Are you looking for information on something in particular?

If you can't find it by clicking on our search button, please call us on

9420 7203 or email




Would you like to find out more about peer support groups in WA?


 Are you interested in participating in research projects?





Telethon Kids Institute has developed a questionnaire to measure 'quality of life' in children with Down Syndrome.

They are seeking parents with a school aged child or adolescent with Down syndrome to road test their new questionnaire.

Siblings Australia is running a project, "Creating Capacity: Support for Adult Siblings Project" to build the capacity of siblings to understand the NDIS and to support their brothers and sister with disbility in the transition to the NDIS environment.

A reference group is being set up to guide the implementation of the project, and the group will oversee the governance and help maximise outcomes for siblings, people living with disability and thei broader families in the light of the NDIS.

If you would like to find out more about this project, or be part of the reference group:



Sibswest is a peer support network founded in 2015 in Perth, for adult Western Australian siblings of people living with disability.

Through the NDIS Disability Support Organisations Project, DDWA granted SibsWest funding to hold forums and report on the importance of sibling relationships within the context of the NDIS.

The forums also looked at current supports and services currently available in WA and how they engage with siblings.

Read the report here: Sibswest Focus Group Forums Report 2015

Visit the SibsWest website at


Read more about this report...."The lives of people with disability are often secret lives. We are routinely segregated and isolated from our non-disabled peers – we live, work and play in places which are not often frequented by those without disability. Often, we are lonely. If we do not have families, paid staff are sometimes the only people in our lives. We are shut out by barriers to participation in Australian life, and shut in when we are hidden in institutional settings."

(Report authors Samantha Connor and Ben Keely)

The Peer Connect website is for people living with disability, their families and supporters.

It has information about having choice and control in your life, the NDIS, connecting with Peer Support Networks and getting involved with your community.




Duchenne Foundation in WA have published a great new story for children called "That's What Wings Are For". Part proceeds from sales of the book will go to the Duchenne Foundation.

Read more about it here, including an author interview 






What's Happening
This area does not yet contain any content.


Developmental Disability WA is the peak organisation in WA for people with intellectual and developmental disability, and their families and people who support them.

For over 30 years we have been working to ensure that people with disability and their families live their lives their way. We create lasting positive change by: 

  •  supporting people with developmental disability and their families to have a strong voice;
  • partnering with others to develop more connected and inclusive communities, and;
  • influencing government and other decision makers 



    DDWA is a not-for-profit organisation and all donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Your donation will contribute towards more workshops and information sessions for individuals, their family members and the people who support them, more resources being developed for families and professionals, more advocacy and representation to the decision makers on the issues you let us know about and work on with us. Please get in touch if you are interested in supporting DDWA,  or would like to find out more about our work.




What is Side by Side?

Side by Side is the name of DDWA's program for famlies who have a family member with disability and who has behaviour which is at times challenging.

Side by Side was co-designed by families, for families and as a strengths based program it aims to build resilience, knowledge, friendship and support.



DDWA has a range of resources

- hard copy booklets

- links to publications you can download

- recorded presentations on different topics which are on our You Tube channel DDWA Inc

If you would like to order one of these booklets or resources to be sent to you please get in touch



30 June 2016:


DDWA made a submission to the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) in response to their survey on Reporting on Students with Disability on My School website.

DDWA believes it is important to be clear about the purpose of reporting on students with disability on My School website before determining which is the best way for such information to be presented.

DDWA also considers that there may be better ways to present the type of information parents are looking for when making education choices for their child, and we have made a number of recommendations to ACARA. 

Click on the button below if you would like to read our submission...


June 2016:

DDWA made a submission to the Department of Social Services, which administers NDAP, regarding the future of advocacy funded by NDAP.

DDWA is not currently funded by NDAP, nor have we been in the past, but we strongly support moves to strengthen and sustain a national disability advocacy sector and the individual organisations within it, as well as State based organisations of which DDWA is one.

Power imbalances exist and advocacy needs to address this power imbalance. Complaints mechanisms are accountability mechanisms but without advocacy there is fear for the consumer who understands that there is a power imbalance and that there can be consequences for speaking up. 

Individuals seeking advocacy should not be turned away because an organisation or agency does not have capacity to support them. 

We also believe Government and academia in particular would be disadvantaged if they were to lose the direct links to individuals which advoactes and agencies provide them in order to progress their policy and research work. Advocates and advocacy organisations are critical brokers also in supporting Government when Government needs to hear direct from their constituency. We ensure individuals families, carers supporters and others have a voice in communicating their experiences and expertise. 

Click on the button below if you would like to read our submission...





Congratulations Sue Birch on 25 years at DDWA!

Sue Birch (right) with CEO Taryn Harvey

It's not often these days that you hear about people who are working with the same organisation they started with 25 years ago.

Sue Birch, Finance and Office Manager, has just celebrated 25 years at Developmental Disability WA. She says she has seen so many changes in disability over the years but some things remain the same and there is still much work to be done.

Sue first came into contact with DDWA, then Developmental Disability Council, as a parent of a young girl who has Rett Syndrome, a rare neurodevelopmental condition which affects girls almost exclusively.

“DDWA has been right at the centre of so many of the enormous changes in the disability sector in WA, in the 25 years I have been here,” Sue said.

“As a parent it’s important to me that there’s an organisation whose purpose is to work alongside families and others in the community, to influence decision makers, always with the goal of positive change.”

“When I was first at DDWA in the early 1990s, the State and Commonwealth were arguing back and forth about whose responsibility it was to support people with disability, and so DDWA led the way in the campaigns to get a resolution - with sit- ins, bus tours, marches with placards, marathon walks, trips to Canberra, letter and post card campaigns.”

“Today we advocate loudly and strongly but with the introduction of social media things are very different. We also take a very family centred approach, with the view that individuals and families absolutely have to be at the centre of any change that happens. If they are empowered, and confident, then they can be stronger in their pursuit for the changes that need to happen.”

2016 is the 21st anniversary of the Welcome Home Campaign which we launched in WA as a campaign to increase awareness of the crisis faced by many people who were looking for accommodation services but who couldn’t get them. The campaign had an immediate impact and the WA State Government increased funding for disability services as part of its five year plan but by 1998 many families were still in crisis and it was apparent the level of funding allocated was not sufficient to fully meet the need. A national campaign, Time to Care then evolved, with DDWA sponsoring this in WA.

Sue said one of the effective campaigning tools DDWA created was the Politician Adoption Scheme, in which Premiers, Ministers, backbenchers of all sides, from all parties were ‘adopted’ by families so the MP could find out more about the lived experience of disability for the individual and their family.

“Governments have taken responsibility for the legislative and administrative frameworks for the National Disability Insurance Scheme but it’s the families who introduced the idea, campaigned hard to get the idea heard, and who should be proud of what has been achieved so far,” Sue said.

“We are still waiting, decades on, for all people with disability across the country, regardless of which state they live in, to be given equal access to a quality support scheme.”

“Along with many people with disability and the people who love and support them I am hopeful that a scheme will be rolled out soon in WA, in whichever form it takes. I have no doubt DDWA and our members and supporters will be at the centre of the campaigns advocating for positive changes until they happen.”





After the bushfires in our State in early 2016 we were in contact with eht Red Cross about the RediPlan - a booklet which includes tips on how to be ready for the bushfire season and which also includes a section on supporting a person with a disability to be prepared for disasters generally.

If you click on the image of the cover, you will go to the resources page on our website where you will find this booklet recently provided to us by the Red Cross.