Working in the disability sector is very different from your average nine to five desk job. There are many rewards and challenges, and no two days are the same. However, as a disability support worker, you have the opportunity to help improve the quality of life for others. If that’s something you’ve always aspired to, then a career in the disability sector could be what you’re looking for.
Experience and qualifications
Work as a disability support worker can begin before commencing a qualification, and without any previous experience. Having said that, some knowledge of the industry in advance can help you prepare. Familiarise yourself with knowledge such as the 12 Disability Services Standards rules. These rules tell Disability Employment Services how to provide good quality service to people with disabilities. Being aware of the 12 Disability Services Standards demonstrates your commitment to the benchmarks for working in the disability sector. Similarly, although a qualification is not essential, completing a Certificate III and IV in Disability Work will also improve employment prospects. The most important qualification to have though, is the right attitude. When working with disabled people, it’s important to see them as valued individuals who have an abundance of capabilities. Your main goal, is to provide encouragement and to help them achieve their full potential.
There are many different roles that need to be filled in the disability sector. Nonetheless, they all fall under four main areas. Below is a general rundown on what each of those areas entails.
Personal Care is about helping people with disabilities to maintain an independent lifestyle. These roles provide support with life skills such as cooking, household maintenance, personal hygiene, mobility, and exercise. Personal Care offers people the flexibility they need to live their lives.
Community and Social Support
Community and Social Support works to assist people with disabilities to achieve life, recreation, employment, and educational goals. These roles provide support for adults to live rich and rewarding lives. This pathway is suited to workers who are organised and target oriented.
A Therapy Aide assists clients at home, or in a community setting, and under the direction of a qualified professional. Assistants may construct, adjust and fit aids and equipment, including splints. They may also assist clients with self-care, daily living skills or rehabilitation activities and equipment.
Service Management manages the workforce and resources that support people with disabilities to achieve their goals and aspirations. This gives them the ability to live in their community as they choose. Good service management is vital to ensuring a smooth running ship, and so suits those with previous management backgrounds.
Disability support workers help people develop skills that enable them to live as independently as possible. These roles make a massive difference to another person’s quality of life, and bring great satisfaction to those providing the support. Working in the disability sector is a rewarding career option filled with exciting challenges and opportunities.