The National Disability Strategy 2010-2020 is significant as a key statement of Australian government policy, which the Commonwealth and all State and Territory governments have endorsed. The Strategy is informed by findings from the 2008-2009 consultation Report Shut Out that identified that people with disabilities want access on an equal basis with others to those things that Australians without disabilities take for granted (such as housing, employment, education, healthcare), and meaningful participation and inclusion in the life of the community. The Strategy expresses a vision for “an inclusive Australian society that enables people with disability to fulfill their potential as equal citizens” and is intended to play a key role in the promotion, protection and monitoring of CRPD implementation in Australia.
Implementation of the NDIS engages all of the six policy areas of the National Disability Strategy, to varying extent:
- Inclusive and accessible communities
- Rights protections, justice and legislation (such as anti-discrimination law)
- Economic security
- Personal and community support
- Learning and skills
- Health and wellbeing
While the National Disability Strategy recognises the importance of quality specialist supports being accessible for people with disability, it also emphasises the imperative for “the broader community and mainstream services and facilities that are part of ordinary Australian life to be available and fully accessible for people with disability”. The Strategy represents a commitment of the various state and territory governments to work together on an integrated national approach. This document therefore provides a broader basis to advocate for supports and accessibility beyond the boundaries of the NDIS, and for more efficient interaction between the NDIS and other service systems.