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National Disability Strategy

Disability Disability Rights
A woman in a wheelchair is in her home using her laptop.

The National Disability Strategy (the Strategy) is Australia’s whole of government plan for the progressive implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  

The first National Disability Strategy 2010-2020 (First Strategy) was about creating a more inclusive society that enabled Australians with disability to fulfil their potential as equal citizens. The next National Disability Strategy is currently in development.  

First Strategy  

The First Strategy included six core outcome areas. Each of these outcome areas then included a number of policy directives to help guide the work of governments in meeting that particular outcome. These outcome areas were as follows:  

  • Outcome area 1 – Inclusive and accessible communities 

  • Outcome area 2 – Rights protection, justice and legislation  

  • Outcome area 3 – Economic security  

  • Outcome area 4 – Personal and community support  

  • Outcome area 5 – Learning and skills  

  • Outcome area 6 – Health and wellbeing  

New Strategy  

The First Strategy expired at the end of 2020 but will continue to have effect until the New Strategy is finalised in 2021.  

The Australian Government is leading the development of the National Disability Strategy for 2021 and beyond. Commonwealth, state, territory and local governments across Australia are working together in consultation with people with disability to develop the new Strategy. 

National Disability Strategy Position Paper (Position Paper) was released in 2020 and proposes some important ways in which a new National Disability Strategy can build and improve on the first Strategy. This includes commitments to better public reporting to show whether outcomes for people with disability are improving, and a strengthened approach to implementation through targeted plans for action. 

The position paper was developed in partnership with the state, territory and local governments. It takes into account what people with disability said in the first stage of consultations on the new Strategy, as well as the findings from several major reviews and inquiries into the current Strategy. 

Engagement with the National Disability Strategy  

Commissioner Gauntlett is a member of the National Disability Strategy Reform Steering Group which informs the development and implementation of the NDS.  

The Commission has also provided a submission in response to the NDS position paper including a number of recommendations to improve Australia’s alignment with the CRPD. This included consideration of the responsibilities of the Australian government in promoting and upholding the rights of people with disability.  

In particular, the Commission recommended that a rights and strengths based approach to disability be embedded throughout the New Strategy which reflects the inherent dignity and autonomy of people with disability. The Commission also emphasised the need for community consultation and engagement in ensuring that the New Strategy reflects the lived experience of people with disability.  

Dr Gauntlett also supported the NDS consultation process by co-hosting the National Disability Strategy – Beyond 2020 webinar with the Centre of Research Excellence in Disability and Health on 24 September 2020. A recording of this event is available here.  

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