The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), through its Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) Strategy, includes a significant focus on capacity building of mainstream and community ‘to be inclusive and responsive to people’s needs.'
However, while building the capacity for inclusion is a critical activity, there is a lack of evidence about which capacities need to be built in order to meet the needs of people with disability, including those with spinal cord injury/damage (SCI), and people with post polio syndrome (PP).
In 2017, Spinal Life Australia received an ILC National Readiness grant from the National Disability Insurance Agency. Spinal Life Australia (in QLD), and their partner AQA (in Victoria), represent people with SCI. Spinal Life Australia also supports people with PP, in conjunction with Polio Australia and the Polio Network Victoria. The agencies reported feedback from their members about barriers to inclusion within community and mainstream services.
Spinal Life Australia contracted Deakin University (stage 1) and Swinburne University (stage 2) to undertake a research study to investigate these barriers.