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Community Inclusion Initiative

A montage of people with disabilities out in the community and the text 'Community Inclusion Initiative.'

Community participation is an integral element in supporting people with disability. It is included in 50 per cent of all plans for NDIS participants, making it the second most funded support.

NDS established the Community Inclusion Initiative to help inform the provision of community participation support under the NDIS. As part of the initiative, 11 service providers from across Australia worked with 46 people with disability to explore community participation from the perspectives of service users and families, service providers, the disability system, mainstream services and the community. The initiative also explored how co-design can be used to improve community participation outcomes.

The key benefits

  • Includes practical information on supporting people to increase community participation.
  • Use accessible videos, guides and tools to think differently about community inclusion.
  • Hear real life stories from people with disability and providers on changing service models.

Who are these resources for?

Front line workers, supervisors and managers interested in increasing community participation opportunities for people with disability.


NDS Community Participation in Action Guide

The 11 organisations formed a community of practice to consider topics seen as critical to creating new opportunities for people with disability to participate fully in the community. This led to the development of 8 practical, easy-to-use factsheets for use as a conversation starter with frontline disability workers and managers, as well as with people with disability and their families.

The worksheets have been used as the basis for Community Participation in Action: a resource guide for disability service providers. The guide is intended to assist service providers to better understand the drivers for individualised approaches to community participation and steps that can be taken to make this happen.

It contains practical examples, real life stories and reflections from providers on challenges and enablers to supporting community participation.

Telling Your Story Evaluation Report

NDS engaged Southern Cross University (SCU) to lead a qualitative evaluation of the CII. The final report details outcomes for participants and reports on effectiveness, sustainability and adaptability of models into the future.

SCU led the development of seven short films to accompany the report. They include a summary overview, the stories of three project participants - John,Harrison and Tam - and the importance of contributionrelationships and codesign to increasing community inclusion. Find them below:

Participant Films:

Thematic Films:

Co-design for community inclusion report

NDS engaged human-centered design experts Huddle to explore what organisations understood about co-design and how they use it currently. Huddle’s report tells the story of their work with the organisations, gives insights into co-design in the disability services and gives tools and resources for those interested in using co-design. 


Watch the summary video of 'Telling Your Story.'


The Community Inclusion Initiative was made possible through the NDIS Sector Development Fund. NDS would like to acknowledge the input and assistance of the Australian Department of Social Services and the National Disability Insurance Agency in the development of these resources.

Sector Development Fund logo

Contact information

For more information contact James Bannister, Senior Sector Development Officer, 03 8341 4316, submit enquiry/feedback