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2021 Disability Scholarship Program

January 28th, 2021 by tperry

Department of Justice and Community Safety 2021 Disability Scholarship Program NOW OPEN


Partners In Wellbeing

January 25th, 2021 by tperry

Partners In Wellbeing Program

Neami National, EACH and ACSO are proud to announce the launch of the DHHS funded Partners In Wellbeing Program from now until June 30, 2021. 

The Partners in Wellbeing program will provide specialist psychosocial and wellbeing supports across Victoria via telephone and video technology to people with experiencing poor psychosocial health and mental-ill health in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The wellbeing coaching and practical supports delivered through this program will assist people experiencing psychosocial distress and mental ill health due to the COVID-19 physical distancing and isolation measures, including those who are required to self-isolate for whatever reason.

This includes people with lived experience of mental illness, as well as those experiencing poor psychosocial health for the first time due to the impacts of COVID-19.

The initiative will also support carers in the context of their own psychosocial health and the caring role, acknowledging the negative and fatiguing impacts of COVID-19 on carers wellbeing and resilience.

The Program opening hours are Monday-Friday 9am-10pm and Saturday/Sunday 9am-5pm

Target Group

The target group for the Partners In Wellbeing program is Victorians 16 or over who are:

  • experiencing increased life stressors and their usual coping strategies are not working
  • noticing signs of anxiety and/or depression that have lasted more than a few weeks, such as:
    *low mood i.e. feeling down
    *feeling overwhelmed and unsafe
    *low energy
    *feelings of hopelessness
    *fear, nervousness or worrying
    *avoidance of social situations
    *thoughts of self-harm or harm to others.
  • not currently receiving a Commonwealth or state funded community mental health psychosocial support service, including the disability support from the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Note: This is a voluntary service and diagnosis of mental illness is not an eligibility requirement. 

*Priority will be given people at high risk of relapse in their mental health condition or psychological state to prevent avoidable relapse, ED presentations and hospital admission and/or risk of self-harm or suicide.

They are now open for referrals so please get in touch via the following contact methods:

  • Central Phone Number: 1300 375 330

Awareness Days for Disability Inclusion 2021

January 25th, 2021 by tperry

Campaigns and Awareness Days for Inclusion of People with Disability at Work

Campaigns and awareness days related to the inclusion of people with disability are listed below (thank you to AND for this list). 

Awareness days can help promote a culture of inclusion and demonstrate your commitment to a workplace that is accessible, safe and supports everyone to reach their full potential. 

This guide is designed to help you plan for and contribute to key global and national campaigns for inclusion of people with disability in 2021. 

*For more information, see the full article at Australian Network on Disability.

Stepping Into Winter 2021

January 15th, 2021 by tperry

Stepping Into Internship Program – Nominations Open for Winter 2021!

The Stepping Into Program has connected 1,508 students with disability to leading Australian employers since 2005.

87% of Stepping Into supervisors agreed that they were ‘more confident about managing or supporting a team member with disability’ after participating in the program.

Engaging with the Stepping Into program is simple. Australian Network on Disability (AND) find talented students with disability and assess their eligibility.

They’ll manage student and workplace briefings prior, as well as the evaluation and feedback process after internships are completed.

Dates for the Winter 2021 Program

  • Complete the Stepping Into Participation Form with a detailed position description by 28 February 2021.
  • Commence interviews in May after AND has completed screening and shortlisting.
  • Run internships in July

Dial in to a free webinar for more information

Isabel Heiner, Program Manager, will discuss the Stepping Into Winter 2021 process, timeline, the support AND provides hiring managers and supervisors, and great outcomes from our last Program Evaluation.

  • When: 2:00-2:30pm Tuesday 2nd February 2021
  • How: Click Here to Join the Webinar (or dial in to the audio at 1800 571 212, Conference ID: 575 182 743#)

*Please advise if you have any accessibility requirements for the session. We can arrange live captioning with 72 hours notice.

Still working from home due to COVID-19?

Reach out to AND to discuss how you can still plan for a Stepping Into intern with flexibility in work arrangements.

  • Contact Isabel Heiner on 03 9614 2089 or if you have any questions.

Specialist Disability Accommodation Available

January 7th, 2021 by tperry

Specialist Disability Accommodation Apartments Coming to Clayton South!

  • Do you need to find a new place to live because your current home isn’t meeting your disability needs?
  • Do you need a lot of disability support (more than 6 hours every day)?

Then Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) might suit you.

Here are some short videos that explain SDA.

Our SDA Housing Advice Line can answer your questions about SDA – call 1300 61 64 63.

