News | 30 August 2016

Australia’s first disability research hub

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Disability Knowledge Clearing House

A new research hub is breaking new ground in providing up to date research for both people with disability, their families and carers and service providers.

The Disability Knowledge Clearing House is an online library developed by the NDS Centre for Applied Disability Research (CADR) to house or link to what will eventually be thousands of academic papers, other published research and online resources about disability.

When complete it will be the most comprehensive collection of disability research evidence and resources in Australia.

Importantly the Clearing House will house summary Research to Action Guides on important issues identified by disability sector stakeholders including people with disability, their families and carers, frontline practitioners, advocates and researchers.

Senior Project Officer Jacquelyn Johnson, says the NDIS means it’s more important than ever that people have up to date, rigorous research on which to base their decisions.

“With so much choice now available for people, it’s important that people have the information they need to make the decisions that are right for them,” Jacqueline says.

“For people with disability, their family and carers that may be evidence based information for making decisions about choosing a support provider or type that best meets their needs.

“For providers, it will give them the information they need to design programs and policies and demonstrate to clients that they are basing their supports on the best available evidence and research about what works, what doesn’t and what’s the latest thinking.”

The Clearing House is for any stakeholder interested in improving the quality of services by better understanding “what works, for whom, under what circumstances and at what cost.”

Jacquelyn says it’s more than just an online library, it’s a hub for anyone wanting to learn, collaborate and connect research evidence to policy, practice and life experiences.

Key features of the site include:

  • Links to a wide range of disability research, evaluation and other resources to support evidence-based practice. Already around 500 links are included in the Clearing House – more are being uploaded all the time.
  • An easy to use search engine that allows people to browse and find material by nine key domains of inquiry (that align to UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRDP) or information about specific disability groups, support types, locations and formats.
  • A growing collection of Research to Action Guides developed in consultation with subject experts and researchers on topics identified by as most important by the community.
  • Communities of practice focussed on the topics of the Research to Action Guides to ensure that the best available evidence is tested in the real world.

There’s even a newsletter called Lines of Inquiry.

Jacquelyn says more features are planned.

“For example, researchers and subject matter experts will be able to create a profile, and organisations undertaking research will be able to submit publications so that sector led ‘grey’ literature can be shared,” she says.

Check out the Disability Knowledge Clearing House at To be involved and provide feedback on what’s important to you, or to share your research in the sector go to

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