National Disability Services is the Australian peak body for non-government disability services.
Through the provision of information, representation and policy advice, NDS promotes and advances services which support people with all forms of disability to participate in all domains of life.
NDS is the national industry association for disability services, representing over 780 non-government organisations. Collectively, our members operate several thousand services for Australians with all types of disability. NDS's members range in size from small support groups to large multi-service organisations, and are located in every State and Territory across Australia.
NDS's purpose is to equip and enable its members to provide quality services and life opportunities for Australians with disability. This is achieved by influencing governments at all levels and providing members with information and advice, networking opportunities and business support.
NDS has a National Secretariat in Canberra and offices in every state and territory.
The National Secretariat allows for co-ordination of the respective state and territory bodies at a federal level, while the latter focus on state issues surrounding disability. The organisation as a whole is governed by a national Board which includes the elected Chair from each state/territory, as well as representatives elected directly by members.
Recently being renamed from ACROD, NDS traces it roots back for more than 65 years.
In 1945, the Australian Advisory Council for the Physically Handicapped was formed in response to the need for national co-ordination of the respective state and territory bodies.
By the beginning of the 1960's, it was recognised that disability service providers had many common interests, regardless of what particular group they served. As a result, the Australian Council for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled was established in 1963. This more inclusive body allowed the voluntary sector to address the government with a united voice when lobbying on disability issues.
National Disability Services has two categories of membership: Organisational and Life.
- Organisational Membership is for not-for-profit organisations in the disability field.
- Life members are individuals elected by a general meeting of NDS.
National Disability Services has two categories of subscribers: Organisational Associate & Individual Associate
- Organisational Associate is for for-profit & government organisations with an interest in disability issues.
- Individual Associate is for individuals with an interest in disability issues. However, it is not available to members or staff of organisations eligible to be Organisational members of NDS, but who have not taken up such membership.