Region 16 Updates


Region 16 Pam Anderson - Monday, January 14, 2019


In this section: ADHD | Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) | Autism Spectrum Condition | Blind and Vision Impaired |Deaf and Hard of Hearing |Health Condition | Intellectual Disability | Specific Learning Disability | Mental Health Condition | Physical Disability | Videos

A student’s transition into post-secondary education is often a steep learning curve. Adult learning is mostly self-directed. Students engage with large quantities of written and audio-visual materials, navigating databases, operating software packages and listening to teachers and other students. It is essential to introduce students with disability to user-friendly, reliable technology that meets the demands of a complex learning environment.

Inclusive technology* plays a key role in making post-secondary education accessible to students with disability:

  • text-to-speech allows students with learning disability to access reading materials;
  • FM hearing transmitters allow many students who are hearing impaired to access what a lecturer is saying in class;
  • screen-reading allows students who are blind to use a computer; and
  • voice recognition allows many students with muscular difficulties to use a computer with greater ease. 

There are many more technologies that assist students in accessing their studies as well as achieving their goals in the workplace and in their personal lives.

Inclusive technologies are made available through a broad range of hardware and platforms. Many are available for smartphones, for tablets, for Windows and Mac computers, on USB or online. In some cases, hardware is specific to the particular technology. The platform and hardware can be matched to a student’s learning needs and study environment.

Students vary in their knowledge of inclusive technology; some may have no knowledge at all whilst others will already be experienced in using technologies to access their studies and demonstrate their knowledge. The role that inclusive technology plays in facilitating equity access is acknowledged by the World Health Organisation’s 2016 publication of Priority Assistive Technology Products List.

This section of the website offers insight into inclusive technologies relevant to students with particular disabilities. The main functions of each type of technology will be explained. Where there might be differences between products, these will be considered in terms of the benefit they offer to students.


NEW National Multilingual Disability Hub

Region 16 Pam Anderson - Monday, January 14, 2019

Dear Colleagues,

Settlement Services International has launched a new National Multilingual Disability Hub. The Multilingual Disability Hub is a multilingual hotline and website that will provide relevant and easily accessible information about disability and NDIS in 14 different languages.

To visit the website:


Pam Anderson

NDCO Region 16


Mobile: 0418108555


Region 16 Pam Anderson - Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome back to 2019!

For your chance to win a $50 gift voucher (of your choice) and for us to receive your valuable feedback, please click on the survey link below.

Your feedback will help determine NDCO Region 16 future direction over the 2019-2020 period.

The survey will only take a few minutes of your time.

Thanking you in advance,

Kindest regards,

Pam Anderson

National Disability Coordination Officer

Western Victoria

Region 16

Mobile: 0418 108 555


NCVER 28th National VET Research Conference - NO Frills

Region 16 Pam Anderson - Thursday, December 20, 2018

About the conference

NCVER is delighted to co-host the 28th National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference 'No Frills' with TAFE SA in Adelaide on 10-12 July 2019.

'No Frills' is a well-known annual national conference where researchers, practitioners, providers and industry representatives come together and share knowledge, ideas, insights and solutions surrounding Australia’s VET sector.

The conference also provides valuable professional development opportunities through a program of hands-on pre-conference workshops incorporating activities on data and research analytics, and research practice.

The 2019 conference program will focus on The student journey: skilling for life.

Who should attend

  • Educators
  • Researchers
  • Policy-makers
  • Registered training organisations
  • Schools and universities
  • Research organisations
  • Commonwealth, state and territory education and training authorities
  • Industry bodies
  • Employer groups
  • Not-for-profit and community associations
  • Private consultants

Call for presentations

We now invite abstracts for presentations and poster sessions for the 2019 conference.


The theme for the 2019 conference is The student journey: skilling for life.

As explored at past ‘No Frills’ conferences, the world of work is changing, driven by rapid technological evolution in an increasingly global society. It’s almost certain that the skills we develop today won’t be enough to operate or compete effectively in the workplaces of tomorrow.

Will it be enough for our future workers to earn a single qualification or learn only a few different skills? Where do employability skills fit into the mix?

While every student’s journey is different, more and more research and discussion points to how workers must become lifelong learners to enable them to grow and evolve with their jobs. VET plays a critical role in making this happen.


