Systemic neglect of the health care needs of people with intellectual disability: evidence, implications and actions

Julian Trollor

Chair, Intellectual Disability Mental Health; Head, Department of Developmental Disability Neuropsychiatry; Professor, School of Psychiatry; UNSW Medicine & Health

In its interim report in October 2020, the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability stated that “the evidence warrants finding that there has been, and continues to be, systemic neglect of people with cognitive disability in the Australian health system”. This finding was based substantially on the lived experience and research evidence related to people with intellectual disability, and those on the autism spectrum. This talk will review information about the health needs and gaps for people with intellectual disability, explore reasons for inaction on this issue to date, and discuss a range of potential solutions across disability and health sectors.


Julian is a neuropsychiatrist and holds the inaugural Chair of Intellectual Disability Mental Health at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). He also heads the Department of Developmental Disability Neuropsychiatry (3DN) within the School of Psychiatry at UNSW.

Julian and his 3DN team work to improve health policy, practice and supports for people with an intellectual or developmental disability. The team is involved in teaching, training, health promotion, and the development of educational resources.

3DN conducts research with high translational benefit to the disability and health sectors and provides consultancy of the highest standard, including clinical consultations, advocacy and contributions to policy and legislative reviews.