What types of jobs are there available in the disability support service?

What types of jobs are there available in the disability support service?

For anyone with a passion for caring for and supporting others, or looking for meaningful work with flexibility, a role in the disability support sector may be right for them. It is an industry that has grown dramatically since the creation of the NDIS, and there are many varied roles suitable for a wide range of skill sets.

One of the most hands-on jobs is that of a Disability Support Worker. This frontline role works directly with the person with a disability, to assist them in their daily lives. Responsibilities are extremely varied depending on the needs of the participant. Some participants may need support with personal care, eating or moving around, whilst some others may require less hands-on support like mentoring, developing life skills or maintaining employment. 

Whilst the role does not require any formal qualifications and can include on-the-job training, many employers view formal training as an advantage. Certificate courses are available through TAFE or other training providers and can help candidates stand out when submitting applications for disability jobs. 

The job of a Disability Support Worker is incredibly important, as it is the role that interacts most closely with the person with a disability and has the greatest impact on their quality of life and wellbeing. For someone who has a passion for helping others, and thrives on knowing they are making a positive impact on someones’ life, the role of Disability Support Worker may be right for them.

Another job that has a direct impact on the daily experience of an NDIS participant is that of a Support Coordinator. This role helps arrange the services or “supports” a participant needs. They take the support recommendations a person with a disability has been given, and arranges the individual providers to deliver the services. 

Many NDIS participants will coordinate their supports themselves. But for others, they may find using a Support Coordinator is a more appropriate or efficient way of managing their funding. If a participant has a complex support plan, or if they find coordinating their supports difficult, using the expertise of a Support Coordinator will make this process easier and less stressful for the individual.

Support Coordinators are experts at connecting participants with the right supports and providers in their area, and have a big impact on making life easier for the person with a disability.

Case Managers also work in the area of facilitating supports for a person with a disability, but rather than focusing on individual supports and providers, they will oversee an individual's case as a whole. This means they are across the person’s eligibility, available funding, allocation of funding and any changes that may occur in circumstance.

Similar to Support Coordinators, no formal qualifications are required, but many in these roles pursue a Diploma in Community Services which can provide valuable knowledge and experience one could bring to a role, as well as offering an advantage when applying for jobs.

Disability Support Workers, Support Coordinators and Case Managers are some of the main roles working at the heart of the disability sector, but there are a number of other specialist roles which play important parts in the industry.

Enrolled Nurses (ENs) and Registered Nurses (RNs) are often employed at residential or respite care accommodation to care for participants. ENs can provide basic care and medical support, whilst RNs are able to conduct tasks like administer medications, as well as oversee ENs and other care staff.

Occupational Therapists are often involved in the support of a person with a disability, and help individuals form processes and strategies to regain or maintain independence. It is their remit to work with an individual to understand what their limitations or restrictions might be and to develop means to improve or overcome them. One example of this is helping a person with a physical disability move more freely within their environment, whether that be by improving their own movement or by optimising their environment to be more accommodating.

Speech Pathologists assist people in developing or improving their communication and speech via various means. If someone's disability means their ability to speak is hindered, a Speech Pathologist can assist them with exercises or tools to make communication easier. Just like ENs, RNs and Occupational Therapists, Speech Pathologists are required to undertake formal university study to achieve the appropriate qualifications.

As you can see there are many roles that go into supporting people with disabilities and each has an important impact on different facets of their lives.

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