National Ethnic Disability Alliance

In addition to providing written submissions and advice to Government, NEDA undertakes representative advocacy activities on a number of national committees and advisory groups:

  • National Accessible Public Transport Advisory Committee (NAPTAC)
  • National Multicultural Advisory Group (NMAG)
  • Special Homelessness Data Advisory Group
  • Australian Electoral Commission Disability Reference Group
  • Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN)
  • Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) Disability Advisory Group
  • Survey of Aging Disability and Carers Reference Group
  • Disability Employment Services (DES) Reforms Reference Group
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Advisory Group
  • NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework Working Group
  • End Children in Detention Coalition (ECDC)
  • Climate Change Justice Coalition

Education & Employment

People with disability from migrant and refugee backgrounds experience low workforce participation rates and face numerous structural and social barriers to obtaining meaningful employment. NEDA is working to bring about more inclusive and accessible education and employment pathways for CALD people with disability in an effort to promote and secure economic wellbeing. We provide policy advice to Government so that we build systems that support and enable all people with disability to reach their educational, vocational and employment goals.

National Disability Insurance Scheme

Once fully rolled out nationally, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will support hundreds of thousands of Australians with a disability. To ensure the scheme is effective for all NDIS participants, people with disability and their families need to be informed and empowered to make decisions regarding what types of supports they require to live their life. NEDA continues to work with Government and other key organisations across the disability sector to remove the barriers to access and equity, and to enable people with disability, particularly culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) participants, to experience the full benefits of the NDIS.

Elections & Voting

Article 29 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) states that governments are to guarantee political rights of people with disability and ensure that they are accessed on an equal basis to others. CALD people with disability living in Australia can only vote if they are an Australian citizen. There are many policy and procedural barriers in place that prevent migrants and refugees with disability becoming Australian permanent residents or citizens, and significant legislative reform needs to occur to ensure CALD people with disability, particularly CALD people with intellectual disability, can experience the benefits of citizenship. There are lack of adequate information and supports to inform and empower CALD people with disability to access and be fully engaged in voting and election processes, hindering their political participation.

Accessible Public Transport

People with disability face inaccessible public transport systems and infrastructure on a daily basis; this is compounded for people with disability from migrant and refugee backgrounds who lack English proficiency or who are unfamiliar with how public transport operates in Australia. Inaccessible public transport is a significant barrier to the full social and economic participation of people with disability. NEDA is working strategically with federal and state and territory Governments to build accessible, efficient and reliable public transport systems for all people with disability.

Housing & Homelessness

People with disability, as a group, have long been deprived of basic housing rights. They are faced with significant affordability and accessibility issues when attempting to access adequate housing. Furthermore, people with disability often lack the ability to exercise choice and control regarding where- and how- they want to live. NEDA is working to ensure people with disability can access the range of supports they require to live independently, free from institutionalised environments, within their community.

Violence, Abuse & Neglect

The 2015 Senate Inquiry into Violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability in institutional and residential settings found that violence and abuse against people with disability in Australian was an 'epidemic', and further called for a Royal Commission into the matter. NEDA campaigns collectively with our DPO Australia colleagues to bring about a National Inquiry into Violence and abuse against people with disability. Additionally, we work with Government and non-Government organisations to build stronger policy frameworks in order to create a safer future for people with disability.

Accessible Communications

When information is made available, often it is inaccessible for people with disability. This is only exacerbated for many CALD people with disability who may have low levels of English proficiency. Additionally, more information is being communicated online and via electronic means which can both assist or prevent CALD people with disability for understanding what is being communicated. NEDA works closely with Government, peak bodies and key industry organisations to build information systems the promote better accessibility for CALD people with disability.


NEDA promotes multiculturalism as a vitally important element in modern Australia. We believe people of all cultures and migration backgrounds contribute to the social fabric of our nation. We advocate for public policies that tackle racial discrimination, embrace multiculturalism and foster social cohesion, unity and inclusion. Additionally, we work closely with other key partners, such as the Federation for Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA), to develop mainstream systems that promote inclusion, equity of access and experience, and better respond to the diverse needs of CALD communities.