Huntington Apartments at Jacksons Green – Clayton South

This development includes 10 SDA apartments.

The SDA apartments are High Physical Support and Fully Accessible design category, which means they are for people who use a wheelchair.

If required, the High Physical Support apartments are also able to have a ceiling hoist installed and things like doors, lights, blinds and air conditioning can be automated.

Huntington Apartments will have an onsite hub for 24/7 ‘concierge’ support. This means there is always support close by if you need it, but not in your apartment. You choose who provides your day-to-day supports.

You can read more about these SDA apartments here.

Are these apartments right for you?

  • Are you over the age of 18 and eligible for the NDIS?
  • Do you use a wheelchair?
  • Do you want to live on your own?
  • Do you want to use technology to do more things for yourself, so that you don’t need as much support?
  • Can you spend time on your own in your home without support (but with access to on-call support if you need it)?
  • Can you live close to your neighbours (sharing lifts, corridors and common spaces)?

If you answer ‘yes’ to the questions above, then these apartments might suit you.

But I don’t use a wheelchair!

There are other SDA properties in other locations that are for people who can walk unaided but who still need a high level of support each day.

More information

  • To find out more call our SDA Housing Advice Line on 1300 61 64 63 or contact Penny Stevenson directly on 0477 714 317 (Voice or SMS) or email

PACE Mentoring: Applications Open!

December 21st, 2020 by tperry

Applications for PACE Mentoring 2021 are open now!

PACE Mentoring is an industry mentoring program that matches jobseekers and students with disability to mentors from leading Australian businesses. It is free to participate, and gives jobseekers an opportunity to develop employability skills and confidence in a workplace setting.

To apply for PACE Mentoring, click here. Applications close 28th February 2021.

PACE Mentoring Information Sessions

Over the coming months, the AND Programs Team will be hosting online information sessions to provide more information about the PACE Program.

We invite you to dial in if you are a student or jobseeker with disability, a parent or carer of someone with disability, or you work with students and jobseekers with disability.

The session times are: 

  • Tuesday 19th January 4-5pm
  • Thursday 4th February 3-4pm

*(Melbourne/Sydney/Canberra Time)

Click here for information on how to join.

How it works

Students and jobseekers are paired with an experienced industry professional who will arrange 8 mentoring meetings within a four-month period.

The meetings last between one and two hours. Pairs discuss the mentees career goals and aspirations, and mentors help to develop a personal and professional development plan.

Conversations include:

  • Reviewing resumes
  • Writing cover letters
  • Practicing mock interviews
  • Worksite visits
  • Networking with other professionals
  • Discussing workplace adjustments
  • Building confidence

Who are the Mentors?

In 2021, we have mentors with a range of professional backgrounds from organisations including ANZ Bank, Nestle, SBS, IBM, Gilbert + Tobin, Department of Finance, Accenture, Bendigo & Adelaide Bank, Melbourne Water, Arup Group, Court Services Queensland, RMIT, QBE, NAB, Dentons, AGL, Jacobs, VIC Department of Justice.

Mentoring opportunities are in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth & Adelaide. There are also some virtual mentoring opportunities for students and jobseekers based in other locations across Australia.


Anyone 18 years or over with any type of disability, mental health condition or chronic illness is eligible for the PACE Mentoring Program.


Applications close 28th February 2021.

  • If you have any questions, or require an alternative application method, contact the team at or call 03 9621 2276.

Supporting Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students Online

December 15th, 2020 by tperry

Guidelines – Supporting Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students Online

ADCET and the NDCO program are excited to launch Guidelines – Supporting Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students Online. This resource is a part of a COVID response project, funded by DESE.

Content includes the impacts and challenges of online learning and provides information around everything from using captions, speech to text technology and tips and tricks when teaching.

The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic led to multiple challenges across all levels of education. Many of these challenges centred around the provision of accessible and inclusive online education for people with disability.

The guidelines were developed by Joe-Anne Kek-Pamenter who works at Griffith University and is Deaf herself. And the project was overseen by Cathy Easte, Bobby Blackson and Gary Kerridge.

How to Avoid Eyestrain and Dry Eyes

December 8th, 2020 by tperry

How to Avoid Eyestrain and Dry Eyes When Staring at a Screen All Day

*By Optometrist and Dry Eye Clinician (and former Monash student) Dr Leigh Plowman

Do you stare at a screen all day?

When you’re trying to apply yourself for study, screen time is important to help you succeed.

You may be using assistive devices, electronic text or software to make seeing easier.

You may even be spending some of your recreation time looking at a screen.

