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CADR Publications

CADR aims to deliver rigorous research and reliable data that are essential to development and planning of innovative disability service delivery. We want to identify existing knowledge and build on it to address the complex issues facing people with disability and their service providers.


Recent publications


Annual Market report 2018

annual market report 2018

This report summarises data from the 2017 Disability Markets Survey. This survey is the fifth in a longitudinal series of studies undertaken by National Disability Services (NDS) to monitor change in the supply of disability services, business conditions and the operations of disability services providers in Australia. The underlying assumption of this research is that the availability, quality, quantity, cost and responsiveness of the market for the supply of disability services in Australia is inextricably linked to the outcomes that can be achieved for people with disability.



State of the disability sector report 2017


The State of the Disability Sector Report for 2017 paints a picture of a sector under pressure. The NDIS and new DES program are expanding competition and consumer choice. The shifting environment has increased uncertainty. Providers are finding it harder to recruit staff, the policy environment is in flux, and organisations lack the working capital to grow and change. If implemented well, the NDIS will give Australia a world-leading disability support system. This report proposes twelve recommendations help inform and influence the direction and implementation of important disability reforms.


Financial Performance Summary of Key Findings: Report 2


 This new research that examines the financial sustainability of the disability sector. The analysis represents the most detailed, independent investigation of the financial sustainability of specialist disability service provision ever undertaken in Australia. The research was led by Prof David Gilchrist from The University of Western Australia and covers financial data (2014/15 and 2015/16 financial years) for a representative panel of disability service providers. The data includes only a small portion of income from the NDIS but establishes a baseline from which to analyse the financial effect of the NDIS as it expands.



Results: Disability Markets Survey 2016

The Disability Markets Survey (previously the NDS Business Confidence Survey), is the fourth in a series of studies undertaken by National Disability Services (NDS) to monitor change in the supply of disability services, business conditions and the operations of disability services providers in Australia. Forming part of a longer term research program with the Curtin University Not For Profit Initiative, it identifies issues relating to developing a sustainable, diverse, innovative specialist disability sector and how these are inextricably linked to better outcomes for people with disability. The 569 organisations that responded to this survey are broadly representative of the disability sector in regard to organisation size and location. The report highlights key issues in relation to transitioning to the NDIS environment, current responses to demand , collaboration within the sector and perceptions of government market stewardship. 



State of the Disability Sector Report 2016


The Disability Sector Report for 2016 paints the compelling picture that while the disability services sector remains committed to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), many providers feel uncertain about the future. Much of the report is based on results from the 2016 Business Confidence Survey completed by almost 550 disability service providers. The survey, which focuses on the 2015-16 financial year, highlights the amount of change and growth required by the supply side to fulfil demand under the NDIS.




Australia's disability service sector 2016, report 1: Financial Sustainability Summary of Key Findings


This is the first report from the Market Design and Evolution for Better Outcomes Research Program, a partnership between Curtin University’s Not-for-profit Initiative and the Centre for Applied Disability Research. The report provides governments, disability service providers and the broader community with detailed information on the supply and sustainability of disability services in Australia. It is part of a two-year study which will track the impact of the NDIS on the service sector as the reforms are implemented across Australia.



An estimate of the economic effects of the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme


A report based on economic modelling using dats from an Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) survey of over 75,000 people with disability and their carers. This is the largest sample survey ever conducted by the ABS.



Economic Benefits of the NDIS


National Disability Services and Every Australian Counts co-released a series of reports showing the potential scale of the economic benefits the NDIS will bring across Australia.

New South Wales: [PDF, WORD]

Western Australia: [PDF, WORD]

South Australia: [PDF, WORD]

Victoria: [PDF, WORD]



Business Confidence Survey of the Disability Services Sector


The Business Confidence Survey of the Disability Services Sector Report 2015 (PDF WORD) is the second in the series. It provides insights into the performance and expectations of NDS member organisations that are preparing for roll out of the NDIS.

Key findings and emerging trends include:

  • Organisations are generally optimistic about the direction of the disability reforms
  • Organisations are confident in their ability to respond to growing and changing demand for disability support created by the NDIS
  • Financial and other resources held by organisations may not be sufficient to match their growth intentions and fulfil their missions
  • Organisations are consistently exploring collaborations and mergers as the preferred strategy for responding to emerging market forces
  • The financial sustainability of small organisations looking to transition to the NDIS presents risks for the preservation and expansion of sector diversity
  • Providers continue to express deep reservations about the adequacy of NDIS prices.
  Business Confidence Survey of the Disability Services Sector


Our 2014 survey results (PDF WORD)on how disability service providers were faring during this period of significant change helped to inject some realism into the planning and implementation of the disability reforms. 


A snapshot of blindness and low vision services in Australia

Vision 2020 Australia, National Disability Services (NDS) and the Australian Blindness Forum (ABF) undertook an online survey of their collective members (service providers, consumer groups and research bodies), in order to obtain a national perspective on the blindness, low vision and rehabilitation sector. This report highlights issues relating to current capacity in anticipation of rising demand for blindness, low vision and rehabilitation services.

[PDF 385KBDOC 215KB],[Summary PDF 385KBAccessible DOC 215KB]


Remote Service Provision in the Northern Territory


This (PDF WORD) details some of the unique challenges of remote service provision that will need careful consideration.


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Research to Action Guides

  • A Guide for disability practitioners, schools, employers and young people looking to make the transition from school to employment in Australia....
  • The Culturally Proficient Service Delivery Research to Action Guide has been developed to assist in the provision of accessible, appropriate and effective disab...