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Engage-In research project

Access to the NDIS for people with psychosocial disability living in institutional settings: exploring the details of effective advocacy
Health advocacy National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Disability services Psychosocial disability Australia

The Engage-In project, funded by an Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) grant, was delivered by People with Disability Australia (PWDA) between December 2020– June 2022. The project developed and delivered a pilot innovative service model that aimed to connect people living with psychosocial disability in institutional settings (including psychiatric wards, prisons, and boarding houses) to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), while developing and documenting knowledge about the details of effective advocacy practices within such contexts. PWDA and the Engage-In team commissioned the University of Sydney to undertake a research study, as a key component of the Engage-In project.

The research study involved a co-designed, action research process that sought to walk alongside and document the progress, implementation, and learning achieved throughout the Engage-In project, through an iterative process of planning, action, observation, and reflection. The Engage-In research project sought to develop a comprehensive understanding of how disability advocates could effectively support people with psychosocial disability (PwPSD) who were living in or recently released from institutions, to gain access to relevant supports and resources, with a focus on accessing the NDIS.

In summary, the aims of the Engage-In research project were:

  1. to investigate the complexities of advocacy and disability rights when working with people with psychosocial disability in institutional settings, and
  2. to document the practices and processes that best facilitated access to mainstream supports, such as the NDIS.
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