Hard-to-reach: the NDIS, disability, and socio-economic disadvantage



Publication Details

Cortese, C., Truscott, F., Nikidehaghani, M. & Chapple, S. (2020). Hard-to-reach: the NDIS, disability, and socio-economic disadvantage. Disability and Society,


This paper examines the experiences of a small group of socio-economically disadvantaged people and their attempts to access disability welfare under Australia's National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). We interviewed 32 individuals with some form of disability who were potentially eligible to apply for the NDIS. Our research revealed that only a small proportion of a sample successfully applied to the NDIS, with our interviewees characterised as 'hard-to-reach' because of their socio-economic disadvantage, social isolation, and lack of adequate support. Reflecting on the many and varied experiences of this group, we consider our interviewees to be at risk of further marginalisation in the absence of effective measures to engage and support them. We recommend ways to bring the hard-to-reach group within the ambit of the NDIS, as well as possibilities for future research.

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