Where can I go for further information?
The following resources have been compiled for parents, carers, early childhood educators and teaching staff who may be seeking further information about supporting children with a disability. A range of resources have been included but the list is not exhaustive. Since materials have been selected to represent differing perspectives, inclusion of a particular item on the list should not be taken as endorsement by KidsMatter.
Information about children with a disability
Australian Association for Children with a Disability provides links to Federal and State Government websites and national peak disability bodies as well as information relevant to parents and carers including access to services and supports and the Family Voices magazine.
National Disability Service website contains a comprehensive list of services arranged by State and Territories as well as information specific to children with disabilities.
Children, Youth and Women’s Health Service provides information on a broad range of physical and learning disabilities that can affect children and young people.
National Council on Intellectual Disability is the national peak organisation representing people with intellectual disabilities and their families. It offers information and advocacy at national level. The website also contains links to the State and Territory level agencies.
NSW Council for Intellectual Disability offers easy to read information and fact sheets and an information request service and library.
Information and resources for parents and carers
Yooralla provides essential services for children and adults with disability, their families and carers that include a range of accommodation alternatives, respite, in-home support, therapy, attendant care, specialised equipment, employment, recreation, information, education and training, and practical skills for daily living.
Action on Disability within Ethnic Communities provides support and information for children and people with disabilities and their families from culturally diverse communities. The organisation provides a lot of information and resources in many different languages.
Interchange programs are community-based, not-for-profit organisations established to provide family support and social opportunities for children and young people with a disability.
Early Childhood Intervention Australia provides specialised support and services for infants and young children with disabilities and their families in order to promote development, wellbeing and community participation. There is a chapter in each state and territory of Australia.
Raising Children Network is national website aimed at helping families care for children has a clearly written set of articles on disability, providing information to help parents come to terms with their child’s disability diagnosis, manage family life and choose the right service. A number of video clips with individual parents’ stories are available.
The Inclusion and Professional Support Program provides high-quality professional development and inclusion support to Australian Government-approved childcare service providers, regardless of geographic location.
- Inclusion Support helps childcare services to include children with additional needs, especially: children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, including children from a refugee or humanitarian intervention background; children with ongoing high support needs, including children with a disability and Indigenous children.
- Professional Support provides professional development and support to providers to enable them to build the skills of their staff to improve the quality of care provided. This includes building the skills and knowledge of educators, supporting the implementation of the National Quality Framework and providing professional development.
Resources for use with siblings
Siblings Australia is a national organisation committed to providing support for brothers and sisters of people with special needs; including disability, chronic illness and mental health issues. Its website provides a range of information for and about sibling issues and links to support programs and services.
- When a brother or sister has a disability or chronic illness
- Helping you and your family (for parents)
Kids’ Health is a website produced by the South Australian Children, Youth and Women’s Health Service, provides high quality information for children about having a brother or sister with a disability.
Siblink is a website created by the Association of Children with a Disability specifically for primary school children who have a brother or sister with a disability or chronic illness. It provides information, support and advocacy for specific disabilities and on feelings and support services for siblings. It also has interactive games and spaces where siblings can share their own stories.
Deaf Children Australia provides information, advocacy, support services and educational resources that respond to the needs of deaf and hearing impaired children and their families. Their website contains specific information regarding the education and wellbeing of primary school-aged children with hearing impairments.
Vision Australia provides a range of children’s services including support for blind or vision impaired children and their families before and during school. Their website provides information and resources for families and schools, links to other agencies and fact sheets specific to children who are vision impaired.
CP Australia is a national advocacy group that aims to promote the interests, rights, roles and wellbeing of people with cerebral palsy and similar disorders. The website contains access to a bi-annual newsletter, key government documents, and links to services in States and Territories.
Cystic Fibrosis Australia provides links to key support organisations in each State and Territory, and has information and resources that may be especially useful for teaching staff. School staff may be specifically interested in:
Epilepsy Australia offers counselling, support, and a national epilepsy helpline service. Their website provides high quality information about epilepsy syndromes and seizure first aid instructions.
Muscular Dystrophy Australia offers support for families who have children with muscular dystrophies and are highly involved in funding new research on the condition. Their website provides extensive information about the many different conditions that are labelled muscular dystrophies.
Down Syndrome NSW is an independent charity run by parents of children with Down syndrome who offer support to families and information to the community. Their website contains a list of resources for school staff and offers a range of resources in Chinese, Arabic and Vietnamese. It also offers an extensive library which includes a range of titles on topics such as education, social development and behaviour, and parenting.
Down Syndrome Victoria
Down Syndrome Victoria is a not-for-profit, membership-based association seeking to represent the needs and views of Victorians with Down syndrome and their families.
Information about other professional supports
Speech Pathology Australia is the national peak body for the speech pathology profession in Australia, striving for excellence and representing the interests of clients with communication, language, feeding and swallowing difficulties.
The Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) represents over 12 000 physiotherapists around Australia. Physiotherapists provide assessment and intervention for disorders which affect movement, which may be of physical or psychological origin. The APA works with governments and educational bodies to try to ensure that a quality physiotherapy service is available when and where you need it.
Occupational Therapy Australia (OTA) is the national professional association for occupational therapists in the public and private sector. Occupational therapists provide assessment and intervention in sensory processing, gross and fine motor development and developmental skills such as self-care and play. OTA contributes to and shapes professional excellence in health services for clients.