Disability in Australia: Shadows, struggles and successes

This research report provides historic insights into the experiences of people with disability in Australia. It looks at different cultural and social factors that have impacted the lives of people with disability over time.  It explains how, for hundreds of years, society viewed people with disability as different and told them they didn’t fit in. This influenced the way the community and government treated people with disability regarding access and needs.

After the First World War things slowly started to change. When the disability movement started in the 1970s and ‘80s, it influenced laws and reforms of things like discrimination, guardianship and forced sterilisation.

The 21st century has marked a more inclusive approach towards people with disability in Australia, but attitudes such as racism, stigma and exclusion are still common experiences that people with disability struggle against

Associate Professor Lorna Hallahan.
Disability Royal Commission
Tuesday 2nd November, 2021

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