Disability action plans

A Disability Action Plan (DAP) is a document that organisations use to reduce and remove barriers experienced by people with a disability.

The Victorian Disability Act 2006 requires all public sector bodies to have a DAP. 

Public sector bodies include:

  • State government departments
  • Statutory authorities
  • Statutory corporations.

Although they are not legally required, many community organisations and businesses are also developing a DAP.

For more information, see the register of DAPs on Australian Human Rights Commission.

Benefits of a DAP

A DAP can help reduce discrimination and increase access for people with a disability to everyday services and employment. DAPs are also useful in addressing attitudinal barriers in organisations and communities.

Common barriers include:

  • Physical access to buildings
  • Access to information
  • Access to community services and programs
  • Access to employment.

Other members of the public who may have difficulty using services might also benefit from a DAP. They include elderly citizens, parents with prams, and people with short-term injuries or health conditions.

The implementation of a DAP contributes to an organisation's obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006. It also supports the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Reporting on DAP implementation

The Disability Act 2006 also requires Victorian public sector bodies and councils to report on DAPs once they've been implemented.

  • Developing a disability action plan

    An effective DAP is an active planning document with a range of staff members involved - making a DAP the responsibility of one delegated staff member usually does not work.

    It also should:

    • Be easy to read
    • Clearly outline the actions needed and a timeline for completion
    • Be widely distributed throughout the organisation.

    A DAP will ideally receive active support from senior management. It should also be regularly reviewed and have sufficient funding support where required.

    DAP outcomes

    Section 38 of the Victorian Disability Act 2006 identifies 4 outcomes a DAP should address. These are:

    • Reducing barriers to people with a disability in accessing goods, services and facilities
    • Reducing barriers to people with a disability in obtaining and maintaining employment
    • Promoting inclusion and participation of people with a disability in the community
    • Achieving tangible changes in attitudes and practices which discriminate against people with a disability.


    The consultation process is an important part of developing and reviewing a DAP. Consulting internally and externally will help to identify priorities for action. It is vital to include people with disability in the consultation process.
    It is also important to consider the broader organisational structure when developing a DAP. An organisation with a parent body or subsidiaries should communicate with them to identify the scope of the DAP and consultation process.

    Developing actions

    When developing a DAP, it is important to set realistic targets and priorities.

    Change can be achieved through incremental, continuous improvement. Some actions may be completed in the short term. Others might need more planning and resources, including funding. Planning short-term, medium-term and long-term steps can be beneficial.

  • Disability action plan training and support

    The Office for Disability has conducted formal disability action plan (DAP) training since 2008. It has supported over 500 Victorian health, community and public service organisations to develop plans.

    If you would like support or advice about how to make your organisation or business more inclusive for people with a disability, please email the Office for Disability or phone 1300 880 043.

  • Disability action plans in Victorian health services

    The 2018-19 Statement of Priorities requires Victorian health services to submit a draft disability action plan to the department by 30 June 2019. The draft plan needs to outline the approach to full implementation within three years of publication.

    Please refer to the Disability action plans in Victorian health services frequently asked questions (word) document for advice on developing your draft disability action plan.