News and blogs

Why closing special schools is such a complex topic important to so many families

When Maree MacDermid drives her son Joseph to school in the morning, it’s “like dropping him off to family”. “Every staff member in this school knows Joseph. They know how he communicates. They know his challenges,” she said. Joseph, 16, lives with severe intellectual disability, hearing and vision impairment, and has attended St Lucy’s special … Continued

Three things the disability royal commission missed: Health, transport, day programs

The disability royal commission’s final report included an expansive range of recommendations including the introduction of an Australian disability rights act, a minister for disability inclusion and a department of disability equality and inclusion. The government says it will establish a taskforce and a staged response to dismantle barriers to inclusive education, open employment, and … Continued


It’s Christmas Day. A man paces the caged courtyard attached to his secure unit. There are bits of tinsel strewn around it – an attempt to bring colour into his world. He’s rarely left this space in the past 11 years. There’s no date for his release. He’s never been convicted of a crime. Adrian* … Continued

Locked inside units and outside disability reform

Two hundred and twenty-eight recommendations. That was the result of four years of hearings, submissions and reports from the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation of People with Disabilities. Given disabled people are part of, and segregated from, virtually all areas of Australian life, this inquiry was always going to be big. For … Continued

National Centre Launched to Boost Health of Intellectually Disabled

The Albanese Labor Government is establishing a National Centre of Excellence in Intellectual Disability Health – which fulfils an election commitment made in 2022. Compared with the general population, the 450,000 Australians who have an intellectual disability experience more than twice the rate of avoidable deaths, higher rates of physical and mental health conditions, and … Continued

Inside the Disability Royal Commission’s Final Report

The Disability Royal Commission Final Report spans 12 volumes, over 2.5 million words and includes 222 recommendations. Jess Quilty takes us through some of the key recommendations for the NDIS and broader quality and safeguarding landscape.

The argument for and against phasing out special schools

It’s a week since the Disability Royal Commission handed down it’s report and debate is still raging over one of the recommendations… to phase out special schools. The commission was split on the decision, and it appears that many Australian families living with disability are too. So what are the arguments for and against? And … Continued

Spring 2023 Edition of the Canberra Disability Review

The Spring 2023 Edition of the Canberra Disability Review is out now. It’s online and free and has a focus on the justice system and disability. Articles include lived experience contributions that highlight the compounded disadvantage for the disproportionate number of people with disability who are incarcerated.

It can be hard for people with disability to enter the workforce, but more businesses are becoming inclusive

Despite one in five Australians living with a disability, the jobless rate for people with disabilities remains stubbornly high. Working aged people with a disability are twice as likely to be unemployed (10 per cent) as those without a disability (4.6 per cent). Tasmanian man Finn Graham-Hilder is bucking the trend after he landed a role … Continued

Ecosystem of supports

We’ve talked about the need to re-imagine disability supports outside the scheme, and we are thinking of them as a new of category of community wide ‘foundational supports’. Currently, there is not enough support for people with disability outside the NDIS. Support for Australians with disability is not planned, funded or governed as a whole … Continued