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The aim of this report is to build on this work by examining trends in the extent of disadvantage and inequality experienced by working age adults with disability in Australia between 2001 and 2016. The report contributes to earlier evidence reported in A Fair Go? Inequality, Wellbeing and Australian adults with disabilities 2001-2015.

The Australian government has made several commitments to reduce the extent of discrimination and disadvantage experienced by people with disabilities.

  • In 1992 Australia enacted the Disability Discrimination Act;
  • In 2008 Australia ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). In doing so, Australia entered in to an international obligation to progressively realise the rights of people with disabilities and eliminate disability discrimination in all areas of life;
  • In 2011 Australia published its National Disability Strategy to achieve ‘an inclusive Australian society that enables people with disability to fulfil their potential as equal citizens’
  • In 2013 Australia launched its National Disability Insurance Scheme.

There is, however, no formally agreed mechanism for monitoring the extent to which Australia is making progress in reducing the discrimination and disadvantage experienced by people with disabilities. Previous independent monitoring reports by the University of Sydney have documented that since 2001, little progress has been made in reducing the level of disadvantage experienced by people with disabilities. Indeed, in many areas of life the gap between people with and without disabilities has grown wider.

This report uses unit record data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey. The HILDA Project was initiated and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services (DSS) and is managed by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research (Melbourne Institute). The findings in this report are those of the authors and do not represent the views of either the DSS or the Melbourne Institute.

Related Information

A fair go? Inequality, wellbeing and Australian adults with disabilities 2001–2… https://apo.org.au/node/200396

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