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03 December 2023

Today is International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD), a United Nations day that promotes community awareness and understanding of people with disability.

The theme for 2023 is ‘United in action to rescue and achieve the sustainable development goals for, with and by persons with disabilities’.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said IDPwD is an opportunity to celebrate our diverse disability community, while recognising that everyone has a role to play in creating a better society and achieving the sustainable development goals.

“International Day of People with Disability reminds us that it will take everyone pulling in the same direction to create a society that is inclusive of the more than 4.4 million Australians living with disability,” Minister Rishworth said.

“This year we have our largest and most diverse group of Ambassadors sharing their lived experiences and reflecting the intersectionality of disability in this country.

“Their insights are fascinating and they show there is more work to be done to break down the barriers that prevent Australians living with disability achieving their goals and aspirations,” Minister Rishworth said.

The theme for 2023 IDPwD aligns with work underway to ensure the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) works better for the more than 630,000 participants.

“This year’s IDPwD theme perfectly describes where the NDIS is right now, and where it will continue to go in the future,” Minister for the NDIS and Government Services, Bill Shorten said.

“The intent of the NDIS is to give equity, choice, and power back to Australians with disability. The work underway in partnership with people with disability and the disability community is critical to the transformative success of the NDIS.

“The Government will continue to amplify the voices of people with disability, and to work together to make Australia more accessible and inclusive.”

IDPwD also aligns with Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021- 2031, the national framework that guides all Australians governments to improve the lives of people with disability.

The first implementation report of Australia’s Disability Strategy was tabled in Parliament. It demonstrates the achievements of all governments against the commitments in the Strategy.

During our first 18 months in Government we have made significant progress and investments to improve outcomes for people with disability. This includes:

  • Doubling systemic advocacy funding and the establishment of the National Centre for Disability Advocacy, the Disability Advocacy Support Helpline and National Disability Advocacy Framework.
  • Committing $68.3 million for the analysis, research and delivery of the National Disability Data Asset.
  • The development of the guiding principles for supported employment, with $57 million committed to increase the capacity of the supported employment sector to provide people with disability with high support needs access to a wider range of employment opportunities.
  • Introducing a Quality Framework for Disability Employment Services and progressing work to develop a Disability Employment Centre of Excellence.
  • Trialling innovative approaches to increase employment opportunities and supports career development of people with disability, including the Disability Employment Local Tourism Navigators Pilot, and Career Pathways Pilot in partnership with the Business Council of Australia and Australian Network on Disability.
  • Passing the Disability Services and Inclusion Bill 2023, which represents a significant step forward in providing inclusive and safe supports and services to all people with disability.
  • An investment of $910 million over four years to improve the NDIS and outcomes for participants, while supporting and safeguarding people with a disability and the Scheme.

Minister Rishworth said the implementation report showed that good progress was being made by all governments.

“We’ve been laying the groundwork over the past two years of the Strategy which will provide a solid foundation for significant reforms over the next eight years,” Minister Rishworth said.

“Importantly, all our progress is being shaped by the lived experience of people with disability who are at the front and centre of all strategies and will be actively consulted and guide our response to the Disability Royal Commission.”

Numerous IDPwD events have been held around the country in the lead up to today, helping to raise awareness, understanding and inclusion of people with disability.

More information is available at