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9420 7203 or email


NDIS Information Sessions

20 March - 5 April

Click on the schedule below to find out where these free information sessions are being held in Perth metro and regional areas








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:



Click on the image above to read the 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.

The website 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 






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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 contact us.





Developmental Disability WA is a not for profit organisation which has been a leader in the disability sector since 1986. As the peak advocacy organisation in WA for people with intellectual and other developmental disability and their families, Developmental Disability WA welcomes membership from people who have an interest in advancing the rights and needs of people with disability and their families.


DDWA began as an organisation with the purpose of providing a representative voice for a number of organisations which were providing services to people with developmental disabilities and their families.  The organisations found that they had in common a number of concerns, issues and interests relating to the support, services and opportunities available to people with disability, in particular people with high support needs.

DDWA works to advance advocacy, policy and community, for and with people with intellectual and other developmental disability and their families, and the people who support them.



People with developmental disabilities and their families live their lives their way.


DDWA creates 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


People are the experts in their own lives and have the right to self-determination and contribution.

Developmental Disability WA's members and constituents determine the priorities for change.  We have our finger on the pulse of the issues that are important to people with developmental disability and their families. 

We are most effective and influential when we combine our voices, stories and knowledge.

Read more about our Vision | Purpose | Values


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 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.




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.”





The RediPlan was developed by the Red Cross.

It's a booklet which includes tips on how to be ready for the bushfire season and includes a section on supporting a person with a disability to be prepared for disasters generally.

Click on the cover to read the Rediplan.