What is a Disability?
A disability is any form of restriction, limitation or impairment that can, or has the potential, to interfere with everyday functioning. Disabilities can be temporary or permanent and include developmental, cognitive, sensory, mental, physical and intellectual issues.
Disability in Australia
An estimated 4.3 million Australians report living with some sort of disability, 1.4 million of whom are experiencing severe core activity limitation. One in every five Australians have some form of disability and one in every three households include at least one person with a disability.
Approximately 2.7 million Australians care for someone with a disability and 68.1% of primary caregivers are women. There are also just over 58,000 disability services instructors and 130,000 disabled carers working across the country, who both earn an average salary of $62,000.
Disability service professionals can work in aged care facilities, hospital settings or even people’s homes. Depending on the role, they can be tasked with helping clients do everyday activities, such as dress, shop and socialise, or even assist with maintaining their personal health and hygiene.
A career in disability services requires a great deal of skill and knowledge so if you plan on advancing beyond entry-level roles, a quality education is a must. You’ll find a huge selection of disability and aged care courses to choose from right here, from qualified providers.
If you’re caring for someone with a disability or looking to step into entry-level roles on a professional basis, consider a certificate level program, such as a Certificate III in Aged Care or a Certificate IV in Disability. Not only will you learn a broad range of disabilities and master the art of providing quality personal care, you will get up to speed on the latest laws and regulations impacting the industry. Those ready to commit to a career in disability services will be well served by a diploma level course, which covers everything from complex care and case management, through to advocacy services.
Diploma programs can include a wide variety of disability course options in your local area including placement opportunities. There’s also several aged care courses online which are a great alternative than having to travel to a campus location, which isn’t possible for everyone. With a diploma under your belt, you’ll be ready for such roles such as a case manager and program service coordinator.
Investing in a bachelor level degree is a savvy move for those interested in advanced care positions who generally work with more severe and complex disability issues. Here you’ll learn the fundamentals of psychology, sociology, rehabilitation and special education. Many programs include an internship where you’ll get to put those new-found skills and knowledge into practice. Graduates will be ready to work in disability education, support, advocacy, respite and even government policy development.
Career Prospects in Disability Services
Disability services in Australia have come a long way over the years and according to Australian Government data, strong growth is expected throughout the industry for at least the next 5 –10 years. In fact, as many as 179,000 additional jobs in disability services are predicted to open across the country over the next five years, which means new graduates can expect plenty of opportunities.
Is a Career in Disability Services Right for You?
To thrive in this challenging profession, you must be a special kind of person, as not only will you need to have a genuine interest in the well-being of others, but also possess a huge amount of patience, a friendly manner and maintain a positive attitude during every shift.
Some roles require a great deal of physical strength and quality communication skills are a must. You’ll also need to know all about the latest industry legislation and the supports and services available to your clients. Think you’ve got what it takes to thrive in disability services? Simply find a course that suits your needs and take the next step in your personal and professional journey today.