Challenges with communication are common for many people with intellectual disability and, while counselling practitioners need a solid theoretical basis to their work, they also need to ensure that their practice is flexible enough to respond effectively to the needs of this broad client group (O’Driscoll, 2009). The communication styles of people with intellectual disability vary, as they do with all people. Some may be very articulate, some very talkative, and others may have very limited or no verbal communication (Gallagher, 2002).

Depending on the individual client’s communication style, needs and limitations, counsellors may need to talk more or talk less, make more statements than usual, give more suggestions, prompt more, rephrase the other person’s words and ideas, or ‘loan them the words’ more than usual (Booth & Booth, in Gallagher, 2002).

IQ is not a useful indicator of a person’s communication capacity. Two people with the same measured IQ can be very different in their practical abilities as well as their verbal fluency. Nor is a person’s vocabulary a good indicator of their level of comprehension or communication ability (Booth & Booth, in Gallagher, 2002). In the same way, a person’s chronological age may not be an adequate measure of their maturity (Dossetor et al., 2005).

Poor communication ability can have a wide impact on a person’s ability to negotiate the systems necessary to live well – for example to access banks, Centrelink, the Public Trustee, medical services and so on. It is important for counselling practitioners to take these challenges into account, to enable clients to take full advantage of the support services available to them, and to assist them in communicating their experiences and needs to others.

In the literature about counselling people with intellectual disability, there is often no distinction between people with ‘milder’ forms of impairment and more ‘severe’ forms of impairment. In addition, people with more ‘severe’ communication difficulties are often deliberately excluded from the research. There is a real absence in the literature about how to offer counselling, treatment and support to people with intellectual disability who have very limited verbal ability or who have more ‘severe’ forms of impairment. More work needs to be done to better understand and respond to the needs of this group.

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The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) have announced the NDIS Partners in Community for remaining transition areas in Queensland. Partners in Community provide Local Area Coordination Services (LAC) and Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) services which play an important role in...
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Making sure people with disability are connected into their communities is an important part of the NDIS. To do this, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is funding a range of projects which are focused on creating more inclusive communities through Information, Linkages and Capacity...
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The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission is a new independent agency established to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services. They regulate the NDIS market and handle complaints about the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services. This means there will be changes for...
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The Brisbane Careers in Disability Expo will bring job seekers, disability service providers, job agencies and training organisations together. At the Expo you can find out about a diverse range of jobs available, meet employers and get practical advice about pathways and training. Expressions of...
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The Public Guardian has awarded Brisbane solicitor, Jo Sampford, for her excellence in advocating for clients with disability before the Mental Health Review Tribunal. Jo is a solicitor at Queensland Advocacy Incorporated (QAI) and works with clients across Queensland. She won an award for ‘...
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If organisations want to create their preferred futures under the NDIS it is essential that they critically question whether they are creating the future they want. NDS is inviting disability service providers and other stakeholders who are considering providing services under the National...
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Is your workforce NDIS-ready? WorkAbility Queensland and the local workforce action group are taking registrations for the Greater South East Queensland and Employment Marketta events. The Marketta is a vibrant and interactive 'market place' connecting providers to the many commonwealth, state and...
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The Independent Pricing Review undertaken by McKinsey & Company has been released. The report made 25 recommendations all of which have been accepted by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). Jobs Australia, along with most employers in the sector, National Disability Services (NDS),...
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The NDIS participant portal, myplace, is a secure website for participants or their nominee to view their NDIS plan, request payments and manage services with providers. New NDIS participants can find out how to use the portal by accessing the Participant Portal User Guide. Myplace is a secure...
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Applications are invited for one-off funding up to $5,000, to support events and activities to mark Disability Action Week (9-15 September 2018) or International Day of People with Disability (3 December 2018). In 2018, Disability Community Events Grants aim to support the aims of the Queensland...

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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: 
Natalie Siegel-Brown, Public Guardian

As the Queensland Public Guardian I am pleased to announce the inaugural opening of the Queensland Public Guardian’s Excellence Awards.

As Public Guardian, I want to acknowledge the exemplary work being undertaken by staff in the community services sector across the...

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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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Marlene Butteriss, QCOSS

An essential element of person centeredness is to think about issues of power and control. With true person centred approaches, including individualised or self-directed funding models, people with a disability and those who care about them must be the ones that are in control and have authority...

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At a time of significant disruption in the community services sector, many organisations are rightly focused on defining their inventory and consolidating their market position. The idea of collaboration or partnership in an increasingly competitive market seems nonsensical to many agencies....

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With the impending roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) looming large in Queensland, some Not-For-Profit service providers in the Townsville region are expressing a feeling of isolation and of being somewhat disconnected.

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Marlene Butteriss, Queensland Council of Social Service

Most people plan life in some way or other. Whether we use paper planners for day to day organisation, plan each month by the moon cycles, or develop a detailed five year plan about meeting goals, people generally have some way of keeping track of what goals they are planning and what steps they...

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Marlene Butteriss, Queensland Council of Social Service

With so much talk over the last couple of years about people with a disability and their family having more ‘choice and control’ over the supports and services they receive there have been some new terms and concepts introduced like self-direction, self-managed and self-directed funding. Some...

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When talking about how services work with, support and connect with people with a disability, the idea of being ‘person centred’ has been around for a long time. It’s a pretty easy term to understand, but a little harder to put into practice.

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Care Opinion is an independent, not-for-profit new web site which enables people to post their experiences of local social care services online, and in public (eg aged care, youth and disability care). ...

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You can now access a series of resources that showcase best practice HACC Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service delivery models. 

The three booklets tell the stories of innovative and positive service delivery practices that meet the cultural needs of their...

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