National Disability Agreement

A strong commitment to people with disability

The National Disability Agreement, introduced by the Council of Australian Governments in 2009, is a high level agreement between the Australian and state and territory governments for the provision of disability services for people with disability. 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.

In the Agreement, governments strive towards the following objective: People with disability and their carers have an enhanced quality of life and participate as valued members of the community.

The Agreement sets out the responsibility of the Australian Government to provide income support and employment services for people with disability.  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. These responsibilities remain in place prior to the full rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

A copy of the full National Disability Agreement, and other National Agreements, can be found on the Ministerial Council for Federal Financial Relations website. The Council of Australian Governments’ Disability Reform Council is responsible for implementation of the National Disability Agreement.

The National Disability Agreement outlines 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 and continued improvements to the Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers 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.

 

Research and development

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

A National 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 Agenda identifies research and development priorities that build the evidence base for policy and practice change relevant to the outcomes of the National Disability Agreement and the National Disability Strategy. The Agenda sets out research and development principles, and desired areas of inquiry, and is being used to guide the allocation of the national funding commitment for disability research and development.

One competitive round of funding has been undertaken to date, with projects due to finish by February 2015. There were nine successful tenders for research projects from across the country, as well as a successful tender from the University of Sydney for an Audit of Disability Research in Australia.

For further information visit the National Disability Research and Development Agenda webpage.

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