in the disability sector.

Standing Council on Community and Disability Services Advisory Council (SCCDSAC)

The Standing Council on Community and Disability Services Advisory Council (formally the Community, Disability Services Advisory Council – CDSMAC) is an official forum of senior Commonwealth, State and Territory Disability officials who discuss nationally significant disability policy issues that are relevant to the provision of specialist disability services. They advise Ministers on matters pertaining to the services covered by the National Disability Agreement.

Standing Council on Community and Disability Services (SCCDS)

The Standing Council on Community and Disability Services (formally the Community, Disability Services Ministers Conference – CDSMC) provides a forum for the Australian Government, State and Territory Governments, and the Government of New Zealand, to discuss matters of mutual interest concerning community, families and disability services policy and programs. They consider matters reported to the Conference by Standing Council on Community and Disability Services Advisory Council and the Disability Policy Research Working Group.

Research and development

Under the National Disability Agreement, Commonwealth, state and territory government disability ministers have agreed to contribute a total of $10 million over five years for data, research and development under the National Disability Agreement, subject to an agreed disability research agenda and governance structure. 

Ministers also agreed that research efforts would be focused on building the evidence base for policy and practice change relevant to the outcomes of the National Disability Agreement and the National Disability Strategy.

A Disability Research and Development Agenda was endorsed by Ministers in November 2011. The Agenda aims to increase the focus in research on issues facing people with disability and seeks to influence research relating to disability across a range of national research initiatives and sectors, including education, transport and health.

The Disability Policy and Research Working Group will maintain overall responsibility for the research, data and evaluation activities under the agenda.

Finding out more about the Research Agenda

A copy of the Agenda is now available on the Disability Policy and Research Working Group website at.  The website will be a key source of information regarding the implementation and outcomes of the Agenda and will include information on how to apply for funding, details of commissioned research and the outcomes of research undertaken.  Please check the Disability Policy and Research Working Group website for updates.

Email: nationaldisabilityagreement or visit the Disability Policy and Research Working Groupwebsite for all the latest reports.

National Need and Supply Model

The National Need and Supply Model,prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for the Disability Policy and Research Working Group, is a component of the national work to address the previous National Disability Agreement priority (a) Better Measurement of Need. The Model provides a nationally consistent methodology to determine the extent to which formal disability services meet the need for support within the potential population for disability services.  The National Need and Supply Modelling Report for 2010-11 found that 59% of the potential population under 65 years old were receiving some form of disability support.

All reports are now available on the Disability Policy and Research Working Group website.

Content Updated: 30 May 2013

Content Updated: 28 October 2013