Disability and Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021–2031

More than one in six Australians have a disability. That is more than one in six of the people who share our homes and workplaces, our streets and cities, our lives and hearts. They are our siblings, parents and children, colleagues and co-workers, partners and friends. Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021–2031 (ADS) calls on all Australians to ensure people with disability can participate as equal members of society.

How governments work together to improve the lives of people with disability

ADS recognises that all levels of government continue to play a role in providing mainstream and targeted services, supports and infrastructure systems to people with disability. Governments have obligations to provide services to all citizens and are responsible for making reasonable adjustments to accommodate people with disability so they can access and use those systems and services.

More detailed information about roles and responsibilities, as well as some of the key systems outside of government, can be accessed through Australia’s Disability Strategy Hub. This information includes:

  • points of contact for people to identify and contact the agency responsible for delivering the service they want to access or to handle a specific issue they are experiencing
  • legislation and agreements outlining the funding, regulation and operational responsibility for those services and systems
  • the NDIS Applied Principles and Tables of Support setting out responsibilities between the NDIS and other service systems.

People who do not have access to the internet can contact the National Disability Information Gateway telephone helpline on 1800 643 787.

Disability strategies are an important way to guide the work governments do.

Disability strategies

The National Disability Strategy 2010–2020 (the original Strategy) was the first time all levels of government committed to a unified, national approach to building inclusion for people with disability. The Strategy was about creating a more inclusive society that enabled Australians with disability to fulfil their potential as equal citizens.

In 2018, work started on developing Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021–2031(ADS) which has replaced the original Strategy. Australia’s Disability Strategy was launched on 3 December 2021, with more information available on Australia’s Disability Strategy Hub.

State and territory governments have their own disability plans in place, or are developing plans. Many local governments (commonly known as councils) also have disability plans in place. You can learn more about state and territory disability plans on Australia’s Disability Strategy Hub.

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