Many people with intellectual disability experience short attention span, gaps in memory and difficulties with memory processing. The degree to which this has an impact on communication in the counselling context depends on each individual and how well the counsellor can assess the individual’s communication ability and adapt their practice accordingly.

For example, sometimes a client might need to talk about a particular topic or an experience they have had, that initially seems unrelated to the counselling session. In this case it is both helpful and respectful to allow the person some time to talk about their topic before focussing on the counsellor’s plan for the session. Seemingly insignificant topics might turn out to be important, and counsellors need to assess whose needs they are meeting if they feel tempted to dismiss apparently irrelevant topics brought up by their client.

Anxiety before and within the counselling session is common. This can be caused by the understanding of many people that counselling is ‘talk-based’, coupled with their fear of failing in communication (Dagnan & Jahoda, 2006). Learning to understand the way that anxiety impacts on an individual’s memory, attention and concentration is extremely important.

More frequent, shorter sessions can be helpful, as well as being prepared to work slowly and with repetition. Adjusting the frequency of your speech might also be necessary, to assist the person’s level of comprehension and retention of what you say and the questions you ask.

The use of imagery and creating a visual record of counselling sessions is a useful technique for recording and remembering counselling sessions, and as a way to review and see development over time. However, some imagery may not work with some clients, and this needs to be explored sensitively with each client to avoid insult and/or embarrassment. For example, creating drawings to record the session might seem child-like or embarrassing to many adults with intellectual disability. Normalising the use of drawing and artwork in counselling with adults can help to break this association. For example, the counsellor might say, ‘I really like to use drawings to help me understand some things, do you mind if we do a drawing of what we’re talking about?’ (For further discussion about using artwork and creative techniques in therapy, see the sections: ‘Exploring feelings through art’, ‘Sand tray therapy’ and ‘Art work therapy’.)

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From January 2018, the NDIS is rolling out to more areas in Queensland. All eligible people living in Rockhampton, Gladstone and west to the borders region will begin to enter the NDIS from 1 January. The NDIS will become available in Brisbane City north and south of the Brisbane River, the Gold...
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In 2018, the NDIS will be hosting provider forums across the country, including dates in Brisbane and Townsville. The forums are an opportunity for providers to hear the latest from the NDIA and key stakeholders in the sector. Forums will provide an update on the independent pricing review, the...
The NDS Queensland state committee invites service providers of the Sunshine Coast, Cairns and Fraser Coast regions to discuss questions around the NDIS rollout. Committee members hold a range of experience covering various rollout regions and service size, and offer an afternoon of sharing...
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National Disability Services (NDS) in conjunction with The MindShift Foundation invites you to the first CEO Boardroom lunch for 2018. The guest speaker is Fran Connelley, a non-profit marketing specialist and the author of How to thrive under the NDIS . At the lunch Fran will talk about the...
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The disability sector has a diverse range of jobs to match across a range of life experience, skills and qualifications. The Careers in Disability website is the place to get connected to vacancies and opportunities within the sector. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) creates...
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The ABC have announced a Regional Storyteller Scholarship for regional Australians with a disability, who are interested in enhancing their storytelling skills and experience. Worth more than $20,000, the scholarship is a bespoke ABC experience that will be tailored to the recipient’s content...
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Legal Aid Queensland has published a series of captioned recordings about their services on their YouTube channel . Videos for community, health and education workers can be found here and include their published community legal education webinars. The next webinar is Child Protection - the law and...
2018 Australasian Society of Intellectual Disability Conference will be held 14 - 16 November 2018 at the Gold Coast Convention Centre . The conference, ‘ Let’s Shake It Up: Human Rights for Everyone’ was developed by a group of Queensland self-advocates with an intellectual disability. The group...
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The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has announced that applications are now invited for NDIS Partners in the Community in identified areas of Queensland. In Queensland the NDIA is seeking Partners to deliver Early Childhood Early Intervention services and/or Local Area Coordination...
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has released details of a new NDIS pathway designed to significantly improve the experience people and organisations have with the NDIS. The 'pathway' refers to the experience participants and providers have from their first interaction to their...

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Are you looking for support in Queensland, or trying to find a service that meets your needs? Now you can search oneplace , the service directory hosted by the Queensland Family and Child Commission. oneplace is an easily accessible directory of community services to help Queensland families to get...
The Queensland Disability Housing Coalition (QDHC) is a Statewide, independent housing organisation advocating for the rights of all people with disability and mental health issues. QDHC works with people with a disability, their families and support networks, to identify issues and concerns...
Peak organisation for community services organisations supporting people with a disability. www.nds.org.au
Queensland Government web portal with resources to support people with a disablity. www.qld.gov.au/disability
Queensland government departmental website www.communities.qld.gov.au/disability
Legal Aid have a series of captioned recordings about Legal Aid Queensland services on their YouTube channel . Videos for community, health and education workers can be found here and include their published community legal education webinars. Upcoming webinars can be found on the Information for...
The Queensland Disaster Management website and the Get Ready website have a range of information and useful resources that can assist you to plan and prepare for an emergency. As part of your preparedness and planning for weather events, access regular weather forecast updates from the Bureau of...
To help prepare service providers for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) the Queensland Government, with support from the Sector Development Fund, has developed tools and resources to support organisations to respond to consumer demand in the NDIS. The project was delivered by the Nous...
The Queensland Government has collaborated with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to update the Preparing for the NDIS in Queensland factsheet. Another factsheet Find out more about the NDIS has also been developed which includes both NDIS and Queensland Government information sources. More information is available on the NDIS website.
The Queensland Government has introduced an online Queensland NDIS events calendar to connect Queenslanders with disability, their families and carers, businesses and service providers with NDIS related events across the state. The new tool allows people to search for events by region or audience (...
The Community Resource Handbooks were launched by Volunteering Queensland on 12 May 2015. They consolidate the knowledge gained through Volunteering Queensland's community leadership work with more than 2,000 community groups over the past fifteen years. The handbooks are aimed at small to medium...
Carers Queensland, in collaboration with Queensland Aged and Disability Advocacy (QADA), the Public Trustee, the Office of the Public Guardian and Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT), has launched a series of five new videos to help people better understand advocacy and legal...
The Yarning Circle is a collection of stories about and by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with a disability. These stories were produced to provide information about the state-wide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Disability Network and to start a conversation about the NDIS and...
Did you know that there are approximately two young carers in every classroom? Many young carers find that their overwhelming responsibilities at home affect their ability to keep on track at school. Young carers are less likely to complete high school if they do not receive any support, which...
How to Hear Me is a a resource kit for counsellors and other professionals working with people with intellectual disabilities. It was developed by WWILD Sexual Violence Prevention Association Inc. BROWSE ONLINE: How to Hear Me DOWNLOAD PDF: How to Hear Me

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Power of Attorney A power of attorney is a formal document allowing someone else to make decisions on your behalf; both personl and financial. This person can apply for a Domestic Violence Order on the behalf of someone experiencing domestic and family violence. The Powers of Attorney Act 1998...
All service providers operating in Queensland are required to comply with the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 . The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) has jurisdiction to hear and decide complaints about contraventions of this Act. Frequently Asked Questions There are also...
There are a range of legal structures which may be suitable for Queensland not-for-profit community groups. The four main options are: an incorporated association: Associations Incorporation Act 1981 (QLD) and Associations Incorporation Regulation 1999 (QLD) a company limited by guarantee:...
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Author: 
Sharon Daley, QCOSS

International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) is held on 3 December each year.

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