We are seeking presentations that explore this theme and further our understanding of the issues it raises among youth and older workers now and into the future. Presentations on similar topics will be scheduled in streams to promote ongoing discussion among presenters and attendees around those themes.

We seek informative, relevant and thought-provoking presentations that:

  • showcase quality research with a sound evidence base
  • focus on findings and recommendations
  • engage the audience.

Presentations can highlight research that is either in progress or complete. We strongly encourage both early career and established researchers (including those who are new to VET), as well as employers, industry, providers, and practitioners to present.

Why present?

  • Contribute research to the future of Australian VET policy.
  • Promote your research at a major national research conference to research, industry, provider and government representatives, which may open further opportunities for you.
  • Network with national and international VET professionals and learn from each other.

All presenters (both oral and poster) must register for the conference as a full paying delegate. Further information on registration fees will be available early in 2019.

How to submit an abstract

To have your work considered for the program, you must submit an abstract online by the date listed below.

Visit the Abstract Warehouse website for more information and to begin the online submission process.

Key dates  
Monday 18 February 2019 Abstract submissions due
Friday 8 March 2019 Abstract acceptance notifications
Monday 18 March 2019 Program release and registration opens
Monday 1 July 2019 Presentations due
Wednesday 10 July 2019 Conference begins


Registration will open in March 2019 to coincide with the release of the conference program. A range of packages will be available up to the value of $500.


NCVER is offering a range of scholarships to presenters to assist with the costs of attending the conference.

Scholarships are valued at $1,200. This covers full conference registration at $500 (which includes pre-conference workshops, welcome reception and conference dinner) and $700 to support travel, accommodation and other related sundries.

Scholarships are available in three categories:

Scholarship type Criteria
Early career researcher Available to any person who has a research degree (or degree with a strong research component) within the last six years and who is currently working in a research-related role
Researcher Available to anyone working in a VET-related research role
Practitioner Available to those involved in the delivery of vocational education and training, preferably directly

How to apply for a scholarship

1. Submit an abstract via the online abstract submission process and tick the box indicating your intention to apply for a scholarship.

2. Complete and submit the online scholarship application form by COB Monday 18 February 2019.

Terms and conditions

Successful applicants must:

  • provide original receipts or invoice for expenditure incurred for travel to and from the conference and accommodation in Adelaide to a maximum of $700 for reimbursement
  • attend the conference from 10-12 July 2019
  • consent to their personal information such as name, title, abstract and photo being made available for promotional use by NCVER.


Co-hosted with TAFE SA, the conference will be held at the TAFE SA Adelaide campus, located at 120 Currie Street, Adelaide in the CBD.


There are a number of accommodation options available for a range of budgets close or nearby to the venue.

The Adelaide Rockford is the closest to the TAFE SA, and the Oaks Embassy serviced apartments, Peppers on Waymouth and Stamford Plaza are just a few others which are a short walk to the venue so you are sure to find accommodation that suits your budget.

About Adelaide

Adelaide is a gateway to some of Australia’s best wine country and is dotted with historic buildings, lush parklands and sprawling botanic gardens. Some of the world's most renowned wine regions - The Barossa, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale and Adelaide Hills - are food and wine meccas, offering some of the most exclusive, unique and boutique drinking and dining experiences in the world.

The city centre is a vibrant, safe and sophisticated square mile that shows off a picturesque colonial heritage. Adelaide has one of the fastest airport to city transfers anywhere in the world (just 10 minutes) with regular direct international and domestic flights. Adelaide ranks as the most affordable capital in Australia as well as being undoubtedly the most walkable, making it easy for delegates staying in the city to walk with ease to and from the venue.

General information

Conference contact (including abstract queries)

June Ingham
National Centre for Vocational Education Research
Level 5, 60 Light Square, Adelaide SA 5000
08 8230 8491

Connecting the Dots - Rural Youth Sector Conference

Region 16 Pam Anderson - Thursday, December 13, 2018

Connecting the Dots - Rural Youth Sector Conference, Ballarat 12 & 13 February 2019

The conference

Youth Affairs Council Victoria’s Connecting the Dots conference will bring the rural youth sector together across two days and one night to explore the latest research, trends and best practice from the field in the areas of youth health, wellbeing and safety.

Designed by rural youth workers for youth sector professionals who are working or volunteering with young people in country Victoria, the conference offers an opportunity for the rural youth sector to strengthen networks, develop new connections, hear from a range of passionate presenters and attend thought-provoking workshops.

