Our Commitments

At the Centre for Disability Studies, we value the voices of people of all disabilities; cultures; social and economic backgrounds; language and communication styles; genders and sexualities; faiths and none; and stages of life. The voice of people with disability is at the forefront of all that we do. We champion inclusion in our work and throughout our community. We respect and embrace the sovereignty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as Australia’s First People and Traditional Custodians.

Our Vision

All people with intellectual disability live autonomous lives of their choosing engaged with and valued by society and their communities.

Our Mission

To create and share knowledge, evidence and practice to improve the lives of people with intellectual disability.

Our Values

Trust, Respect, Inclusion, Collaboration, Integrity, Diversity.

Strategic Plan

About our Strategic Plan

The current CDS strategic plan runs from 2021 to 2023.

The plans was developed in consultation with our Board and staff, and incorporating feedback from external stakeholders.

It consists of eight strategic priorities across four programmes of work.

CDS will address eight strategic priorities in the years 2021-2023:

  1. Enhance the visibility, reach and impact of the CDS research program, including building a demonstrable evidence base for the clinical, health and education components of CDS’ work.
  2. Manage the development of a renewed focus for CDS’ clinical work including the successful transition of the current clinical model.
  3. Build a successful training business supported by effective leadership, strong marketing, clear risk assessments and a powerful brand, and review and further develop CDS’ Inclusive Education practices.
  4. Position CDS successfully within Sydney University, specifically the School of Health Sciences within the Faculty of Medicine and Health, , aligning the priorities of each and enhancing CDS‘s impact and operational capability.
  5. Strengthen CDS’ financial viability and sustainability through more effective budgeting, enhanced financial forecasting and improved management controls providing increased accessibility and usability for the Senior Management Team and greater transparency for the Board.
  6. Analyse CDS’ stakeholder engagement and relationship management to inform the development of a sustainable, effective marketing capability and impact monitoring.
  7. Review CDS’ structure and roles to increase the organisation’s capability to further develop a strong culture that enhances our delivery of broader strategic outcomes and our success with operational work plans.
  8. Strengthen the governance and risk management culture throughout CDS.

Our strategic priorities will be addressed through four main programs of work:

Better integration of and outcomes from our research and development program:

  • CDS is positioned as a centre of excellence in intellectual disability research.
  • Our research program is better integrated with and underpins our education, training and clinical work,
  • CDS is recognised for its leadership role in inclusive research, experiencing growth with secure and sustainable funding, and
  • Our supervision of Masters, Ph.D. and postdoctoral students increases our capability in intellectual disability research.

A broader and deeper impact in the disability sector from our education and training program:

  • We maintain and grow leadership in high quality specialist disability workforce training,
  • Our accredited training is being delivered domestically and internationally through our successful and growing registered training business (Australian College of Disability and Community Services – ACDCS),
  • Post-secondary education opportunities for adults with intellectual disability are increasing and we have a clear evidence base of the impact and outcomes from these pathways,
  • CDS lead the design and promotion of a focus on intellectual disability within university curriculum with a minimum of one core module developed and adopted, and
  • We lead advocacy for access to higher education for people with intellectual disability.

Revised and strengthened health and clinical practice:

  • Successful revision of the CDS clinical model with a niche focus on people with intellectual disability and ageing, underpinned by research,
  • Growth in the evidence base for our assessment tool (I-CAN) underpins continued enhancement of person centred supports and planning,
  • Effective contributions have been made to policy, quality practice and governance discussions in the intellectual disability sector, and
  • Our placement of students and postgraduates is helping to build capacity in specialist intellectual disability, health and clinical services.

A more capable and sustainable organisation:

  • Relationships with Sydney University are strengthened and successfully underpin our operations.
  • CDS leads a strong partnership model across the Academic, health and the disability sectors,
  • Effective longer term strategic, operational and financial planning drive our activities and inform our choices,
  • Our organisational culture, structure and operational effectiveness is strengthened so that CDS is seen a workplace of choice,
  • CDS successfully meets all organisational compliance and regulatory requirements, and
  • CDS is driven by effective corporate governance.

Annual Reports