Welcome to the Canberra Disability Review (CDR), a platform to highlight and give voice to what matters most to people with disability in the ACT.

Edition 9 - Autumn 2024

The Autumn 2024 Edition of the Canberra Disability Review is focused on inclusive education. Grace Clee shares a vision that positively breaths the abundance of the forest in her cover art “The Happiest Place on Earth.” We have articles by Louise Weekley and Grace Garrahy, sharing lived experience perspectives on the education system. Ashleigh Keating throws a spotlight on the expensive and confronting absurdity of systems that require reassessments of autism. Yenn Purkis brings a strong advocacy perspective to the use of Applied Behaviour Analysis in “Why ABA is not OK.” And we journey from early childhood education, through to primary and high school, and university, through interviews with Dr Elizabeth Aylward, Jane Kruger, and Dr Diana Tan.

Edition 8 - Summer 2023

The Summer 2023 Edition of the Canberra Disability Review has a future focus. Yenn Purkis has contributed cover art – an imaginary landscape full of emotion and pathos. We explore insights about health, the creative life, and inclusion, with national award winning poet Andy Jackson. We have a stunning poem by Alex Creece and Sarah Stivens. Fi Peel shares their journey of lived experience and the creative life. Dane McCormack tells his story of memory loss, rehabilitation, and resource gathering. And Akiko provides essential information about preparing for emergencies.

Edition 7 - Spring 2023

The Spring 2023 Edition of the Canberra Disability Review explores the experiences of people with disability in the justice system. We know people with disability are disproportionately represented in the system both among those who are victims and those who are incarcerated for crimes. We are grateful to Michael, from Voices for Change, and Yenn Purkis for sharing their experiences and insights regarding incarceration and Dr Caroline Doyle for sharing research insights on the system. We hear some of the parting words of Disability Royal Commissioners Rhonda Galbally, Barbara Bennett, and Alastair McEwin. Akiko tells us about the Sunflower Lanyard, we have a great book review by Chloe T. Rattray, and much more. We hope you enjoy this edition of the review.

Edition 6 - Winter 2023

The Winter 2023 Edition of the Canberra Disability Review looks at new and emerging technologies and disability. It’s a timely focus given the larger-than-life coverage that AI is currently attracting. Is it possible to shape technology to genuinely serve the community and promote human rights and inclusion or is it all up to market forces? In this review we revisit the early days of the NDIS when a co-design team was working on a virtual assistant called Nadia. It was a big deal at the time. Cate Blanchett was providing the voice of Nadia. The disability community were providing input every step of the way in developing a technology and a service that would work for participants. And then Nadia was cancelled. We have an interview with two leaders who were involved in the project – Sean Fitzgerald and Marie Johnson. We also have an interview with Natalie, an NDIS participant in Tassie, who has generously shared her experience of the NDIS system. We hear about the Assistive Technology for All Campaign and our Assistant Editor Akiko uncovers the connection between weather change and well-being. We hope you enjoy this edition and it proves to be a conversation starter.

Edition 5 - Autumn 2023

The Autumn 2023 Edition of the Canberra Disability Review delves into the world of intersectionality with the help of a great range of contributors. We particularly appreciate having Uncle Paul Constable Calcott’s beautiful work on out cover. It is art that is a rich sharing of experience and hope and a great starting point for the topic of intersectionality.  

We appreciate the time and generous sharing of insights by all our contributors in this edition.  Dr Scott Avery, author of the Disability Royal Commission report Something Stronger, shares his understanding of truth-telling, respectful listening, and the experiences of First Nations people with disability. Teresa Lawler, one of the designers of the UN Women’s Intersectionality Resource Guide, helps us unpack what we are talking about when we talk about intersectionality. Nicole Hewlett, a Palawa woman and Project Manager in the First Nations Cancer and Wellbeing Research Team, helps us understand Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in Australia 

We have some terrific articles by local authors. Stephen, generously shares his experience in his article The Double Closet:  Being Queer and Living with Disabilities. Ashleigh Keating considers the question Why is Autism a Filthy Word in Media? Sharon Kensell, Advocacy for Inclusion’s Senior Inclusion and Awareness Officer, delves into accessibility in the world of writing in Righting our Writes and our Assistant Editor, Akiko Hirata, asks the question Does Immigrant + Disability = A Fair Go in Australia?  

Edition 4 - Summer 2022

The Summer Edition of the Canberra Disability Review offers a range of articles looking back at 2022 and towards 2023. We are delighted to have Larissa Macfarlane's poignant "Practicing Stillness amidst the COVID confusion" as the cover art. It signals the ongoing impact that COVID, and the end of proactive health policies to stop the spread, are having on the lives of people with disability. We take a look at the COVID vigil that was held on the lawns in front of parliament, and online, to mark the deaths of 16,000 Australians since the pandemic arrived on our shores.


We are excited to present the range of hopes about 2023 that leaders in the disability community shared with us. AFI Head of Policy, Craig Wallace, considers the responsibility that accompanies the ACT’s newly gained legislative rights particularly in the matter of euthanasia legislation. Akiko shares her experience of the huge difference text can make in making literature accessible and we have a few book reviews to finish off the year.

Edition 3 - Spring 2022

The Spring 2022 Edition of the Canberra Disability Review is focused on the experience of parents with disability. We talk to Eliza Hull, editor of the fantastic book “We’ve Got This,” about ableism, disability pride, and more. Local Canberran, Cate Barclay shares her experience of the challenges of engaging with health services. Our own Akiko takes a journey into the sometimes far from inclusive world of online resources for parents and Dr Fiona Tito Wheatland sheds light on problems with child protective services and looks at better ways to protect children. It’s a bumper edition of the Canberra Disability Review. Please spread the word and let us know if you have an idea for contribution

Edition 2 - Winter 2022

The Winter 2022 Edition of the Canberra Disability Review has a focus on inclusion in emergency and disaster planning and management. It’s a timely focus given our recent experiences of fires, floods and the ongoing pandemic. In this edition we will explore the impact of the ill-informed “back to normal” narrative related to Covid-19, look into the work of creating a more inclusive approach to disaster planning and management, investigate the impact of banning straws on some people with disability, and hear experiences from the community. We hope you enjoy the issue. 

Edition 1 - Autumn 2022

The Canberra Disability Review is a quarterly online magazine. Its aim is to provide an arena where the insights and wisdom of peoples’ lived experience can be shared, where injustice and disabling social structures and attitudes can be highlighted and challenged, where achievements can be celebrated, and where change-making conversations might begin. 


For a PDF version please press the download link above​. 






All work on the site is opinion. The contents of The Canberra Disability Review do not necessarily reflect the views of Advocacy for Inclusion incorporating People with Disabilities ACT, funders, our staff or the other contributors.



Advocacy for Inclusion acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn and work.  The office of Advocacy for Inclusion is located on the traditional land of the Ngunnawal people.


Advocacy for Inclusion respects and celebrates diversity of individuals, including those amongst the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex communities and we value and promote inclusion and diversity in our community.