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This project is part of the Wobbly Hub and Double Spokes (WH&DS) project.
Aim: The purpose of the review was to gain insight into the issues currently influencing disability policy development and implementation. Additionally, gaps in key policy-related evidence were identified.
Approach: Twenty seven policy documents were read and a summary of the key policy content made. This initial summary was used to assign documents into three tiers. Tier 1: overarching NSW Government policy documents including major disability-specific and general population related documents. Tier 2: ADHC specific policies, sub-divided according to whether they were client-focussed or workforce-focussed. Tier 3: ADHC operational guidelines also sub-divided into client-focussed and workforce focussed. The collation and qualitative content analysis of these documents generated themes further explored in focus groups and individual interviews.
Outcomes: In reviewing the documents taking knowledge from the literature, there were some strong drivers of future directions in the disability sector that influenced the teams thinking. Twenty seven policy documents were reviewed and based on analysis, categorized into tier 1 (higher level strategic policies) and tier 2 (specific operational policies). Tier 1 policy documents provided consistent messages about the need to develop strategies and service delivery options to address geographic, cultural and age-related barriers facing all people in New South Wales including those who have a disability. Tier 2 documents revealed a lack of attention to the practical differences between implementing the policy principles in metropolitan compared to rural areas.
Study findings identify that the implementation of metropolitan-formulated policy does not always encompass the unique challenges experienced by therapists providing services to rural people with a disability and their carers. This study highlights the importance of "rural proofing" policy to consider people who live and work in rural areas.
Dr Angela Dew
Wobbly Hub and Double Spokes Project
75 East Street, T Building
LIDCOMBE NSW 2141
Ph: +61 2 9351 9050
Fax: +61 2 9351 9128