Increased screen time can lead to Computer Vision Syndrome. This may cause symptoms like:

  • Tired eyes
  • Sore eyes
  • Dry Eyes
  • Watery Eyes
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Light sensitivity

When you stare at a screen, your eyes have to do three things.

They have to focus or adjust to what you’re looking at. Like a camera on your smartphone.

Secondly, both eyes need to point at the same thing smoothly and comfortably.

Thirdly, your eyes need to keep an even layer of tears across them.

The longer we stare at a screen, the more potential strain on each of these parts of our eyesight.

Whether you use a laptop, smartphone or tablet, your eyes tend to blink less often and less fully. This may be because you don’t want to miss a detail in what you’re looking at. Your brain subconsciously tells you not to blink.

Studying and screen time go together. But what if you could reduce screen time even while studying all day?

9 Tips to Avoid Eyestrain and Dry Eyes

  • Put your most addictive devices in another room

When you’re studying, put your phone on a bench or desk in another room. Or put it in a drawer that’s a few metres away from you. Separate your working space from your sleeping space, if possible.

  • Add a simple blink app on your laptop

Eyeblink is a simple app that you can put on your laptop or desktop. It works for Mac or Windows. It’s like a blink coach for your laptop. It monitors your blinking. The app reminds you to have regular breaks, or do blinking exercises. I use it myself and love it for writing articles.

  • Use more printed material

Studies show that our blink rate improves when reading printed material, compared to staring at a screen. Be environmentally friendly. Print on both sides of paper. Use recycled paper where possible. Give your eyes a break from staring at a screen. Read from a paper copy instead.

  • Switch to more comfortable contact lenses

If you wear contact lenses, screen time can make them feel uncomfortable or gritty. Your eyes can appear blurry or filmy. Look for contact lenses that have the best built-in moisture. Talk to your optometrist about daily disposable lenses. If you need special contact lenses, these can also be tailored to staying moist and comfortable.

  • Don’t use screen time as a reward

Looking for a mini-reward? Indulge in a one-minute mindfulness break. One example is a smartwatch apps called ‘Breathe’. After you come back to your task, you’ll feel great and come back to your task refreshed.

For bigger rewards, avoid using Youtube or Netflix as a reward. Put on your favourite music. Go for a walk, ride or run. Buy yourself a coffee at your favourite café.

  • Boost your non- screen time activities

Love getting a mental boost from exercise? Book exercise three times per week. You may find that exercise in the morning or afternoon is more energising for you. You’ll benefit mentally, physically and your eyes will feel better too.

  • Define roles for your device

Do you rely on your laptop for study? Minimise activities on your device that are leisure related. Keep those activities for a separate device. Use your main device for purposeful, interactive study uses. Avoid passive scrolling or incidental chores.

  • Track your smartphone usage

Your smartphone can help you to track your usage of your phone. It’s easy to setup. You can view your daily or weekly statistics. See which apps you spend the most time in.

  • Book an eye test

Ever had an eye test? Are you due to get your eyes checked? Your Optometrist looks in-depth at your eyes. They assess how well your eyes to focus and work together. If it’s been more than one year, you might want to consider making an appointment.

If you’re looking to apply yourself in your study, these tips can help you to avoid eyestrain or dry eyes.

Add the easiest tip first. Then add more tips to help you to build momentum.

For more information about Monash Disability Support Services, including assistive technologies, visit this link .

Bullied, Belittled and Dumped

December 2nd, 2020 by tperry

Bullied, belittled and dumped for having cerebral palsy, Dale wouldn’t change a thing about herself


Dale Weller has had to fight, figuratively and literally, to be treated just like everyone else.

She wants others with disability to know they can still embrace themselves when others won’t.

“How can you value yourself when others go out of their way to tell you you’re not worth anything? My life with cerebral palsy (CP) hasn’t been easy. Not so much because of the CP, but because of how others treat me when they see I’m disabled.” – Dale Weller

Industry AccessAbility Week

November 20th, 2020 by tperry

Join the GradWISE Industry AccessAbility Week!

Monday 8th of February to Friday 12th of February

Would you like the inside scoop from leading industry employers in preparation for your 2021 Graduate applications?

If you are a university student living with a disability, mental illness or injury, we would like to invite you to join GradWISE’s Industry AccessABILITY Week!

This is a jam packed week, showcasing a wide variety of industry partners who will share information about their organisation, the application process, and tips to help you stand out in your application.

Presenters include:

  • Deloitte
  • Telstra
  • Coles
  • Department of Defence
  • Victorian Government
  • Accenture
  • EY
  • NBN
  • Red Cross
  • And Many More!

*To join GradWISE’s Industry Accessibility Week, Register Here!