Save the date

The conference will be held across multiple venues in Ballarat’s CBD on 12 to 13 February 2019. Ticket prices are inclusive of the conference dinner at the Forge Pizzeria.

To accommodate attendees travel to and from the venue, and recognising that many youth sector professionals work part-time, the conference will commence at 1pm on Tuesday 12 February and conclude by 1pm on Wednesday 13 Feb. Scholarships are available that cover both conference registration and travel costs.

Program highlights

Keynote address

Dr. Ani Wierenga – University of Melbourne and the Centre for Adolescent Health

Guest speakers

Liana Buchanan - Victoria's Principal Commissioner for Children and Young People

Justin Mohamed – Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People

Dr Catherine Orr – Gateway Health Wodonga on behalf of the Centre for Excellence in Rural Sexual Health

Deb Tsorbaris - Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare

Conference dinner and networking event

This event will be held at Forge Pizzeria’s Housey Housey venue.      

Tickets and registrations

Tickets for the Connecting the Dots conference are available now. Please book online here.


Tuesday 12 February 2018 - Day 1


Conference opening

Guest speakers: 
Liana Buchanan, Commissioner for Children and Young People
Justin Mohamed, Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People


Keynote address: 

Dr. Ani Wierenga, University of Melbourne and Centre for Adolescent Health

Afternoon tea/registration continued

Small group workshops focusing on youth mental health, child safety and cultural safety


Sector consultation and networking session


Official close of Day 1

Wednesday 13 February 2018 - Day 2

Opening address

Guest speaker:
Deb Tsorbaris, Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare

Guest speaker:
Dr. Catherine Orr, Gateway Health Wodonga on behalf of the Centre for Excellence in Rural Sexual Health

Morning tea

Small group workshops focusing on tackling domestic violence, sexual health promotion and resourcing the youth sector to support our most vulnerable young people.

Conference close

Official close of Day 2

Post conference event

1.30pm to 4.30pm
CERSH sexual health skill development training, Ballarat


Region 16 Pam Anderson - Saturday, February 03, 2018

Webinar: Customised Employment - streamlining sustainable transitions

Date:              Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Time:              WA: 10.00am–11.00am                        NT: 11.30am–12.30pm

                        Qld: 12.00pm–1.00pm                          SA: 12.30pm–1.30pm

                        ACT, NSW, TAS, VIC: 1.00pm-2.00pm

Through the NDIS people with disability are increasingly seeking transition to work supports. Join us in this webinar to gain knowledge and an overview of tools and resources to support people who want to work and achieve suitable and sustainable employment using a Customised Employment approach.

This webinar will:

  • Provide an overview of the Customised Employment approach
  • Encouraging families to be part of the transition journey
  • Explore how to maintain successful workplace partnerships
  • Broaden thinking around employment supports
  • Question and Answer session

Webinar details:    Auslan interpreted, live captioned and recorded 

60 minutes duration, FREE to participate

Click on the following link to register:


Accessing the NDIS

Region 16 Pam Anderson - Friday, September 01, 2017
Accessing the NDIS Permanent and significant disability One of the requirements needed to access the NDIS is evidence of what the NDIS calls a permanent and significant disability.  The NDIS defines a permanent and significant disability as having all of the following factors:
  • The person has an impairment or condition that is likely to be permanent (i.e. it is likely to be lifelong)
  • The impairment of the person substantially reduces their ability to participate effectively in activities, or perform tasks or actions
  • The person’s impairment affects their capacity for social and economic participation
  • The person with disability is likely to require support under the NDIS for their lifetime

During the NDIS Access process people with disability need to complete some documents to show they are eligible for the scheme.  The “Evidence of Disability Form” is one of these documents.   People with disability who currently receive supports via designated State or Territory Government programs, will enjoy a streamlined process to access the NDIS.  

People in “Defined Programs” will be contacted directly by the NDIS National Access Team, who should already have most of their relevant information.  It is hoped that this means people already approved for support in their State or Territory will get into the NDIS quickly.  Similarly, the NDIS Access process includes a “List A” of conditions that the NDIS accepts will mean people will be eligible for the NDIS.   

