Disability Language and Courses

Disability is an umbrella term for impairments of body function or structure, activity limitations or participation restrictions [1]. Disability may be hidden or visible, permanent or temporary, and can result from accidents, illness or genetic disorders. It’s important to remember that there are many different kinds of disability that can have a vase range of impacts on someones mobility, ability to learn things, or ability to communicate easily [2].

Below we have compiled a small number of courses which provide awareness and further understanding into the multitude of disabilities, as well as different perspectives & stories of people with disability.

However! Before you get to the courses:

Disability is often a sensitive topic and the choices people make about language have an impact on the way people with disability feel and are perceived in society. Terms are often used such as ‘victim’ or ‘sufferer’ that reinforce negative stereotypes and are disempowering, discriminatory, degrading and offensive [3]. It is the role of every member of our society to ensure our language and the way we talk about disability is respectful and conscientious.

The PWD Language Guide, TEDx Talk by Stella Young (2014) & SBS’s new show “What Australia Thinks About: Disability” below are great reminders of our shared responsibility to affirm and respect people with disability.

If you would like to explore disability further, please explore the free courses below.

CoursesFees / DurationDescription
Disability Awareness Training1hr, FreeThis Disability Awareness eLearning training resource seeks to challenge the ingrained cultural and attitudinal barriers that perpetuate this discrimination and provides participants with a general overview of the legislative framework which supports the inclusion of people with disability in Australia. This training is a requirement for all RDA(NSW) Coaches.
NDIS Worker Orientation Module1.5hr, FreeThis module is an interactive online course that explains the obligations of workers  – from the perspective of NDIS participants. It was developed in consultation with the sector, including NDIS providers and people with a disability.
Disability Awareness and Support7hrs, free, flexible trainingThe goal of this course is to promote equal opportunity and the full participation of students with disabilities in higher education by helping participants advance their awareness of the meaning of accessibility in education. Participants will gain competence and confidence in working with students by focusing on legislation, universal design, and assistive technologies
Able-Minded – Mental Health and People with Intellectual Disability10hrs, free, flexible training Gain an understanding of mental health issues and ethical decision-making for people with intellectual disability.
Through My Eyes – Intellectual Disability Healthcare around the World8hrs, Free, flexible training Learn, from personal stories, the daily life and challenges faced by those with intellectual disabilities.
Education for All: Disability, Diversity and Inclusion6weeks 3hrs/week, free, online, flexible trainingDiscover ways to make education more inclusive, especially in areas where resources are limited.
Global Health and Disability6weeks 3hrs/week, free, flexible training Leaving no one behind: disability, health and wellbeing in global development

Let us know if you have any questions, or if you know of any other great resources to share!
Return to our Volunteer Training page to continue learning.

[1] People with disability in Australia 2020: in briefAustralian Institute of Human Welfare. This report brings together information from a range of national data sources to contribute to a greater understanding about disability in Australia.
[2] What is Disability Australian Network on Disability. Factsheet explores the definition of disability, Who are people with disability, types of disability and employment and people with disability within the Australian context.
[3] Language Guide People With Disability. This guide has been written by people with disability to assist the Australian general public and media outlets in talking about and reporting on disability.

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