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Information about disability

The following information is a general overview of the more common disability. It is intended only as a starting point for getting to know and understand an individual with a disability.

Common Physical disability:

Common Neurological disability:

Common Sensory disability:

Common Developmental disability:

Common Psychiatric disability:

Myths about students and employees with disability

Institue (formerly TAFE) Disability Services Officers

Institute Disability Services Officers are available to co-ordinate the support and assistance that will help students with disability to participate more effectively and achieve better vocational and employment outcomes for students with disability.

Services offered to students with disability by Institute’s Disability Services Officers can include:

Adjusting training delivery and assessment

It is important to make sure that your training and support does not limit students with disability from participating in full or achieving their best. This means that you may need to make reasonable accommodation to your training delivery and assessment. Common accommodations made include, but are not limited to:

It is usually best to talk with the student to find out all the relevant and necessary information concerning their disability and any related participation issues. Many students do not volunteer this information because of fears that it will be used to exclude them.

You should reassure them that you are seeking this information to assist you to provide them with appropriate training and support. Information may also be available from the Institute (formerly TAFE) Disability Services Officer and other service providers associated with the student, such as secondary school staff, Group Training Organisations or disability employment agencies.

Traineeships and Apprenticeships for people with disability

In 2000, the Australian National Training Authority published 'Bridging Pathways: A Blueprint for the National Plan of Action for Increasing Opportunities for People with a Disability in Vocational Education and Training'. Bridging Pathways found that:

Apprenticeships and traineeships can provide an ideal learning environment and career development opportunity for many people with disability. Among the growing number of traineeships that are offered, some that are popular amongst people with disability include: automotive, business administration, building and construction, community services, food, hospitality, information technology, land care, light manufacturing, process manufacturing, office skills, retail, small business, transport and warehousing.

Some apprenticeships that people with disability are currently successfully completing include: auto mechanic, auto panel and paint, boilermaker, bread maker, cabinet maker, chef, electrician, hairdresser, mould and core maker, optical mechanic, plasterer, plumber and horticulturalist.

Many people with disability undertaking traineeships and apprenticeships are benefiting from the supports available through disability employment agencies and/or Group Training Organisations. The disability employment agency and the Group Training Organisations work together to support the trainee or apprentice, the host employer and the lecturing staff by:

Who else can help?

Students with disability are often overlooked in the fierce competition for graduate positions despite being as talented as their peers. They face greater difficulties because they often have low self-esteem, lack suitable working role models and do not have a network of people who could help them to establish a career.

Having a mentor who works in their area of interest increases their confidence, improves their morale, enhances their self-esteem and makes their transition to work speedier and smoother. It also increases the likelihood of them finding employment in their field of study and being fully included in a new organisation and work role.

Some disability employment services can assist students with disability to find a mentor whose own training and experience most closely matches the career of interest to your student. They can open the doors to their register of current employers of people with disability, as well as facilitate the mentoring relationship by providing knowledge in the personal and professional strategies that will assist students to establish a career in their field of study.

There are more than 30 disability employment services operating in Western Australia. They are located all around Perth and in regional centres such as Broome, Port Hedland, Karratha, Newman, Carnarvon, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Esperance, Albany, Bridgetown, Narrogin, Busselton, Bunbury, Collie and Mandurah. Your local Centrelink office will be able to provide you with information and contact details for disability employment agencies that operate in your area.

For further details contact ndco@edge.org.au.


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