People with an impairment or condition on List a will also get a streamlined accede to complete Part C of the Evidence of Disability Form. This makes the NDIS Access process a quicker and less stressful experience for those with List a conditions.  There is also a “List B” of conditions, which usually include permanent impairments where the functional capacity of the person is variable, and the NDIS requires further assessment and evidence of their disability before the person can be accepted as an NDIS Participant.  

This does not mean people with List B conditions are not eligible for, or won’t get into the NDIS; it simply means they must complete more of the Evidence of Disability Forms than those with a List a Condition need to. It is important to know that the NDIS places more importance on the “functional capacity” of a person with disability, rather than their specific diagnosis of disability or illness.  

This means the NDIS looks at what supports a person with disability needs to live an “ordinary life: and not the health effect of their disability or illness.  As a result, when people with disability are collecting evidence to access the NDIS, it may be just as appropriate to collect it from allied health professionals such as physiotherapists and occupational therapists, as from doctors or other medical professionals.

How will the process work when the NDIS is available?

People with disability who are already accessing services from a State or Territory Government may be automatically eligible for NDIS, meaning they meet the access requirements.  The NDIS calls these state and territory government services “Defined Programs” For example people with an Individual Support Package (ISP) in Victoria, or people in NSW accessing services from EnableNSW. 

The purpose of Defined Programs is to make the transition easier for people who are already eligible for similar support programs they have been accessing through states and territories.  For example. Those who are in Defined Programs do not need to fill out as much paperwork as those who are not.  Another benefit of the easier access to the NDIS for those in Defined Programs is that it will make the process of accepting the large number of new NDIS Participants easier to manage for the NDIS itself.  Those people with disability who are not in any Defined Programs, or are not accessing any services at all will need to go through the standard NDIS Access process. 

  • It is important to know that the NDIS is not income support.  The Disability Support Pension (DSP) is for Australians with a physical, intellectual or psychiatric disability unable to work for more than 15 hours per week because of their disability.  The only change with a DSP will be mobility allowance as this will now be the NDIS responsibility and should be included in your plan...

Once the National Access Team of the NDIS has confirmed a person with disability meets the initial NDIS Access requirements, or the person is in a Defined Program, they will become an NDIS participant.

After this process, a different NDIS representative (LAC) will contact the NDIS participant to go through the process of getting an approved NDIS First Plan.  Three steps are needed before the NDIS participants receives an approved NDIS First Plan:

  1. Getting Plan Ready (working out support needs)
  2. The Planning Conversation
  3. NDIS Plan Approval

 Please note the first plan will focus primarily on specific support needs of the participant.  The second plan will add aspirations, getting a job, etc.

NDCO Region 16 - West Vic News Autumn 2017

Region 16 Pam Anderson - Monday, March 27, 2017

West Vic News

Autumn 2017

National Disability Coordination Officer Program Region 16

 Welcome to autumn 2017! I hope you are well on your way into the New Year and have noticed how quickly Easter is approaching….it will be Christmas again before we know it…Yikes!

 Passport 2 Employment (P2E) recognised in Western Australia!

In December last year, the NDCO and Brad Charman (Glenelg Shire Council) proudly presented a program developed by the Glenelg Southern Grampians Transition Action Network and Glenelg Local Learning & Employment Network called Passport 2 Employment (P2E) at the National Pathways 13 Conference in Canberra last year. The Pathways 13 Conference brings together disability practitioners, NDCOs and a range of other professionals from across Australia, and students with disability, to identify and remove barriers for people with disability participating in education and training. Our presentation at the Pathways 13 Conference was so well received that we were invited to present the program to the NDCO’s and a group of stakeholders in Western Australia.

On 27th February 2017 the NDCO headed to Perth and was warmly welcomed by Dale Arthur (NDCO Southern WA Coordinator), Mark Bateman (Northern WA Coordinator) and Alex Murphy (Perth WA Coordinator). The NDCO presented at National Disability Services (NDS) in Perth, Edge Employment Solutions, Subiaco and Worklink, Albany.  The P2E presentations were a hit among the NDCO’s and the stakeholders who attended.  As a result three working groups have formed to pilot the P2E partnership in Perth, Albany and Mandurah, Western Australia.

“The group I presented to was enthused and indicated that they would pilot the P2E program in Perth this year. The schools I spoke with  indicated there were at least twenty-seven students from Years 10-12 who would benefit from attending the program”

The P2E program aims to empower young people with disabilities to build their confidence and skills in leadership and self-advocacy. Since its establishment the program has been delivered in Portland, Warrnambool, Horsham, Geelong, Colac and Gippsland. The aim is to roll it out in a number of additional locations in 2017.

