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Below you can see our model clauses to take to your branches. If you are able to get them passed, please contact

NSW Labor Conference Clauses 2021 - Due by 30th July

Supporting the Social Model of Disability


The social model of disability was created in 1975 by the Union of the Physically Impared Against Segregation (UPIAS), and is supported by the majority of disability groups in Australia. Essentially, the model views people with disabilities as not being a ‘problem to fix’ but rather, humans who have the potential to live a full life. 


This is in stark contrast to the medical model of disability, which most political parties in Australia tend to follow - that someone can be “medically fixed” and all their problems are solved. This however is not the case, and the majority of disabled organisations recognise this. While people with disabilities are different, that is not inherently a bad thing - the reason we can’t engage in society the same way as a non-disabled person, is because of society itself. 


We can see the medical model used within the Labor Party’s policy, in most of its platforms use outdated terms, and are consistent with this model, however the social model of disability is much more intrinsically linked with the Labor Party’s values. It is essential that the Labor Party makes a strong commitment to abandon the medical model of disability, and embrace the social model. 



NSW Labor firmly and full heartedly supports the Social Model of Disability, in line with all leading disability organisations in Australia. 



In Chapter 2: Stronger Democracy and Social Justice in paragraph 2.15, omit the word Supporting to “The inclusion of” 


In Chapter 2: Stronger Democracy and Social Justice, before paragraph 2.15 add the following paragraph:

NSW Labor adopts the social model of disability; believing that disability emerges

from interaction with an inaccessible environment with physical, attitudinal,

communication and social barriers. NSW Labor commits to breaking down barriers

and changing NSW to ensure everyone can access full inclusion in our State. 


Recognising Labor Enabled NSW Labor as the Action Network for Disability 


NSW Labor Enabled was set up in 2019 as an action network to ensure engagement of people with disabilities within the Labor Party. It is for all people who care about Disability-Based issues, but primarily works to ensure that People with Disabilities and Carers are active and involved in issues that affect them. It works to ensure that people with disabilities and carers have the skills to engage, as well as an avenue to do so, in order to create a just and fair society, while listening to what matters to us, and how issues affect us. 



NSW Labor recognises that NSW Labor Enabled is the action network for disability within the party. 


NSW Labor commits to empowering people with disabilities to talk about their experiences, and advocate for changes that will positively affect them and their community, and recognises that NSW Labor Enabled is one method of doing this. 


Updating Labor’s Language around Disability


Our current NSW Labor Platform still contains examples of outdated language about people with disability. The following motions propose to resolve these issues in our platform so that our language is consistent with best practice. 


Motion 1 background: The current wording of paragraph 1.13 has a great aim, though its wording is somewhat patronising to people with disability in suggesting they must be ‘catered for’. Inclusive and accessible design standards benefit everyone, not just people with disability. Further, the listing of three types of disability narrows the scope of disability and is not necessary to define with our current understanding of disability.


Motion 2 background: The NSW Labor platform should use person-first language to describe people with disability, this puts the person first and the disability second. Identity-first and other problematic or ableist language should only be used by people with disability who choose to do so.


Motion 1

In Chapter 1: Building Sustainable Communities, paragraph 1.13:

  • Add the words ‘In partnership with people with disability,’ at the beginning of the paragraph

  • add the words ‘inclusive and accessible’ after the word ‘develop’ 

  • omit the words ‘to cater for the specific needs of people with physical, intellectual and psychiatric disabilities’

so that it reads:


1.13 In partnership with people with disability, NSW Labor will develop inclusive and accessible design standards.


Motion 2

Replace the identity-first language in the following paragraphs with person-first language:

  • In Chapter 1: Building Sustainable Communities, paragraph 1.117, replace the words ‘disabled persons’ with ‘people with disability’

  • In Chapter 2: Stronger Democracy and Social Justice, paragraph 2.20, omit the words ‘for the most difficult of cases’ and replace with ‘for those who can’t access other services and supports’

  • In Chapter 3: Our Economic Future, paragraph 3.28 (10), replace the words ‘the disabled’ with ‘people with disability’

  • In Chapter 5: Education and Skills, in paragraph 5.1 in the fourth bullet point, remove the words ‘and/or special needs’

In Chapter 6: A Healthy Society, paragraph 6.22, replace the words ‘severely disordered or disabled people’ with ‘people with profound psychosocial disability or other types of disability’

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