Australia (Griffith University) First Annual Report Reveals Lived Experience of Queenslanders with Disability

A Griffith University-led research initiative to discover the lived experience of Queenslanders with disability was released at Australia’s Disability Strategy (ADS) Queensland forum today.

Inclusive Futures: Reimagining Disability and Hopkins Centre Research Fellow Kelsey Chapman's profile photo.
Inclusive Futures: Reimagining Disability and Hopkins Centre Research Fellow Kelsey Chapman

Funded by the Queensland Government and delivered in partnership with Queenslanders with Disability Network, the first annual Voice of Queenslanders with Disability report aims to inform policy to remove barriers to access and produce equitable outcomes for a diverse Queensland.

Griffith researchers adopted a unique approach to gathering survey information by engaging nine citizen scientists with lived experience of disability to enable participants to share their stories authentically and transparently about challenges and successes in their lives.

Griffith Inclusive Futures: Reimagining Disability and Hopkins Centre Research Fellow Kelsey Chapman said the initiative examined a range of areas which impact daily life for Queenslanders with disability.

“The findings reflect a meaningful step towards understanding what life is like for Queenslanders with disability, their family and carers, and the organisations that support them,” Ms Chapman said.

“The Voice of Queenslanders with Disability report provides insights gathered from a sample of 291 Queenslanders with disability, 117 family/carers, and 34 organisational representatives who engaged with the research survey.

“Participants told us we need to strengthen a sense of belonging across the state, which fosters a sense of community and connection.

Profile photo of Inclusive Futures: Reimagining Disability Director, Professor Elizabeth Kendall.
Inclusive Futures: Reimagining Disability Director Professor Elizabeth Kendall.

“Participants called for improved standard of living and social protection for Queenslanders with disability, to improve economic security, accessible housing, increased employment opportunities, and support lifelong learning.

“Participants also told us the voice of the community should be promoted and safeguarded through citizen leadership and monitoring mechanisms for the design, delivery, and implementation of any action.

“Enhancing dignity and equity was mentioned to promote an inclusive society where everyone can participate fully.”

Griffith Inclusive Futures: Reimagining Disability beacon Director Professor Elizabeth Kendall said it is important the report continues annually to demonstrate the achievements made throughout Queensland and the challenges that still need to be addressed.

“We are so grateful to the nearly 450 people who shared their stories, perspectives, and insights, oftentimes vulnerably, about their lives and what can be done to continue towards improvement and inclusion,” Professor Kendall said.

“I also want to acknowledge the nine citizen scientists who met with their friends, colleagues, and people in their broader networks to gather their stories and develop the case studies that reflect experiences and daily barriers that Queenslanders with disability encounter.

“This report is driven and informed by people with disability and shows a real commitment on behalf of the Queensland Government to understand the ways in which life is getting better, worse, and staying the same for Queenslanders with disability, their family and carers, and the organisations that support them.”

The report reveals an in-depth look at successes and challenges across seven areas of Queensland’s Disability Plan including:

  • Working and earning money
  • Inclusive homes and communities
  • Rights, fairness, and safety
  • Getting support
  • Learning and skills
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Community attitudes

Visit the Inclusive Futures: Reimagining Disability Hub for more information about joining the alliance or participating in future citizen science and lived experience research.