Why Disability Services Need

Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders in the Workforce

In recent years, a growing awareness of intersectional discrimination faced by First Nations people with disabilities has highlighted the urgent need for a culturally sensitive and inclusive workforce in the disability services sector.


First Nations individuals often experience discrimination not only based on disability but also on factors like age, gender, sexuality, and geographic location. These deep-rooted forms of discrimination are woven into institutional frameworks, including policies like the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Building a culturally safe and rights-informed workforce is crucial to enhancing access and outcomes for First Nations people with disabilities.


Research has shown that initiatives focusing on Indigenous workforce development, guided by community-centred principles and incorporating cultural training, can significantly improve service delivery in rural and remote Indigenous communities. By attracting and retaining Aboriginal workers, disability service providers can better address the unique challenges faced by Indigenous people with disabilities.


Indigenous disability workforce strategies should prioritize cultural competence and community engagement. This approach not only ensures culturally appropriate support but also fosters trust and enhances participation among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.


The barriers faced by Indigenous people in accessing disability services are multifaceted.

Challenges include:  

  • limited service choices,
  • transportation issues,
  • availability of trained professionals,
  • and concerns about service quality and cultural sensitivity.


These barriers are compounded by historical factors like: 

  • colonization,
  • trauma,
  • and systemic racism within the disability services sector.


To address these challenges, disability service providers must:

  • actively engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,
  • prioritise Indigenous leadership and perspectives,
  • and create pathways for meaningful participation.

Building trust, respecting cultural differences, and offering choice and control to Indigenous clients are essential steps toward creating a more inclusive and equitable disability services sector.


Ultimately, an Indigenous-led and culturally responsive approach to disability service provision is key to ensuring that all individuals, regardless of background, can access high-quality and culturally appropriate support. By bridging the gap between service providers and Indigenous communities, we can work towards a more inclusive and accessible future for all.


At Sero Institute we want to be apart of building the Indigenous workforce in the disability sector. By enroling in CHC33021 Certificate III Individual Support you can join us in increasing and celebrating the diversity in care.


Contact us today!