 “I would just like to acknowledge my appreciation and gratitude to the wonderful NDCO’s of Western Australia and the Glenelg Transition Action Network. I must also thank the wonderful organisation and people I work for, Ben and Sally, thank you for allowing me to take this journey!! I will never forget this experience,”

Best wishes,

Pam Anderson NDCO Region 16

Mobile: 0418 108 555



Priority Investment Approach to Welfare and Try, Test and Learn Fund

 Department of Social Services

NDCO Region 16 worked in partnership with NDCO NT (Julie Forrest Davies), Elicia Ford (NSW), Lloyd Gris (NSW) and Gillian Hilt (NSW) to submit three ideas for the national Try, Test and Learn Proposal (Priority Investment to Welfare Approach) Department of Social Services – Young Students at Risk at long term unemployment. Ideas submitted and deemed eligible as follows:

  1. Part time work and work experience for tertiary students with disabilities and mental health needs leads to greater success in securing long term employment
  2. Specialist Employment Service for Graduates with Disability
  3. Job Seeker App for PWD

About the Priority Investment Approach to Welfare and Try, Test and Learn Fund:

Under the Priority Investment Approach, the Government has commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to undertake an actuarial analysis of the social security system to identify risk factors driving long-term welfare dependency. This will help the Government to better assess the effectiveness of policy designed to decrease welfare dependency. New insights to be gained through the Priority Investment Approach will allow for the design and assessment of innovative policies which can increase the chances of sustained employment and self-reliance.

Under the Try, Test and Learn Fund, the Department of Social Services will seek evidence-based proposals for policy interventions from relevant Commonwealth agencies and external experts and from the not-for-profit and non-government sector who will all have access to the relevant data.

To review Try Test and Learn Fund successful submissions please click on link:

 Youth Mental Health First Aid Training. Central Grampians LLEN (CGLLEN)

NDCO attended Youth Mental Health First Aid Training at CGLLEN in Ararat held over two days. The course delivered by Grampians Community Health, provided an introduction to Mental Health Problems and Mental Health first Aid particularly focussed on youth – adolescent development, depression in young people, anxiety, eating disorders, psychosis in young people and substance use problems in young people. 

Australians aged 16-24 with common mental illnesses in any one year: Anxiety disorders: Males 9.3%, Females 21.7%, Substance Use disorders: Males 15.5%, Females 9.8%, and Depressive Disorders: Males 4.3%, Females 8.4% and any common mental illness: Males 22.8%, Females, 30.1%. 

The course focussed on self-help strategies for young people, professional s who can help and the important role of a Mental Health First Aider.  Mental Health First aid Action Plans have been developed for each mental health disorder in young people.  Action 1: Approach the young person, assess and assist with any crisis.  Action 2: Listen non-judgementally.  Action 3: Give support and information. Action 4: Encourage the young person to get appropriate professional help and

Action 5: Encourage other supports. 

For further information about attending a course in Western Victoria, please see link:

NDIS Understanding Workshops – Disability Loop and AFDO Project, Bendigo

NDCO attended a three day workshop delivered by the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations/Disability Loop in Bendigo recently. The sessions included:

  • How does the NDIS Work
  • Reasonable and Necessary
  • Planning and Standing Strong
  • I have my plan, what now,
  • Plan management explained and is self-management for me?

The workshops were delivered by Carl Thompson, a NDIS participant himself and focussed on the different disability support systems in Australia, why the NDIS is needed and how it is different to previous state systems. Many case studies were discussed in regards to accessing the NDIS during the trial phases.  People on the Disability support Register, Futures for Young Adults and in supported accommodation will be the first to transition to the scheme in each area.  Followed by people in residential institutions, community respite, therapy, PSD and HACC...

People with disability who are not in any Defined Programs, or are not accessing any services at all will need to go through the standard NDIS Access Process. People on Disability Support Pension with mobility allowance, will no longer receive mobility allowance once signed up in the scheme as it will become part of their NDIS Plan and paid every fortnight.  Currently, 30,000 people have NDIS Plans.  In addition to this, between 2016 and 2019 the NDIS will need to develop NDIS Plans for over 430,000 people across Australia.

