Survey of Community Attitudes towards People with a Disability


We are conducting a survey of Australians to identify attitudes towards people with disability including stereotypes, social distance, stigma and discrimination.  As part of this we are collecting data from people with disability about their experiences of discrimination. We are working in partnership with the Victorian government to establish a baseline description of attitudes about people with disability.

This quantitative survey is focused on attitudes that impact the social and economic participation of people with disability of all ages. It will provide the first population-level data about attitudes toward people with disability in Victoria, and will also yield nationally generalisable results.

The survey will inform the Victorian government's work in relation to 'Changing Attitudes' , a key priority of the Absolutely Everyone: Victorian State Disability Plan (2017-2020). It will also establish a range of questions and instruments for use in subsequent surveys to measure attitudinal changes over time.

This survey has been developed with researchers with disability and through stakeholder interviews. In Phase 1, the research team reviewed existing measures and prior surveys on community attitudes about disability and intersecting domains (including racism and mental health stigma).  A survey draft is currently being refined through consultation with stakeholders in disability advocacy. In Phase 2, the survey will be administered to approximately 1000 Victorians and over 3000 Australians from the general adult population. Results will be released towards the end of 2018.

This is the first time this survey has been conducted in Australia.

Research Team

Professor Anne Kavanagh, University of Melbourne
Dr Allison Milner, University of Melbourne
Ms Lauren Krnjacki, University of Melbourne
Ms Anne-Marie Bollie, University of Melbourne
Ms Vasiliky Kasidis, University of Melbourne
Ms Georgia Katsikis, University of Melbourne
Ms Jasmine Ozge, University of Melbourne


The Social Research Centre (Australian National University)


  Victorian Department of Health and Human Services