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Understanding disability through the lens of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people workshop

The Lowitja Institute hosted a one-day workshop on 4 October 2017 to discuss key research priorities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with a disability. The workshop comprised of people with lived experience of disability, as well as policymakers, disability sector researchers and advocates. The aim for the day was to identify five key research questions to inform a call for research applications by the Lowitja Institute.

The Lowitja Institute’s Program Committees identified disability as a priority area for research in December 2016. This priority was influenced by two factors:

  1. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with a disability are often further disadvantaged by experiences of ongoing systemic racism and ableism.
  2. The current government policies, particularly the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), are driving significant change by re-defining interactions and relationships between services and clients. This climate adds to the uncertainty and complexity of an already challenging reality for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with a disability.

The scope of the workshop focused on how disability intersects with broader health and wellbeing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. To do this, the discussions at the workshop pushed beyond the issues and opportunities with the National Disability Insurance Scheme. This encouraged discussions that could potentially guide future research, as well as provide valuable knowledge to communities, policymakers and service providers; leading to better health and wellbeing outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with a disability.

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Created: 06 November 2017 - Updated: 07 March 2018