Living with a physical, cognitive, or behavioural disability is a reality for millions of Australians and will become increasingly common as the country’s population ages. While some aspects of Australian society have been made more accessible in recent years, people living with disability continue to be marginalised and excluded from society. People with disability are more likely to live in or near poverty, to face challenges accessing safe and affordable housing, and to experience higher rates of physical violence than people without disabilities.
To change culture and build a more inclusive society, we must first understand the deeply held assumptions and beliefs that underpin public attitudes about people with disability in Australia. The Achieve Foundation commissioned the FrameWorks Institute to help meet this need by conducting qualitative research to capture the commonly held assumptions, or cultural mindsets, that members of the Australian public use to make sense of disability and related issues. This strategic brief identifies these mindsets and describes a set of strategic challenges and opportunities they pose for advocates and communicators in the disability community.