The National Disability Strategy (NDS) 2010-2020 is the national policy framework to guide Australian governments to meet their obligations under the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which entered into force in Australia in 2008. It is also a framework to implement disability related international obligations from other UN treaties such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

The National Disability Strategy 2010-2020 (NDS) was formally endorsed by Australian Governments in February 2011 following consultations with disabled people’s organisations such as WWDA, as well as individuals with disability and their allies. These consultations which were captured in the 2009 Shut Out report, which informed development of the NDS 2010-2020. 

Although Australian Governments formally agreed that the NDS 2010-2020 would ‘ensure that the principles underpinning the CRPD are incorporated into policies and programs affecting people with disability, their families and carers,’ the fundamental principle of equality between men and women, was not reflected in the NDS 2010-2020. It did not provide for, nor report on any focused, gender-specific measures to ensure that women and girls with disabilities experience full and effective enjoyment of their human rights.

You can read and download the National Disability Strategy (NDS) 2010-2020 on the Australian Government website.


A New National Disability Strategy

Governments across Australia are now working together to design a new strategy to guide disability policy, programs and legislation over the next 10 years. The new Strategy will uphold and reflect Australia’s commitments under the CRPD. A National NDS Reform Advisory Committee, made up of representatives from across the disability sector, is also assisting the Australian Government in its work to develop a new NDS. WWDA’s Execute Director sits on this reform group and plays a crucial role in ensuring the needs of women and girls with disability are met in the new NDS.

In 2020, the Australian Government is also hosting a range of consultations to inform the development of the new National Disability Strategy.

These consultations aim to include the voices of people with disability, their families, carers, advocacy organisations, peak bodies and service providers.

You can learn more about the consultations on the Australian Government website.

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