A real job: from dream to reality

It would have to be one of the most universal human desires: to be useful. To find a vocation, do it well, and to be fairly rewarded for doing it. Ideally, we find a job doing something we have an interest in, and so we can enjoy it too. The benefits of being employed have been proven time and time again. They include:

Increased confidence and self-esteem
Created feeling of contribution and social inclusion
A greater sense of identity and purpose
Greater independence
Improved general mental health
Helping to promote recovery and rehabilitation from illness
Improved financial situation, and thus, greater control over one’s life and choices
The opportunity to make friends (Mental Illness Foundation of New Zealand, 2007)

Unfortunately, people with disabilities face barriers to employment, including blatant and inadvertent barriers raised by employers – and many employers do admit being reluctant to take on a person with a disability.

But the good news is that most of the time, this reluctance doesn’t stem from a prejudice about the person themselves, or their abilities or disabilities. The reluctance comes from a lack of confidence in their (the employers) ability to effectively facilitate the employee in the workplace.

A 2010 report by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research, titled “What would it take? Employer perspectives on employing people with a disability”, says the “disability confidence” of employers is very low, meaning employers don’t feel they have enough knowledge and/or resources to manage the employment of someone with a disability.

Fortunately, thanks to the NDIS, the employment landscape is changing, and opportunities for people with disabilities to secure jobs are growing. Under the NDIS, there is increased investment, demand, and available options for people with disability. This increased investment will require significant growth in the number of workers across the disability sector and in the range of skills and abilities required to meet new demand, needs and expectations. As such, employers are also being supported and educated to feel confident employing people with disabilities.

As an NDIS service provider, I Can Direct can help you plan for a future that includes employment. We can connect you with disability service providers in Queensland that are right for you and that will assist you to make your plan a reality. These can include vocational education and training, employment services, or other things you need to start a great job.

For more information on how you can make I Can Direct your NDIS provider, please contact us on 0414 611 168 or book your free two-hour consultation with us by clicking here.


Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, 2007, ‘Return To Work: Returning to Work after experiencing mental illness and other mental health issues’ Auckland, www.mentalhealth.org.nz

NCVER, 2010, ‘What would it take? Employer perspectives on employing people with a disability’ Adelaide, https://www.ncver.edu.au/

Get social! Family, friends, and new horizons

Where would we be without our families? They are our first source of social interaction, and for many of us they remain our most reliable source of connection, support, and fun.

Making social connections, having fun and being spontaneous are things that enrich our lives and make us more worldly people. We are all naturally curious, and exploring the world and social opportunities around us are essential to a full and healthy life.

Having a disability can pose challenges to creating and maintaining these connections. Engaging in certain activities, meeting new people, and taking trips and holidays can be hindered by disability requirements.

Meeting these extra needs, however, is the job of many people and services. With the upcoming rollout on 1st July 2016 of the NDIS, providers such as I Can Direct are in an ideal position to help connect you with disability service providers across Brisbane and Queensland that can help meet your social needs.

You could be interested in leisure activities such as movie nights, BBQs, and trips to concerts and events. You may want to join a club or a group with a shared interest. Perhaps you would like to take up a hobby such as art classes, music, craft, sport or acting. Volunteering appeals to many generous people who want to support a worthy cause and meet new people at the same time. Take a break from the everyday by going on a trip or holiday with friends or family. The choice is in your hands.

Wherever your interests lie, there are disability service providers across Queensland that you can connect with, and I Can Direct can help you plan a vibrant social life.

Furthermore, creating good quality connections is not only fun, but has significantly improves our health in many ways (Seppälä E., 2012):

It strengthens our immune system and helps us recover from disease faster.

It lowers rates of anxiety and depression.

It helps us have higher self-esteem, and be more empathic, trusting, and cooperative with others. As a result, others are more open to trusting and cooperating with us.

