Links & other information

Australia’s Disability Strategy Outcomes Framework

The Outcomes Framework supports Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021–31 by tracking and reporting on outcomes for people with disability. This includes measuring the contribution key systems such as healthcare, housing, education and employment are making to achieve outcomes. It also tracks the changes in outcomes happening over time for people with disability.

The Outcomes Framework measures are based on a variety of administrative and survey data sources, including data from the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the Australian Bureau of Statistics, such as the Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, and the National Health Survey.

The annual Outcomes Framework reports and dashboard (an interactive online reporting tool) will show what progress is being made. Where data are available, information will be disaggregated to provide detail on what progress is being made for specific cohorts of people with disability.

For further information see Outcomes Framework, Australia’s Disability Strategy.

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

The introduction of the NDIS was a fundamental shift in the way Australians with significant and permanent disability access supports. It is founded in insurance principles to provide eligible Australians with the reasonable and necessary supports they need.

People with disability are directly funded under the NDIS, as distinct from the previous system of block funding to agencies and community organisations that provided disability support services under the National Disability Agreement.

For further information see National Disability Insurance Scheme website.

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission) is an independent agency established in July 2018 to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services. The NDIS Commission replaced the disparate and varied state and territory regulatory arrangements and establishes a single national regulator responsible for provider registration, complaints, reportable incidents, oversight of behaviour support and compliance and enforcement.

For further information see NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.

Standardised disability flag

The AIHW has developed a disability 'flag' that identifies records of people with disability within a data collection. The flag derives from a standard set of questions that assesses a person's level of functioning and need for support in everyday activities. The set is based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), and is broadly consistent with the short disability questions that the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) uses in a number of its social surveys. The flag is intended for use in collections covering a wide range of sectors, enabling nationally consistent collection of information about the disability status of people encountering mainstream services.


A major theme running through the disability policy of all Australian governments is ensuring mainstream services and programs address the needs of people with disability. (Mainstream services are services that people encounter in everyday life-such as healthcare, education, housing, transport, community services.)

A critical first step to improve the capability of mainstream services to support people with disability is to be able to meaningfully identify people with disability. This is important for monitoring the gap in health and social outcomes between people with disability and other Australians. This information also provides a broader sense of the balance of service needs and service provision to people with disability.

Development principles

The flag is based on the following principles:

  • data should be readily collectable by all mainstream services
  • the flag should be consistent with the ICF
  • data should be comparable – similar experiences should be coded similarly across a service sector and between sectors
  • data should be meaningful – sufficiently sensitive, sufficiently broad, and sufficiently specific
  • the flag should be aligned with disability data items in population surveys and censuses
  • the flag should use existing national data standards, wherever possible.

Development process

The AIHW developed the flag with reference to:

  • the concepts underpinning the ICF
  • the range of ABS instruments used to measure disability (including survey and census-based instruments)
  • international developments in disability measurement, such as the WHODAS 2.0 and the 'Washington Group' set of questions for population assessment of activity limitations.

During the development the AIHW consulted with experts in disability concepts and measurement.

Draft versions of the flag were then tested and refined through a series of focus groups, cognitive interviews and pilot testing. Each of these development components included input from people with lived experience of disability.


The flag enables the following outputs at an individual level (which can also be aggregated to report at a collection level, or for client sub-groups):

  • extent of activity limitation
  • activity limitation flag (a summary of extent of activity limitation)
  • extent of core activity limitation
  • education participation restriction flag
  • employment participation restriction flag.

Relevant metadata have been produced in ISO/IEC 11179 format on METeOR.

Current use

Versions of the flag have been implemented in the Specialist Homelessness Services Collection (SHSC), the National Social Housing Survey, the National Prisoner Health Data Collection (NPHDC) and are being implemented within other AIHW collections.

Further information