National Disability Strategy

National Disability Strategy

The National Disability Strategy 2010-2020 sets out a ten year national policy framework for improving life for Australians with disability, their families and carers. It represents a commitment by all levels of government, industry and the community to a unified, national approach to policy and program development.  This new approach will assist in addressing the challenges faced by people with disability, both now and into the future.

On 10 August 2011 the previous Government released the Productivity Commission's final report into care and support for people with disability.

The Strategy is the result of a large nation-wide public consultation process, involving more than 2,500 people and reported in Shut Out: The Experience of People with Disabilities and their Families in Australia, and was formally endorsed by COAG on 13 February 2011.

The Strategy is a ten year national policy framework that sets out six priority areas for action to improve the lives of people with disability, their families and carers. These are:

  • Inclusive and accessible communities—the physical environment including public transport; parks, buildings and housing; digital information and communications technologies; civic life including social, sporting, recreational and cultural life.
  • Rights protection, justice and legislation—statutory protections such as anti-discrimination measures, complaints mechanisms, advocacy, the electoral and justice systems.
  • Economic security—jobs, business opportunities, financial independence, adequate income support for those not able to work, and housing.
  • Personal and community support—inclusion and participation in the community, person-centred care and support provided by specialist disability services and mainstream services; informal care and support.
  • Learning and skills—early childhood education and care, schools, further education, vocational education; transitions from education to employment; life-long learning.
  • Health and wellbeing—health services, health promotion and the interaction between health and disability systems; wellbeing and enjoyment of life.

The National Disability Strategy will guide public policy across governments and aims to bring about change in all mainstream services and programs as well as community infrastructure. It is the first time the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments have agreed to such a wide ranging set of directions for disability. 

Copies of the National Disability Strategy, including accessible formats, are available at the below links:

The National Disability Strategy is also available on the COAG website.

A copy of the National Disability Strategy standard, Easy English, Braille, audio CD and summary documents may be requested by:

Implementation of the Strategy

In the first year of the Strategy, the focus has been on building the foundations for implementation by engaging mainstream policy areas identified in the Strategy. Areas for future action have been prioritised in collaboration with people with disability and other key stakeholders through the mechanisms below. The National Disability Strategy Report to the Council of Australian Governments 2012 was endorsed by the Standing Council on Community and Disability Services on 24/12/2012. 

The Evidence base

The Evidence Base paper is a companion document to the National Disability Strategy 2010-2020. It contributes and adds to the strong evidence base that has informed and is contained in the Strategy, and draws on a wide range of statistical and information sources.

National Disability Strategy 2010-2020 Evidence Base

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Content Updated: 21 March 2014