 In regards to reasonable and necessary, supports must be reasonable, meaning they provide value for money – this does not mean supports should be the lowest price possible, but must bring a large benefit to the NDIS Participant.

Further information and resources can be found at and

Introducing “Nadia” NDIS new virtual assistant:

Nadia has been developed to provide people with disability with information about the NDIS when and how they want it. Initially Nadia will be used to answer the most common questions people have about the Scheme, but over time, with your help she will develop the capacity to provide detailed responses to a wide range of queries. Nadia has been co-designed by people with disability with the NDIS's Digital Innovation Reference Group taking the lead. Nadia will be accessible 24/7 through the myplace portal. She can speak, write and chat online and has been designed to meet international accessibility guidelines. The more interactions she has with people, the more her knowledge bank will grow. The plan is for Nadia to be released in a trial environment on the myplace portal in the next few months. Nadia will start as a "trainee". It will take 12 months and a great deal of interactions with NDIS stakeholders for Nadia to become fully operational. The Agency will hold information sessions to inform people how they can engage with and use Nadia over the next couple of months. Cate Blanchett donated her time to provide the voice of Nadia.

Professional Development, Conferences and Events

National Disability Insurance Agency Information Sessions NDIS, Western Victoria

The NDIA will be delivering Community and Provider Information Session on the NDIS in Western Victoria as follows.  Please check the sessions in your local area.

Community Information Sessions – What is the NDIS?: This information session will be delivered by NDIA staff and partners wanting to  start raising awareness and understanding of the scheme for potential participants, family, providers and community members

Provider Information Sessions – An introduction to the NDIS for Service Providers – This information will be delivered by NDIA staff wanting to start raising awareness and understanding of being a service provider for the NDIS for providers.

 Community Information Sessions

Horsham 5 April 2017

10.30am – 12noon  & 7pm-9pm

Grains Innovation Park

10 Natimuk Road, Horsham

Community Information Sessions

Hamilton 6 April 2017

11.30am-1pm & 7pm-9pm

Provider Information Session

2.30 – 4pm

Hamilton Performing Arts Centre

113 Brown Street, Hamlton

Community Information Sessions

Portland 12 April 2017

11.30am – 1pm & 7pm

Provider Information Session


South West Institute of TAFE

154 Hurd Street, Portland

Community Information Session Warracknabeal 19 April 2017

11.30am – 1.00pm

Yarriambiack Shire Offices

34 Lyle Street, Warracknbeal

 Community Information Session

Nhill 19 April 2017

7pm-8. Nhill Memorial Community Centre

77-79 Nelson Street, Nhill

 Community Information Session

St Arnaud 20 April 2017

5.00pm -7.00pm St Arnaud Town Hall

(Stewart Hall)

40 Napier Street, St Arnaud

St Arnaud

Community Information Session

Stawell 21 April 2017


Stawell Entertainment Centre

Auditorium Room

59-69 Main Street, Stawell

Community Information Sessions Warrnambool 11 April 2017

11.30 – 1pm & 7pm-9pm

Provider Information Session

2.30pm – 4pm

Warrnambool  Lighthouse Theatre

185 Timor Street, Warrnambool

National Disability Services VIC Conference 2017

Location: Melbourne Park Function Centre

Date: 27/03/2017 to 28/03/2017

 With the continued rollout of the NDIS, planning for change is something our sector understands. 

At the 2017 NDS Victorian State Conference we’ll be taking the conversation in the direction of exploring the realities, risks and opportunities of delivering change and creating great outcomes for both participants and provider organisations. With a diverse variety of insightful keynote speakers, professional development workshops and exhibitors, you’ll learn innovative and practical strategies that you can implement to: enhance opportunities for NDIS participants in their daily lives, strengthen disability culture and develop your organisation in a market environment.

Contact information

For registration and sponsorship/exhibitor queries, please contact Alyssa Mason at  or on 02 9256 3133

AGOSCI 13th Biennial Conference

17 - 20 May 2017

The Grand Hyatt, Melbourne, Australia

The AGOSCI Conference Theme for 2017 is "Ready, Set, AACtion". The conference is an opportunity for people who use AAC, their families, friends, work colleagues, and people who work within the area of Augmentative and Alternative Communication to come together to share their knowledge and skills. Registration for the AGOSCI Conference is now open. You can easily register via an online form or download the registration brochure and manually complete a form.

