Changing Attitudes

The Attitude Foundation has been created with the purpose of relieving discrimination of people with disabilities in Australia through inclusion, integration and empowerment in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

There is a very strong case for changing Australian society’s attitudes toward people with disability.  As part of reviewing the NDIS proposal from the Federal government, PWC stated:

“The biggest challenge for Australia is to provide an environment for change which allows for a cultural shift across all parts of our society.  Active participation of those with a disability in society generally can only occur with a change in attitude.  This is something that can’t be legislated; people need to see the reason why change is important.” (Disability Expectations: Investing in a better life, a stronger Australia, PWC, November 2011)

A number of reports exist supporting the proposition that greater inclusion of people with disability will drive social and economic change.

Triggering a transformational social and cultural shift to improve inclusion for people with disability will provide benefits to:

  • The community;
  • Workplaces;
  • The economy; and
  • The individuals themselves.

Changing attitudes through the TV series

"As a person with disability, and having been the Disability Discrimination Commissioner for eight and a half years, I know the importance of telling compelling stories about disability when engaging with the community." Graeme Innes AM

The Foundation’s goal is to drive a material change in attitudes and lives through the creation of a television documentary series with real stories of people with disability told by people with disability.

The documentaries will change people’s attitudes by delivering insight and shaping a new understanding of disability in Australia, framed in terms of possibilities and positivity.  They will not focus on a victim or hero mentality but show people with disability as agents of their own destiny to drive a fundamental attitudinal shift in our community.

The content and targeted focus we propose is essential to spark conversations, deliver subtle messaging and position people with disability as role models, leaders and to be successful in life.

Televised content is powerful and can change people’s thinking, attitudes and behaviour. Telling our stories demonstrates the benefits gained by full inclusion of people with disabilities.

We are discussing broadcasting the series with the ABC to reach a national mainstream audience.

CEO Alex Varley explains the strategy behind making a television series in more detail in a blog posting.

The Foundation is seeking financial support for the key activities that are outlined in the Attitude Foundation Business Case Summary:

  • Production of a major television series of up to 13 episodes
  • Creation of a web portal for online viewing, including full accessibility (audio description and captioning)
  • Commissioning a research program to measure the effectiveness of the campaign in promoting attitudinal change

Taste Creative has been selected to produce the series, largely due to their approach to inclusive film making. Their not-for-profit sister organisation, Bus Stop Films was awarded the Community Organisation Award at the Human Rights Awards, for its contribution to inclusion in the film industry.


When the Human Rights Commission produced the video series 20 Years 20 Stories it was evident that the short videos produced had a profound impact on people's lives – we heard that all around the country. A number of our board members were directly involved with the commissioning and development of this content and got to experience firsthand the effect it had on attitudes and the empowerment it offered to those effected by discrimination.

We heard about one young woman with an intellectual disability (let’s call her Sally) turned to her mother after having attended the launch in the ACT and said: "I'm moving out'. Nothing conveys a message like video, and we can't wait to see these Attitude-sponsored films screened on ABC TV. You can help us get these incredible stories of determination and inspiration screened on national TV.

Below are a sample of the 20 powerful stories produced:

Graeme Innes Vs Rail Corp

Room for Change

Driving Change


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