CDAH was originally known as the Hunter Disability Support Organisation and was formally launched at a public event in Newcastle in November 2012. The event, called "NDIS in the Hunter: Getting in Control", was attended by 180 people with disability and family members.
At the event participants heard about user led disability support organisations in the United Kingdom and the important and unique role such organisations have in ensuring people with disability have genuine opportunities to exercise control and choice, direct their supports and lead the lives they choose. Such was the enthusiasm, the decision was made to establish a user led disability support organisation in the Hunter.
CDAH's establishment and ongoing development was supported by a dedicated working party of twenty people who met fortnightly until we became an incorporated association with our own Board and constitution.
The establishment of the organisation was supported by funding from the Federal Government’s Practical Design Fund and hosted by the Physical Disability Council NSW, In Control Australia and Resourcing Families. With this funding we were able to create a resource documenting the process of establishing a user led organisation. CDAH is building bridges and an identity in the Hunter. Partnerships developed since our launch include Ethnic Communities Council of Newcastle and the Hunter, The Place, Charlestown Community Centre, Newcastle City Council, Maitland Neighbourhood Centre and the Family Action Centre at the University of Newcastle. In addition, CDAH retains strong ties to Family Advocacy, Physical Disability Council of NSW and In Control Australia.