Ground-breaking research grant announced

Winners of the 2015 Endeavour Foundation Endowment Challenge Fund grants have been announced by Endeavour Foundation Chief Executive Officer, David Barbagallo.

This year’s grant recipients share in a funding pool of $70,000 and are again expected to make an immense contribution to the lives of people with a disability.

“These grants encourage ground-breaking research into the issues that really matter for the Australian disability sector. They also foster inclusion of people with a disability,” Mr Barbagallo said.

“I am immensely proud to announce this year’s recipients, who are all playing their part and doing incredible work,” Mr Barbagallo said.

A group with a unique perspective on disability research has won the major $40,000 grant from Endeavour Foundation Endowment Challenge Fund.

The Centre for Disability Studies Inclusive Research Network, at Sydney University, will use the grant to investigate whether disability support services are hitting the mark for the people who use them.

“We will be asking people with a disability how the services they use are working for them,” co-researcher Dr Marie Knox said.

“For too long people with a disability haven’t had a say in their services. This research will help address this, leading to a better quality service and ultimately, a better quality of life for those with an intellectual disability,” Dr Knox said.

The centre’s research is unique and will be conducted by a team of 16 researchers with and without intellectual disability located at the Centre for Disability Studies, Sydney.

The study will help to understand whether services are indeed delivering on their promise of inclusion or “person-centredness” for people with an intellectual disability.

Lead researcher Professor Patricia O’Brien and her team intend to establish a checklist, or quality framework, for this group of service users. “The production of the framework and performance indicators will make a significant contribution to the wider disability sector,” Professor O’Brien said.

“The project, using an inclusive research approach, will develop and trial a set of `person-centredness’ indicators based on the perspectives of 30 people with intellectual disability using Sydney disability organisations,” Dr Knox said.

Endeavour Foundation Endowment Challenge Fund chairman Grant Murdoch said the research grant would positively benefit people with a disability, especially as Australia moves towards a National Disability Insurance Scheme.

“It is important to give a voice to people not usually taken into account in their service delivery. They are often voiceless in this equation,” Mr Murdoch said.

“This is vital research and great step towards them having a say in the services they use,” Mr Murdoch said.

This year The Endowment Challenge Fund also gave two awards of $5000 each to higher degree students and made a total of $20,000 available to non-profit organisations.

The Endeavour Foundation Endowment Challenge Fund is a public benevolent institution that seeks to benefit the wider Australian disability sector as a whole, with an emphasis on people with an intellectual disability. To date it has distributed almost $300,000 in grants.

It is a capital-preserved fund, with donations invested and interest earned used to support Endowment Challenge Fund annual grants.

For more information about the fund go to: www.endowmentchallengefund.com.au.

Photo and interview opportunities available.

Contact:
Jane Kenrick,
Media & Communications officer, Endeavour Foundation
P: (03) 9851 9750,
M: 0417 912 644,
E: j.kenrick@endeavour.com.au

Kobi Print,
Assistant Media & PR Adviser, Medicine, Sydney University.
P: (02) 9036 7589,
M: 0481 012 729
E: kobi.print@sydney.edu.au