UNSW’s Disability Innovation Institute (DIIU) promotes equality for people with disability by creating and sharing knowledge which is interdisciplinary, innovative and inclusive. Aligned with the UNSW 2025 Strategy, the Institute guides UNSW to global leadership in disability scholarship to tackle topics relevant to people with disability in innovative ways. DIIU is a world-first initiative that connects UNSW scholars, community, industry, services, government and practitioners, both nationally and internationally


The Institute’s Research portfolio aims to build and sustain interdisciplinary teams and projects to tackle topics relevant to people with disability and promote inclusive research as standard practice, with people with disabilities as thought leaders and actively involved in research.


The Institute’s Education portfolio increases the capacity of UNSW for innovation in educational development, design, content and delivery related to disability. Inclusion is at the centre of all the Institute’s education activities and is achieved by providing guidance, support and evidence-informed expertise. The Institute also contributes to developing operational excellence in disability-inclusive knowledge and practice across UNSW.

What we offer the UNSW community

  • Connecting researchers and building partnerships with government, industry and the community to leverage successful research proposals
  • Leading inclusive approaches to practice in disability research and education for UNSW staff and students
  • Providing guidance, support and evidence-informed expertise to UNSW divisions and faculties
  • Building and showcasing innovative practice through public events including our interdisciplinary research seminars and deliberative dialogues around relevant interdisciplinary topics
  • Providing seed funding for UNSW research teams to conduct innovative and inclusive research, with the aim of establishing or advancing interdisciplinary research in the field of disability that is scalable and sustainable
  • Supporting internal stakeholders to build UNSW capacity and knowledge about Universal Design for Learning
  • Offering subject matter expertise to divisional stakeholders to enable high-quality initiatives to deliver relevant disability knowledge and programs

The team

Directors Academic leads Professional support

Professor Jackie Leach Scully


Professor Iva Strnadová
Academic Lead Research


Marie Delaney
Acting Manager


Professor Leanne Dowse
Associate Director


Associate Professor Terry Cumming
Academic Lead Education






Rosemary Kayess
Academic Lead Engagement




How you can get involved

We invite you to share your disability-related research, education and knowledge exchange activities, ideas and collaborations. We offer UNSW research groups, staff and students a range of options for affiliation with the Institute.

Send us an email (diiu@unsw.edu.au) and one of our team will get back to you.