National Disability Agreement

In 2012 all Australian governments endorsed the revised National Disability Agreement (PDF) (NDA) through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). The NDA provides the national framework and key areas of reform for the provision of government support services for people with disabilities.

The NDA reflects a strong commitment to increase opportunities for people with a disability to participate in and enjoy economic and social life and enjoy choice, wellbeing and the opportunity to live as independently as possible. The NDA also includes commitments to supporting families and carers.

The NDA includes five national priority areas. These are:

a) Build the evidence base for disability policies and strategies - A National Research and Development Agenda to be actioned from 2012; continued improvements to the Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers; and annual publication of the National Need and Supply Model including Population Benchmarks, will provide a stronger basis for future policy decisions.

b) Enhancing family and carer capacity -  All governments are committed to strategies that focus on improving outcomes for carers, including the Commonwealth National Carer Strategy and relevant jurisdictional strategies. This encompasses carers of people with disability.

c) Strategies for increased choice, control and self-directed decision making - Pursue individual and/or self-directed funding arrangements for disability services that emphasise choice and control by the person with disability.

d) Maintain innovative and flexible support models for people with high and complex needs - This may include options for younger people in, or at risk of entry into, residential aged care, people at risk of interaction with the criminal justice system (including those on forensic orders), and those who require support due to challenging behaviours, including those who are subject to restrictive practices.

e) Develop employment opportunities for people with disability - Through models for enhancing independence and work readiness at different life transition points.

The NDA reflects changed responsibilities for aged and disability care arising from the National Health Reform Agreement and COAG’s commitment to commence foundation work for a National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The NDA also includes an acknowledgement of the importance of mainstream services and agreement to the National Disability Strategy 2010-2020.