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Education and Employment

Disability confidence training for professionals in Australia to launch soon

Assistant helping disabled woman in wheelchair move around city

First of its kind training will be developed and rolled out across universities and workplaces to increase the capability of professionals to better serve Australians with disabilities.

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said the Disability Best Practice Guide and Action Plan’s goal was to ensure people with disabilities were able to access services just like anybody else.

“We’re hoping to provide educational institutions and professional bodies with the tools they need to incorporate disability awareness and confidence into their training,” Minister Ruston said.

“It will build the capability of professionals while they complete their qualifications and throughout their careers so they are better equipped to meet the needs of people with disability.

“Nobody should be turned away or discriminated against because of their disability.”

The Disability Best Practice Guide and Action Plan will be underpinned by robust evidence and research and developed in consultation with people with disability and the disability sector, as well as academics, researchers and other experts.

Minister Ruston said the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) would receive almost $1 million from the Morrison Government to design the project and shape higher education curriculum to include disability confidence training.

“It is being developed to implement training for staff and sectors people with disability often interact with including health, education, social science and justice workforces,” Minister Ruston said.

Professor Richard Holden FASSA, ACOLA Board Chair welcomed the investment and said there was a pressing need to ensure professionals across various sectors better serve Australians with disabilities.

“This project will help inform what actions we can take, individually and collectively to deliver professional supports and services in a way that works for the whole Australian community,” Professor Holden said.

Following the development of the guide and action plan, the Morrison Government has committed an additional $1.6 million to implement it across learning institutions and industry bodies.

The new training forms part of Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-2031 as one of the first deliverables under the Community Attitudes Targeted Action Plan, which focuses on building confidence in the community to work and engage with people with disability.

Evidence provided to public hearings of the Disability Royal Commission has highlighted the need for consolidated training to increase disability inclusion.

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