Social, Recreation & Employment

Participating in positive social activities, recreation and work is an important part of your brother or sister’s identity, and a great way to increase their disability peer support.

People with disability can benefit from the sense of purpose and self that having a hobby, sport, professional life and friendships can give them, just like anyone else.

In fact, preserving community connections is an important safeguarding measure. The more people and networks we are meaningfully connected in life, the more opportunity there is to identify a concern or potential safeguarding issue.

Identifying social and recreation goals

If you’ve already completed our personal profile with your brother or sister, you may have identified some social or recreation goals that they would like to achieve. This might include joining a gym or sports team, volunteering or attending a class or workshop on a new or existing hobby.

Travel may be an important goal for your brother/sister, and while you may not be able to travel with them (nor may this be their wish) there are organisations that provide inclusive opportunities and adventures for people with disabilities to help foster community connections.

Consider an updated diagnosis

Your brother or sister may have received a specific diagnosis many years ago, as a child. Have you considered that, as diagnostic assessments have developed and evolved over the years, a diagnosis can change?

If it’s a been a long time since your brother or sister received a diagnosis, it’s possible that a current assessment may identify different or further disability. Consider talking to them about seeking an updated diagnosis.

The importance of meaningful work for people with disability

Meaningful work is important in everyone’s life. It provides structure, purpose and the opportunity for personal growth. Meaningful work is an innate human need and an essential part of our quality of life. Employment also has the added benefit of creating independence and a degree of economic security.

If your brother or sister has identified that gaining employment is a goal they’d like to achieve, there are plenty of resources and supports out there to help them achieve this.


Locate social & recreation providers

You can use the NDIS provider portal or the Disability Support Guide as a helpful tool to locate recreation, social and community participation and holiday/respite providers in your brother or sister’s local area.

Access the NDIS provider portal.

Access the Disability Support Guide.


Guide to employment

The Community Resource Unit’s handbook, ‘Why Employment Matters’, helps to prepare people with disability for seeking out and improving their employment opportunities and goals throughout their working life. It’s available in word and pdf formats.

Access Why Employment Matters.

About Disability Employment Services (DES)

Disability Employment Service (DES) is a government initiative that supports people with disability to find work and keep a job.

It is available to approved participants and has two parts:

Disability Management Service

Disability Management Service is for job seekers with disability, injury or health condition who need assistance to find a job and occasional support in the workplace to keep a job.

Employment Support Service

Employment Support Service is for job seekers with permanent disability who need help to find a job and who need regular, ongoing support in the workplace to keep a job.

Registered and approved DES providers can help approved participants to:

  • Get ready to work
  • Train in specific job skills
  • Write a resumé
  • Train in interview skills
  • Look for jobs that suit them.

Once a DES provider places someone in a job, they can also help with:

  • On-the-job training
  • Speaking to the boss and co-workers
  • Ongoing support in a job
  • Modifying a workplace
  • Auslan at work.

About Supported Employment for people with disability
Supported Employment is a means for NDIS participants who have funding for Employment Supports to enter the workforce and receive the supports and services they need to be able to have rewarding and meaningful employment.

There are a number of flexible supported and open employment opportunities, including social enterprise, for people with disability.


List of DES providers

The Australian Government Department of Social Services keeps a running list of registered providers around the country. It is available for download in pdf and word formats..

Access the list of DES providers.


Locate employment providers

You can use the NDIS provider portal or the Disability Support Guide as a helpful tool to locate employment providers in your brother or sister’s local area.

Access the NDIS provider portal.

Access the Disability Support Guide.

What you can do

Understand and facilitate supported decision-making for a person with disability

Every person has the right to make their own decisions, but sometimes, we need support. When someone needs help to make decisions, it’s called supported decision-making. And is based on making decisions with someone not for them.

Support with decision-making can come from family, friends, and other peers. Support can also come from service providers or other people, such as advocates. Supported decision making looks different for each person.


Easy Read & video

The Council for Intellectual Disability has created information about supported decision-making for people with intellectual disability. It’s called ‘I can make decisions’ and includes a downloadable two-page Easy Read document in pdf format, and a three-minute video.


Guide to NDIS decision-making

The Victorian Office
for the Public Advocate’s ‘Guide to NDIS decision-making’ and explores when a decision can be made by, with or for an adult with significant cognitive disability.


Lived experience video

Check out this NDIS
video where Luke from Inclusion Australia talks about supported decision-making
for people with disability.

Establish a Circle of Support for a person with disability

It is important to remember that there are alternatives to seeking formal legal orders (which might include guardianship and administration), such as establishing a Circle of Support to support you and your brother or sister with decision making.

A Circle of Support involves a group of people in your brother or sister’s life, who they know and trust, coming together to support formulating, promoting and achieving the goals of a person with disability. The circle acts as a community to support and provide practical advice, solve problems and generate creative ideas to contribute positively to a person’s life.



A Circle of Support for a person with disability can be whatever you make of them.




A Microboard is a similar concept to a Circle of Support but is legally incorporated to become a not-for-profit organisation that supports just one person. A Circle of Support often progresses to become a formalised Microboard.

Complete our personal profiles for future sibling planning

To ensure you can support your brother or sister to make important life decisions that are right for them, it’s important that you first ensure you understand what they want, what is important to them, and how they see themselves living their life for the foreseeable future.

That’s why we’ve created two helpful personal profile documents – a personal profile for your brother or sister, and a personal profile for you. Completing these profiles will help you to gain clarity on their wants and needs, keep track of relevant information and decisions, and enable you to reflect and plan ahead. It’s something you can do with your brother or sister, and you might even find it fun!

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