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Confronting everyday harms: preventing abuse of people with disability

Project Details

Funding partner

Australian Research Council Linkage Grant (LP210200536)


2022 - 2025


Journal articles and reports will be published. A series of resources will also be published for people with cognitive disability and their informal supporters, support workers and disability organisations, and policy makers.


DCI researchers

Research partners

  • UNSW Sydney Social Policy Research Centre – Professor Karen Fisher, Dr Heikki Ikaheimo

  • University of Melbourne – Dr Claire Spivakovsky

  • NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission - Dr Jeffrey Chan

  • VACRO - Dr Aaron Hart

  • Purple Orange - Robbi Williams

  • Northcott - Samantha Frain

  • SA Department of Human Services

  • Bedford Phoenix Inc

  • Mable

  • Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA)

  • Novita

  • genU


The findings of the Disability Royal Commission necessitate new approaches to prevent violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation. Framed by recognition theory, this project will develop empirical research with young people with cognitive disability, using a new concept of ‘everyday harms’ in their paid relationships. The results will inform early responses to poor quality interactions in disability support. The strategic alliances with the government, industry and community partners will develop a practice framework to prevent everyday harms and the escalation to abuse, and to promote safety and wellbeing. The research has policy benefits for capacity-building in the sector to act on the rights and voices of people with disability.


The project addresses a key national interest, the safety and wellbeing of people with disability. New evidence is needed to address the stark problems of abuse and neglect identified in the Disability Royal Commission. Incorporating new understandings of abuse, safety and wellbeing into national policy and practice collaboration will help organisations efficiently and safely improve the quality of disability support, improving effectiveness and value of key mechanisms such as the NDIS. The research will contribute to achieving Australia’s Disability Strategy 2022-2032, addressing Outcome Area: Safety, Rights and Justice. It will also support conceptual and practical approaches to enhance safety and wellbeing in the related sectors of aged care and children’s services.


An easy-read resource for this project is not currently available.

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