Current Projects


Discrimination and bullying against Australians with disability

Professor Anne Kavanagh, Zoe Aitken, Dr Tania King, Dr Naomi Priest, Graeme Innes AM and Professor Gwynnyth Llewellyn
This project describes the extent of bullying and discrimination experienced by Australians with disability, and the impact on their social and economic participation, as well as their health and wellbeing. The project is a collaboration with the Attitude Foundation  whose focus is to relieve discrimination experienced by Australians with disability and shape a new understanding of disability. Funded by the Disability Research Initiative at the University of Melbourne


Discriminatory acts towards young Australian adults with disabilities in public places

Professor Gwynnyth Llewellyn, Professor Eric Emerson, Dr Cathy Vaughan and Dr Jamee Newland
Young Australians (aged 15-29) with disabilities face pervasive disadvantages and institutional discrimination in many areas of life excluding them from social and economic participation. This project builds on this knowledge to investigate the inter-personal discrimination young people with disabilities experience in public and the impact of this discrimination on their social, economic, cultural and emotional lives. The outcome of this project will be a better understanding of the range and impact of actions and behaviours that young people with disabilities experience as discriminatory, violent or unsafe in public in Australia today. Funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery grant


Social mobility and wellbeing following disability acquisition in working age adults

Professor Anne Kavanagh, Professor Anthony LaMontagne, A/Professor Dennis Petrie, Dr Allison Milner, A/Prof Julie Simpson, Zoe Aitken, Professor Eric Emerson and Professor Tony Blakely
This project looks at the impact that the acquisition of a disability in adulthood has on subsequent socio-economic circumstances (employment, housing, education, income, social capital, wealth) and wellbeing.  Australia currently lacks knowledge on how to target policy to improve the wellbeing of Australians with disability. This project concentrates on working-age Australians (15–64 years) for whom improvements in social and economic participation are likely to produce the largest long-term benefits. Using data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey (HILDA) – a national survey of Australian adults –and in collaboration with stakeholders from government, advocacy groups, and service providers, we will identify policy solutions to enable working age Australians to realise their rights to full social and economic participation in society, as well as reduce health and welfare expenditure. Funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery grant


Improving disability employment study (IDES)

Professor Anne Kavanagh,  Professor Anthony LaMontagne, Dr Allison Milner, Dr Cathy Vaughan and A/Professor Rebecca Bentley
IDES is a longitudinal study considering how people with disability obtain and sustain long-term employment. The project investigates the financial and health impacts of different employment outcomes on people with disabilities and the findings will identify ways to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities and contribute to new government policies and models of service delivery. Funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage grant Improving disability employment study


Victorian State Disability Plan
Professor Anne Kavanagh,  Professor Gwynnyth Llewellyn, Dr Melanie Davern, Lauren Krnjacki, Professor Eric Emerson, Professor Keith McVilly, Dr Ros Madden.
Our team was awarded the tender to develop measurable indicators for the Outcomes Framework of the Victorian State Disability Plan: Absolutely everyone 2017-2020. The indicators will help the government find out how well the Victorian Government is doing in meeting the aims of the State Disability Plan. The indicators cover a range of different domains of life such as community participation, employment, safety and discrimination. The tender was funded by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, and a report to Cabinet will be submitted in 2018.


Choice, Control and the NDIS

Helen Dickinson, Deborah WarrSue Olney, Anna Arstein-Kerslake, Erin Wilson, Jen Hargrave, Amber Karanikolas, Vasiliky Kasidis, Georgia Katsikis, Jasmine Ozge, Dave Peters, Jacinta Wheeler and Michelle Wilcox
This project explored the degree to which the NDIS is achieving its aims and objectives from the perspective of people with disability using these services. Introduced in 2013, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the most significant reform of disability services in Australia in a generation. The scheme aims to increase both the funding available for disability services and the control that people living with disabilities have over the design and delivery of their care. It does this, in part, by handing greater control over care budgets to people with disabilities and their families so that services might be designed and delivered in a way that better meets their needs. The research process involved community researchers with disabilities working with university-based experts which improved the quality of the project and our ability to collect and analyse evidence effectively. Download a copy of the report (PDF) Funded by the Melbourne Social Equity Institute at the University of Melbourne