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Disability Awareness Training. ACHPER Training. Presenters: Mel Harrison 8 May 2009. PWD Services & Areas of Work. Individual A dvocacy Unit Systemic A dvocacy National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline (Hotline) National Disability Complaints Resolution and Referral Service (CRRS)

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ACHPER Training

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Disability Awareness Training

ACHPER Training

Presenters: Mel Harrison

8 May 2009

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PWD Services & Areas of Work

  • Individual Advocacy Unit

  • Systemic Advocacy

  • National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline (Hotline)

  • National Disability Complaints Resolution and Referral Service (CRRS)

  • Training

  • Information Services

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General facts about disability

  • 1 in 5 people or 20% of Australian population have a disability

  • Diverse nature of disability

  • Person first, disability second

  • Disability may be:

    • Hidden/obvious

    • From birth/acquired

    • Episodic/stable

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What is the definition of Disability

The Disability Discrimination Act includes:

  • Physical

  • Intellectual

  • Psychiatric

  • Sensory

  • Neurological, and

  • Learning disabilities, as well as

  • Physical disfigurement, and

  • The presence in the body of disease-causing organisms.

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Definition of Disability cont’d

The DDA covers a disability which people:

  • Have now,

  • Had in the past (e.g. a past episode of mental illness),

  • May have in the future (e.g. a family history of disability which a person may also develop),

  • Are believed to have (for example: if people think someone has HIV/AIDS).

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  • Range of accessibility barriers, including:

    • Physical eg inaccessible built environment

    • Mobility eg inaccessible means of transport

    • Communication eg inaccessible formats

    • Structural eg inflexible procedures and practices

    • Attitudinal eg prejudice and stereotyping

    • Financial eg transport costs, hidden costs of disability

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Societal Attitude

  • Past Attitudes:

    - invisible

    - victims

    - burdens

    - fear

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Disability neither subtracts from nor adds to a person’s humanity, value or rights. It is simply a feature of a person.


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  • Always refer to the person first, their disability second.

  • Empower people with disability to have control in their own life.

  • Don’t assume that people with disability need your help or can’t cope – always ask first - ask the person if they have any specific requirements

  • Developing positive attitudes will change the lives of people with disability

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