Register Online Now

AGOSCI Scholarship Information

Limited funding will be available for scholarships to support people with complex communication needs to attend the AGOSCI 2017 Conference.   Applications close 28 February 2017. Click below for further information on how to apply and who is eligible.

Policy, Research & Resources

Welcome to the Cultural Atlas

The Cultural Atlas is an educational resource providing comprehensive cultural information on the countries that Australia’s biggest migrant populations have originated from. The aim is to improve social cohesion in Australia and promote inclusion in an increasingly culturally diverse society. The Cultural Atlas was developed to supplement SBS's Cultural Competence Program. Click on link:

National Disability Practitioners (NDP) has unveiled its new website and is offering tailored development opportunities for NDS members.

NDP is a division of NDS committed to engaging, developing and supporting the disability workforce. Since launching in December 2014, NDP has grown to represent a community of more than 14,000 individuals. Members range from disability support workers to allied health practitioners, leaders, business support staff, students and volunteers. Individuals can join NDP for $45 per person, per annum. NDP recently unveiled a new website, The upgraded site showcases a growing range of member benefits and tailored resources. There you can download factsheets on a variety of topics, access up-to-date information on the NDIS, attend free online courses and view video content.

A skilled, informed workforce is crucial for the NDIS. As an NDS member, you have the opportunity to support the information, learning and development needs of your staff with an NDP group subscription. Group subscriptions start at just $20 per person, per annum*.

NDP strives to build and maintain a community of capable, professional and engaged individuals who are committed to delivering high-quality supports and life opportunities for people with disability. To find out more, visit or contact Belinda Allen, Executive Officer at phone 02 9256 3194.

Access and Inclusion Index

Access and Inclusion is the consideration and incorporation of the needs of people with disability in all areas of an organisation’s operations. This means ensuring that people with disability have equal access to employment, training and development, products and services, premises, communication and information communication technology.  For more information about the Access and Inclusion Index and how to use it go to

Document Accessibility Toolbar (DAT)

An innovation that revolutionises the ease and speed of creating accessible documents in Microsoft Word, the Document Accessibility Toolbar (DAT) supports individuals and organisations to embrace accessibility as ‘business as usual’ at no cost.  The DAT puts the power of accessible functionality into the hands of content authors, for the ultimate benefit of consumers with disability or age-related impairment.

Decision-making support: Building Capacity within Victoria

The aim of the Supported Decision Making Project was to build knowledge on how people with cognitive impairment can be supported to make major life decisions, such as post-school options and accommodation. The research, conducted by La Trobe University, explored the processes and dilemmas associated with supporting people with cognitive disability in decision making. The outcomes of the research were then used by Scope to develop a range of resources to improve knowledge and build capacity in the area of decision-making support. The multimedia and print resources target families and carers, service providers, and legal professionals.

Disability Knowledge Clearing House

The CADR Disability Knowledge Clearing House exists to help us understand 'what works, for whom, under what circumstances, at what cost’. Here you will find a repository of links to a wide range of disability research and evaluation resources. CADR is constantly adding material to this site with the aim of building the most comprehensive collection of disability research and resources for the Australian context.

Downloadable Disability Access Symbols

There are over 54 million citizens with disability who want and need access to work and the buildings in which people work. Apart from all ethical considerations, the law demands that people with disability are accommodated. These symbols advertise your accessibility to employees, customers, audiences, and anyone else who needs access to your building or offices. Examples of places you’ll want to promote your accessibility include: advertisements, newsletters, conference and program brochures, membership forms, building signage, floor plans and maps.

Employ Outside the Box

Employ Outside the Box is a series of publications to encourage businesses to diversify their workforce. By providing a clear business case and a systematic approach to internal procedures, the guides help businesses to hire people with disability, mature-age workers, Indigenous Australians and other categories of people with skills to offer.

