Past Projects

Disability and Disability Support

NDIA Independent Assessment Evaluation (2021): Report link on this page under ‘the validation from the University of Sydney’. Learn more about this project

Addressing the Needs of People with Disability in The Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea (2017-2019). Significant disability and priority support needs of children and adults living in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, PNG, were identified through the aggregation of findings from three independently conducted surveys.

Promoting Caregivers’ Well-being Through MINDS Caregivers Support Services (2018). This mixed method evaluation of the MINDS Caregivers Support Services (CSS) and coordinating Caregiver Support Service Centre (CSSC) identified the effectiveness and efficiency of caregiver support services with the critical role of social connections and social networking highlighted.  Family Quality of Life of participating families, and the coping and resilience of caregivers were investigated.

National Disability Insurance Scheme Evaluation (2017). CDS and National Institute for Labour Studies (NILS), Flinders University, conducted in a large scale, two-year evaluation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). As the NSW state experts, CDS carried out community engagement activities and interviews with participants and their carers. CDS, NILS, and other state experts from across the country constructed a cohesive representation of the experiences of participants and stakeholders in the NDIS trial sites.

Evaluation of the STAR Framework, ADHC (2016). A collaborative project between the NSW Government Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) and CDS assessed the efficacy of an evaluation framework supporting people with disabilities requiring complex behaviour support where earlier clinical support options had not proved successful. Document analysis and case studies were used to validate the framework.

Evaluation of the Community Justice Program (2014). CDS was contracted by The NSW Government Treasury, to collaborate in their evaluation of the NSW government’s Community Justice Program that provides services for intellectually disabled people who had interacted with the criminal justice system. The evaluation comprised three components, a quantitative and qualitative evaluation of outcomes, a process evaluation of program implementation, and an economic evaluation.

Person Centredness: An evaluation of its introduction into a service agency (2012). CDS conducted and evaluated Wesley Disability Services to conduct and evaluate their staff supporting people with intellectual disabilities.

Construction of Disability Services’ Support Needs Profiling Tool: Ensuring Equity in Individual Funding (2012). Three assessment tools, the ICAP, SIS and I-CAN Brief, were trialled to determine items relevant for a support needs funding tool for the Department of Human Services, Victoria. Stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that the most useful items in predicting funding allocation came from the I-CAN Brief. A second sample was used to develop a resource allocation algorithm.  A facilitator’s instruction manual was developed, as well as implementation guidelines and computer scoring software.


Achieve Clinical Review (2019). CDS completed a clinical review and analysis of the health status and care, daily living and well-being needs of residents within houses transferred from ADHC to Achieve Australia in line with best practice benchmarks for accommodation services.

A best practice framework for mental health accommodation under the NDIS (2018). CDS conducted a literature scan and consultations with key stakeholders to develop a framework of best practice for Challenge Community Services to guide their mental health accommodation services within the context of the NDIS.

ARC Aging Project (2017). A collaborative project with Prof. Trevor Parmenter, Dr. Marie Knox & colleagues from University of New England. The overarching outcome of this project was to identify issues and gaps in the aged care sector for people with intellectual disabilities that can be addressed by a Best Practice Framework.  Health Disparities Survey Tools were used and surveys were conducted on two targeted cohorts, people with intellectual disabilities who are ageing and the general ageing population.

Individual Supported Living (ISL) Project (2016) An Australian Research Council (ARC) grant funded collaborative research project between CDS, Curtin University, Melbourne University, and industry partners Achieve, Independent Living and NDS. Found independent supported living (ISL) can occur over a wide range of living options with evidence reinforcing the contention that ISL is appropriate for people with high support needs.

Evaluation of the Developmental Psychiatry Clinic: (2014)  A Partnership between The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and Statewide Behaviour Intervention Service (ADHC). CDS evaluated the value and and effectiveness of the DP Clinic to key referring agents, examined its operational model and made recommendations for its evolution to meet changing demands and priorities.


Evaluations for Uniting Care (2012-13) CDS completed evaluations of the St Anne’s Accommodation Model and the Weroona Emergency Transitional Accommodation setting. Interviews, observations, and record reviews structured around the new Disability Service Standards identified positive aspects of service and areas for improvement.

NDIA funded Review of Home and Living Options (2021): The report reviews the interventions and strategies that help people move from institutional care into more individualised home and living options and identifies those that best support the transition. Learn more about this project. 


Photo Tales (2018). Two inclusive researchers at CDS worked as a pair, with one bringing the expertise of lived experience with a disability, and the other research expertise through her university background. Their exploratory participatory action research study used Photovoice, interviews and a focus group to listen to the voices of the people with intellectual disability that go to university. Interrelating themes were identified providing new insights into the experiences of people with intellectual disability attending the University of Sydney.

The Role of Peer Facilitators in the Now & Next Program (2018). CDS researchers assessed the efficacy of the use of Peer Facilitators (parents of children with disabilities who volunteer within the parent education program) in aiding early childhood intervention service provision at Plumtree. Key benefits and areas for improvement were identified.


A Comprehensive Review of Evidence-Based Employment Practices for Youth and Adults with Intellectual and Other Developmental Disabilities (2020). Researchers from the Centre for Disability Studies, affiliated with the University of Sydney and the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center at Virginia Commonwealth University conducted a comprehensive review of international research on employment programs and practices that purport to promote successful employment outcomes for individuals with ID. Key evidence-based practices for successful open employment were identified.


Nova Enhanced Employment Outcomes Evaluation (2016) showcases CDS’ ability to collaborate with service organisations supporting people with disabilities to gain and maintain open employment and identify evidence of best practices contributing to enhanced outcomes.

Nova Transition to Work (TTW) Program Evaluation (2014). A systems model evaluation was used to identify the impact of the processes contributing to outputs and outcomes achieved for school leavers with disability transitioning to open employment. Evidence based practices examined comprised individual planning, skill development, family involvement, program structure and interagency collaboration.


Evaluation and Validation of the Forsight Quality of Life Pathway – Monitoring Framework (2020). CDS researchers used an action research methodology to evaluate the Forsight organisational framework and audit system and their individualised Quality of Life (QOL) Pathways Monitoring Framework. Areas for program improvement were identified and implemented.

Quality Checkers and Organisational Person Centredness: An Inclusive Research Approach (2016). This applied project trained people with disabilities from the CDS Inclusive Research Network (IRN) to quality check the quality of residential services and support within an organisation.

Measuring Outcomes from Active Support – Wesley Mission (2013). A pre-post evaluation involving Wesley Mission staff trained in Active Support. A variety of outcome measures were used including the I-CAN support needs assessment. Significant positive changes in supports were found following the Active Support training, with many qualitative changes showing greater resident engagement in daily living activities.

Real Lives Real Places Demonstration Project: A Review (2012). Qualitative and quantitative data collection and analyses reviewed the impact of a person-centred and Active Support approach for people moving from institutional care to community placements within the Real Lives Real Places Demonstration Project, MINDA South Australia.