Disability Research Initiative

Melbourne Social Equity Institute played a key role in facilitating disability research at the University of Melbourne.

In 2013, the Institute facilitated a half-day workshop to bring together researchers working on disability-related issues. Approximately 80 people attended and Melbourne Social Equity Institute played a pivotal role in supporting the establishment of the Hallmark Disability Research Initiative (DRI) at the University (2014-2018).

The DRI was developed by the Melbourne Social Equity Institute and the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, together with the Melbourne Neuroscience Institute and the Melbourne Networked Society Institute.

The Disability Human Rights Clinic at Melbourne Law School was one of the first of DRI’s projects. Using human rights law and disability studies, law students analyse and act on threats to the human rights of persons with disabilities. Students acquire the skillset to become the next generation of disability rights advocates.

Dr Anna Arstein-Kerslake, served as Academic convenor from  2014 - 2018 and Professor Keith McVilly, Professorial Fellow in Disability and Inclusion at the School of Social and Political Sciences, served as the Chair of the Steering Committee from 2016 - 2018.

The DRI was the precursor to the establishment of our ‘cousin’ institute,  the Melbourne Disability Institute,  in 2018.