NDS traces its roots back for 70 years.
In 1945, the Australian Advisory Council for the Physically Handicapped was formed in response to the need for national co-ordination of the respective state and territory bodies. By the beginning of the 1960s, it was recognised that disability service providers had many common interests, regardless of the particular group they served. As a result, the Australian Council for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled was established in 1963. This more inclusive body allowed the voluntary sector to address the government with a united voice when lobbying on disability issues.
The Australian Council for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled subsequently shortened its title to ACROD, before being relaunched as National Disability Services (NDS) in 2007.
The move to NDS was made to better reflect the nature of the organisation today, as it represents and provides services to a broad spectrum of non-government, non-profit groups assisting people with disability nationwide.