Being socially connected therefore generates a positive feedback loop of social, emotional and physical well-being. It is also important to remember that the connections that can be achieved are real, quality connections. Online friends are great, and a full social life will include quality people on- and off-line. Planning for a full social life with I Can Direct as your NDIS service provider can be one of the best choices you’ll make.

For more information on how you can make I Can Direct your NDIS provider, please contact us on 0414 611 168 or book your free two-hour consultation with us by clicking here.


Seppälä E., 2012 ‘Connect To Thrive: Social Connection Improves Health, Well-Being & Longevity’ City, https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/feeling-it/201208/connect-thrive

Countdown to the NDIS

Years of planning, lobbying, and hard work are on the brink of culminating on 1st July, 2016, when the full NDIS scheme will start to be progressively rolled out in all states and territories (except Western Australia).

The NDIS was the dream of many supporters, organisations, families, and individuals when they began the Every Australia Counts campaign on Australia Day, 2011. Two key campaigners throughout the campaign were John Della Bosca and Andrew Gibson, and they are amazed at how far things have come in five years. Watch their inspiring Australia Day 2016 message here: http://www.everyaustraliancounts.com.au/top-five-for-five-incredible-years/

The dream was to create essential reform in Australia for people living with a disability. By the admission of our very own Productivity Commission, the current system is “unfair, underfunded, fragmented and inefficient.” Something had to change.

Now, with a new phase of disability support just months away, we can look at some of the key ways that the NDIS will change lives:

Giving people with disability choice and control. The NDIS places choice and control of services into the hands of people with disabilities and their families.

Allowing us to determine our own future. The NDIS connects participants with community and mainstream supports and funds reasonable and necessary to assist people with disabilities to pursue their goals and aspirations, and participate in daily life.

Reducing the huge pressure on families. Placing control of support and funds into the hands of families means that they can decide how to allocate the funds, and so provides more appropriate assistance to the people who most need it.

Growing Australia’s workforce. The NDIS is creating a huge demand for disability services that will need to be met by a suitable workforce. Jobs will be created for existing disability services, and the NDIS will also support people with disabilities gain employment, thereby producing a double jobs boom.

Making a better Australia. Of course, the NDIS is about more than disability support. The Every Australian Counts campaign (now supported by the NDIS) has also sought to help the public understand that the opportunities and lifestyles of people with disabilities are important. It is necessary that along with the increased opportunities and participation of people with disabilities that there be a greater understanding and inclusion by the general community of people with disabilities. These changing attitudes will then be reinforced by the increased visibility and recognition of people with disabilities in the community thanks to the NDIS, to ultimately work towards true belonging. This is a need we all share.

I Can Direct can help you make the most of the NDIS by connecting you with disability service providers across Queensland. For more information on how you can make I Can Direct your NDIS provider, please contact us on 0414 611 168 or book your free two-hour consultation with us by clicking here.

To read about the full journey of achieving better support for Australians living with a disability, from approaches post-WWII to the transformative change we are now seeing with the NDIS, click here: http://www.everyaustraliancounts.com.au/about-ndis/journey-so-far/

Breaking Barriers Opening Doors, Logan City 2015 – Q&A

Learn more about the disability sector in Logan, what options and opportunities are available in Logan.

Facilitated by Cr Swenson, the “Question and Answers” (Q&A) forum provides an opportunity for the community to ask questions related to services and options available to people with a disability.

The panel will answer and clarify questions around current issues such as the NDIS, housing and accommodation, and much more.

I Can Direct Launched!

Homelife Assoc. Inc. is pleased to announce the launch of its new initiative ‘I Can Direct’ at the ‘Is Everybody Here Day’ at Centenary Lakes in Caboolture on the 26th September 2014 from 10am.

You are welcome to come and meet the team and learn more about how I Can Direct may assist you.

Look out for the I Can Direct banners, stall and the website http://icanderect.org.au for more information.

Click to listen highlighted text!