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About the CADR Clearing House

The disability sector is in a period of significant reform, presenting us with opportunities to change and improve the way services and supports are provided. It is critical that we use research to drive quality, evidence informed policy and practice.

This Clearing House is the ‘go-to’ place for the latest and most reliable evidence for ‘what works’ in disability. The Clearing House is a repository of links to a wide range of disability research and evaluation resources. Its sophisticated search engine and filters make research evidence more accessible and available, ready to put into practice.

The nine domains of disability research

The nine domains organising the material of the CADR Clearing House are based on the domains identified in the 2014 Report of the Audit of Disability Research in Australia. This framework was drawn from the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities and several Australian policy documents:

  • National Disability Strategy, 2010‐2020 (2011)
  • National Research and Development Agenda (2011)
  • Australian Framework for Social Inclusion (2010)
  • Australian Gender Indicators Framework (2012)

More details about the framework are available within the Audit document and its attachments:

Report of Audit of Disability Research in Australia
Report of Audit of Disability Research in Australia Supplement

The conceptual framework that guided the 2014 Audit of disability research, and now the Clearing House system of categorisation and tagging, enshrines a biopsychosocial- cultural-environmental model of disability. This model describes attitudes, practices and structures as potentially disabling barriers preventing people from enjoying economic participation, social inclusion and equality. The Clearing House therefore focuses on social rather than medical research and covers research about people with disability in all age groups including children with disability, as well as family members and carers of people with disability.

This conceptual framework serves to aid searching the literature. Below, each domain and the dimensions within them are described. They are only slightly altered from the Audit domains, so as to be more practical for online searching.


This domain includes research that addresses early childhood, primary, secondary, higher and vocational education. In addition, this domain includes pathways into and through education; levels of attainment; academic and social development in educational settings; disparity in educational outcomes; recognition and adaptation to diversity; appropriate/accessible learning; bullying; belonging; and policies, procedures and models to person-centred support and choice and control relevant to education.

Economic participation and security

This domain has a range of dimensions for research including skills; employment rates; accessibility and use of financial services; social protection/ income support; retirement; vocational programs; economic participation; family duties; social mobility (capacity to exit poverty and low SE status); cost of living (additional disability costs); employment opportunities; financial stress; work/family balance; employment policies and taxation. The domain includes research looking at the costs of disability to the community, governments and families.

Social relationships

This domain includes research investigating friends and social networks, spirituality, marriage, family, sexuality and parenting, relationships associated with personal assistance, social participation, and relationship barriers. Policies, procedures and models relevant to social relationships are included.

Community and civic participation

This domain includes dimensions of community access, community mobilisation and political participation. Further dimensions included are self-help, sector partnerships and collaborations; recreation and leisure; religious participation; volunteering and community groups and resources. Research addressing access to justice and criminal justice responses that meet needs of people with disability are included in this domain. So too is research on community capacity building and social capital with and for people with disabilities.

Health and wellbeing

Research included in this domain addresses dimensions of health from wellbeing and health promotion through to interventions and recovery; indicators of health status; need for and access to mainstream and specialist health services; health promotion and health prevention; rehabilitation; quality of services; measures of health; and continuity and consistency of health services for people with disability. Also included are dimensions such as sterilisation; subjective wellbeing and quality of life. Research on coping includes strategies and adjustment; anxiety, stress, depression and burnout. Please note that this domain applies also to the health and wellbeing of caregivers. Caring is also a “buzzword” that applies across all domains.

Transport and communication

This domain focuses on information and transport systems that are accessible, reliable and responsive to the needs of people with disability, their families and carers. Research included addresses accessible public transport and special transport schemes. Research topics including the accessibility and reliability of communication systems; alternative forms of communication and access to technology to facilitate communication are within this domain.

Housing and built environment

This domain includes the dimensions of home, housing and public spaces. Research included addresses suitable, affordable housing; housing stress; accessible and safe public spaces for work, leisure, social and community participation; security of tenure (renting or ownership); security of placement in supported accommodation; access to supports for living in public or private housing; residential care for people with disability of all ages; respite care; and supported accommodation for people with disabilities.

Safety and security

This domain includes the dimensions personal safety; neighbourhood, public space and community safety; safety within personal and care relationships; safety of care arrangements; safety of home environment (related to accessibility/suitability etc.); family, partner and other violence; crime and trauma. Please note that ‘restrictive practices’ is included as a “buzzword” that applies across all domains.

Sector Development and Sustainability

CADR has added an additional domain to the eight included in the Audit. Sector development and sustainability includes research addressing the current transitions in the sector, the role of services in supporting families and the broader roles that services have in building the capacity and social capital of communities.


These domains of life cannot capture the multiplicity of factors which influence and impact on the lives of people with disability and their family/carers. There are cross‐cutting issues that are highly relevant to the everyday lives of people with disability and their family/carers, their social and economic participation and their health and wellbeing, and the exercising of their fundamental rights and freedoms as embedded in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Items of research in the Clearing House are therefore tagged with a series of “buzzwords” that apply across a person’s life. These are:

  • ATSI
  • Accessible
  • Adaptation
  • Adults
  • Advocacy
  • Ageing
  • Assistive technology
  • Barrier
  • CALD
  • Capacity building
  • Carer
  • Children and young people
  • Choice
  • Co-production
  • Control
  • Cultural and societal attitudes
  • Disabled people’s organisations
  • Discrimination and disadvantage
  • Diversity
  • Empowerment
  • Government
  • Inclusion
  • Inclusion research
  • Information
  • Infrastructure
  • Innovation
  • Market stewardship
  • NDIS
  • Outcomes
  • Participation
  • Person centred
  • Physical environment
  • Products and technology
  • Providers
  • Rural and remote
  • Safeguard
  • Self determination
  • Skills
  • Social capital
  • Spirituality and religion
  • Standards

Research is also searchable via service type:

  • Early childhood intervention
  • Counselling
  • Case management
  • Local Area Coordination (LAC)
  • Community development
  • Community access/support
  • Life skills
  • Recreation
  • Respite
  • Accommodation
  • Employment
  • Advocacy
  • Information and referral
  • Mutual support
  • Education and training
  • Peak body
  • Attendant/personal care

For more information or any inquiries, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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