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More than one in six Australians are living with a disability and it is up to the federal, state, territory and local governments, along with businesses and the community to play a role in inclusion and support of people with a disability.

The purpose of Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-2031 is to provide national leadership towards greater inclusion of people with disability; guide activity across all areas of public policy to be inclusive and responsive to people with disability; drive mainstream services and systems to improve outcomes for people with disability; and engage, inform and involve the whole community in achieving a more inclusive society.

What does this Industry cover?

Through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and other specialised services, governments provide those with a disability assistance and support to fulfil their personal goals to ensure capability to live the life they chose. Support workers will assist to ensure that those living with a disability get the most out of the services that they access, by coordinating all the different support options available.

The NDIS intends to offer assistance to persons who require help with daily activities due to a major and permanent impairment. This includes those who have a physical handicap, a mental illness, or an intellectual, cognitive, neurological, or sensory disability.

It is important that support workers can negotiate with family, government and service providers to achieve the right outcomes for people with disabilities. They can remain calm in stressful situations and are respectful, show empathy and understanding.

Job hunting information

Employers are looking for staff that have ‘the right fit’ in terms of values, integrity and ethics, being friendly and open minded, having respect for the client, resilience, passion, common sense and interpersonal skills.

There are pathway options available for those working in the disability sector. An entry level role would be as a Disability Support Worker/Personal Care Worker. Other roles in the sector include: support coordinators, case managers, specialist support and enrolled or registered nurses.

Depending on the employer you may need formal qualifications such as a Certificate III or Certificate IV in Disability before commencing but others are happy to support you to achieve either of these qualifications through a traineeship model.

Whichever model you maybe employed under you will still receive lots of ‘in house’ and induction training to enable you to provide person-centred care to your clients.

Information for further research

Peak level associations, government and major employers publish industry information. Accessing industry association sites, including member lists, is a good way of building up an understanding of an industry. Visiting employer websites and looking for careers or employment menus helps identify how employers recruit and the skills they are recruiting.

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