Individual funding: Building community capacity through action research

The Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales, partnered with People with Disability Australia and the Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University, to investigate people with disabilities’ experiences in managing the transition to self-directed disability support. Participants in the research included people with disability, families and carers, and support providers.

The project had an action-research focus, with the small group work having a dual goal of providing peer-support to participants while also providing data for the research via the group facilitator. The small groups contained people with disabilities and explored aspects of disability support through discussions, photos, interviews and art-work. Most of these people used formal support services, but some did not.

Findings of the research indicated that people with self-directed supports felt they had a greater amount of choice and control compared to people who had support packages from service providers. Inflexibility in support provision, lack of suitable services, and a lack of access to mainstream infrastructure (e.g. transport systems), was reported to limit choices and activities. A lack of information about options and ways to manage self-directed support was an issue for many participants.

From the NSW Department of Family and Community Services website:

Related Publications

Purcal C, Fisher K R and Meltzer A (2016) Social insurance for individualised disability support – Implementing the Australian National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Fenger M, Hudson J and Needham C (eds) Social Policy Review 28: Analysis and debate in social policy The Policy Press Social Policy Review, Bristol UK

Purcal C, Fisher K R, Robinson R, Meltzer A and Bevan N (submitted for review) Co-production in peer support group research with disabled people for Area Special Section ‘Geographies of co-production: Learning from inclusive research approaches at the margins’

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