A new National Disability Strategy 2021-2031

  • The Australian Government launched  Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-2031  on December 3, 2021.
  • It was developed by the State, Territory and Federal Governments along with people with disability, their families, carers and representatives.
  • The Strategy is designed to drive change over the next decade to uphold the rights, inclusion and participation of people with disability in all areas of Australian life. 

In launching the new Strategy, the Government said, “The Strategy recognises all levels of government are responsible for supporting people with disability to reach their full potential, as equal members of the community. This includes providing good employment opportunities, high-quality inclusive education, and making homes and communities safe, inclusive and accessible. This Strategy builds and expands on the original  National Disability Strategy 2010-2020, adding new key features to drive more action and accountability.” 

The 2021-2031 Strategy’s vision is for an inclusive Australian society that ensures people with disability can fulfil their potential as equal members of the community. The Strategy sets out practical changes that will assist people with disability. 

In line with Australia’s commitments under the United Nations  Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the new Strategy helps to protect, promote and realise the human rights of people with disability. 

The Strategy: 

  • Provides national leadership towards greater inclusion of people with disability 
  • Guides activity across all areas of public policy to be inclusive and responsive to people with disability 
  • Drives mainstream services and systems to improve outcomes for people with disability 
  • Engages, informs and involves the whole community in achieving a more inclusive society. 

The Strategy has seven Outcome Areas. These are the areas people with a disability said need to improve:  

  • Employment and Financial Security 
  • Inclusive Homes and Communities 
  • Safety, Rights and Justice 
  • Personal and Community Support 
  • Education and Learning 
  • Health and Wellbeing 
  • Community Attitudes. 

For the first time, the execution of the Strategy will be monitored by a government-appointed Advisory Council led by Disability Discrimination Commissioner Dr Ben Gauntlett.  

At least half of the Advisory Council members are people with disability and include women, First Nations people, culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) people, young people, and people with lived experience of rural and remote communities. 

The federal government is investing $250 million to support the rollout of the Strategy including: 

  • $76.8 million for Targeted Action Plans ranging from employment, safety and community attitudes to deliver initiatives over a one-to-three-year period 
  • $40 million to extend the National Disability Data Asset to facilitate more comprehensive measurement and assessment of the impact of services and programs accessed by people with disability, with necessary and appropriate safeguards 
  • $12.5 million to fully establish a National Disability Research Partnership to translate research into policy and implement a national disability research agenda 
  • $81.2 million for the Disability Gateway to improve its functionality and ensure people with disability, their families and carers can continue to navigate and find the services they need 
  • $19.5 million for better reporting and measurement including developing an Australia’s Disability Strategy Survey 
  • $9.9 million to improve individual advocacy services, including a new pilot program to provide individual disability advocacy as part of the Disability Gateway phone and internet resources; and a Program Management Centre established to improve access to, and quality of, individual advocacy services, including by introducing best practice service delivery models 
  • $10.1 million to ensure people with disability continue to be involved in the Strategy’s implementation, including through a new Advisory Council 

You can find more details about how the Strategy will work and be monitored on the National Disability Strategy Hub. For example, regular reporting will track if the Strategy is improving the lives of people with disability. This reporting will ensure all levels of government are working together. There will also be independent evaluations of the Strategy to see how well it is working. 

To read more, please visit the National Disability Strategy Hub.

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A new National Disability Strategy 2021-2031