Get Ready Workbook Series

The NDCO program has developed a series of workbooks for young people with disability, a chronic medical condition or a mental health condition to help plan life after school. These workbooks are based on the top ten tips for moving into post school education, training and employment pathways.  They contain practical activities, facts on rights and responsibilities, useful links and more! There are three workbooks: Get Ready – Top Tips for Students with Disability; Get Ready – Top Tips for ATSI Students with Disability & Get Ready – A Guide for Parents. The workbooks are FREE to download and can be progressively completed electronically and saved to a computer.  There is also a plain text version for users of assistive technology and an Easy English version of the Student and ATSI workbook for people with low literacy or language skills. You can download all versions at

Person-Centred Practice across Cultures resources

Person-Centred Practice Across Cultures is a series of resources focusing on the crucial importance of cultural awareness and sensitivity in disability support and service delivery.  There are 14 workbooks to assist you to be sensitive to and maximise cultural and linguistic diversity in your work. They cover issues such as choice and control for CALD customers, attracting people, engaging with local communities, bilingual workers and interpreters, and the business case for culturally-sensitive service delivery. The Person-Centred Practice Across Cultures project was designed by futures upfront for NDS. Funding was provided by the NSW Department of Family and Community Services, Ageing, Disability and Home Care.

Supporting tertiary students with ASD

Information for university and TAFE students diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), their parents, and tertiary staff interested in learning more about ASD. This information pertains to supporting students with an ASD in academic settings and comes from a variety of sources including local and international information, peer reviewed research and research conducted at OTARC (funded by DHS, Victoria).  The information provided is general and not targeted for specific tertiary institutions.

Consultation Overview – Victorian State Disability Plan 2017-2020

The Victorian Government consulted with a wide range of stakeholders to develop the Victorian State Disability Plan 2017-2020.  The Consultation overview provides a summary of key ideas that emerged from a formal consultation period that ran for six weeks from May to July 2016. The key ideas are presented by the themes of the discussion paper that was released as part of the formal consultation.  To assess the Consultation Overview please visit:

Victorian NDCO’s

The NDCO Program works strategically to assist people with disability access, and participate in ‘Tertiary Education’ and subsequent employment, through a national network of regionally based NDCOs. There are 31 NDCO regions in Australia with 7 in Victoria. Each NDCO region has an Advisory Committee with representation from key regional stakeholders. In Victoria the NDCO program has also established a state network to work on collaborative state priorities.  You can access contact to all Victorian NDCO’s via the state website:

The Wonderful World of Work - A Workbook for Asperteens

Region 16 Pam Anderson - Friday, December 11, 2015

ASPIE EMPLOYEES (Jeanette Purkis 2014)

Some people call Asperger's syndrome a disability or a deficit.  Some of them think that people on the Autism spectrum are incapable of doing all the things that other people can do, like going to mainstream school, socialising, having empathy, playing sport or working.  This is not a very helpful way of treating people on the Autism spectrum and sometimes it can pull us down and make us feel inadequate.  There is another way of looking at this issue and that is that we can do anything we choose to.  Our Aspie thinking styles and understanding of life are actually positive attributes which others value.  Qualities like honesty, dedication, loyalty and integrity are very common among people with Autism, and almost everyone, Autie or otherwise, values these qualities in a friends or in an employee.  There are examples of people on the Autism spectrum doing all sorts of things that people might not expect them to be able to do.  Asperger's is not necessarily a disability; its just a different way of processing information and approaching the world.  Often what makes it a disability is the attitudes of other people and society generally.  If everybody in the world had Aspergers, the world would still function.  It would function in a different way to what happens now, but it would still work!

Author:  Jeanette Purkis (2014) - The Wonderful World of Work - A workbook for Asperteens

You can buy the whole book from the following websites:

Jeanette has also published "Finding a Different Kind of Normal - Misadventures with Asperger Syndrome" available online.



The Human Library - a Unique Experience for IDPWD!

Region 16 Pam Anderson - Tuesday, December 01, 2015

The Human Library ... where the Books are Alive

As part of International Day of People with Disability, the City of Greater Geelong is hosting the "Human Library …where the books are alive".

The Human Library brings people together and invites them to have a one-to-one conversation about the lived experience of disability.  It's a great way to break down barriers, encourage understanding and learn about the impact of disability.
How it works

The Human Library works in the same way as a regular library but instead of borrowing a book, visitors borrow a person, that is a Living Book.  They can then have a direct, one to one conversation with the Living Book as a way of learning more about disability.

Details can be found in the International Day of People with Disability 2015 Program.

For further information, contact Sandra Muratti.

03 December 2015, 11:00 AM - 02:00 PM
Where: Market Square (next to Novo Shoes)
Parking available
Toilets available
Undercover areas
Wheelchair accessible

Further information

Contact: Sandra Muratti
Phone: 03 5272 4743