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Improving the lives of Australians living with disability through research

The Albanese Labor Government is committed to improving the lives of Australians living with disability through research by today releasing two key projects that will help drive evidence-based policy reform.

One in six Australians are living with disability – or 4.4 million people and understanding their lives and the gaps in systems of support is key to improving outcomes.

Recommendations for the National Disability Research Partnership’s establishment and Preliminary Research Agenda have today been released, indicating the areas of key focus for disability research.

Among the priorities include: looking at the education system and how it is best preparing students living with disability for employment; the social and economic costs and benefits of the NDIS; assistive technology and how it is best working; assessing the justice system’s interaction with people living with disability; and looking at how workplaces can become more inclusive.

The Partnership is a key initiative under Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-31.

The Preliminary Research Agenda sets out broad areas for research that complement the outcome areas of Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-31, building on years of disability research.

The Partnership was provided with an additional $2.5 million in the October Budget and has been tasked with implementing an inclusive disability research agenda, working with people with disability to design and undertake research to support Australia’s Disability Strategy.

Australia’s Disability Strategy Outcomes Framework webpages have also been released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare – allowing the public to track progress under the Strategy.

The webpages will be an easily accessible source of information and contain data on 47 of the 85 measures under the Strategy.

The data show in the first six months of the Strategy the number of employment outcomes where people with disability were in work for at least 52 weeks after placement in work, increased by 10,201 persons.

There was a modest increase of NDIS participants in the labour force in open employment at full award wage, strengthening their financial independence according to the outcomes.

Employment of young NDIS participants aged 15-24 also increased by half a per cent, reflecting the transition of young people from education to employment.

Additional data on the measures will continue to be added to the webpages as it becomes available through quarterly updates.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said creating a more inclusive society for all people living with disability was a key goal of the Albanese Labor Government.

“Using research to help design evidence-based policy solutions will help us move towards achieving that vision,” Minister Rishworth said.

“Under Australia’s Disability Strategy we committed to measuring, tracking and reporting on outcomes for people with disability. Both the NDRP and the publication of these webpages are part of this important work.

“The NDRP is an Australian-first entity that will build knowledge through partnerships it will also recognise and value the lived experiences of people with disability and prioritise co-design and collaboration.”

Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme Bill Shorten said people with disability must be at the centre of policy, research and change that impacts their lives.

“The Government is committed to working with people with disability, their families and the people who support them,” Minister Shorten said.

“I am working closely with NDIS participants in the work I do as Minister for the Scheme and this extends to work in other areas that impact all people with disability. This research will be co-designed with people with disability.

“Change cannot happen overnight but by making data clear, accessible and interactive means all Australians can monitor progress under Australia’s Disability Strategy.”

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