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Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability

Working with refugees with a family member with intellectual disability


Service Provider perspectives on supporting people with intellectual and developmental disability from refugee backgrounds

Presented by Dr Angela Dew

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Recently 15 million Syrian and Iraqi people fled their homes because of war and human rights violations. In 2015, Australia committed to settle 12,000 of them as humanitarian entrants. In 2012 the Government streamlined the health waiver for all humanitarian visa applicants meaning that people with disability were more likely to get a visa. Little is known about the implications of this change for Australian service providers as the number and circumstances of refugees with a disability who have been resettled here to date is unknown. This paper describes one part of a larger study to explore the impact of resettlement in Australia for Iraqi and Syrian refugees with disability, their families and service providers.


Angela is an A/Prof, Disability and Inclusion at Deakin University. Angela is a sociologist with over 30 years working in the disability field in direct service, management, teaching and research roles. Angela’s main research interests relate to the lived experiences of people with a disability and their family members.