Develop the knowledge and skills to shape an inclusive society providing support and advocacy to help people live their best life with our range of disability programs.
Disability professionals are highly skilled in developing disability practice, policy and leadership knowledge to support people of all ages with diverse needs, including developmental and acquired disabilities.
Whether you are seeking to expand your understanding of critical issues and approaches in disability studies, or take the next step in your career as a highly sought-after professional to meet the needs presented by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), our range of programs will help you challenge assumptions, raise expectations, promote inclusion, and support quality in practice.
The NDIS will create an estimated
1 IN 5 NEW JOBS
in Australia over the next five years.
(Australian Government Department of Social Services 2019).
No.1 in SA
in Health Services & Support for full-time employment and median salary.
(The Good Universities Guide 2022 (undergraduate), public SA-founded universities only.)
No.1 in Australia
For postgraduate employment.
(QILT 2021 Graduate Outcomes Survey — longitudinal).
Our nested undergraduate programs give you the flexibility to choose your study pathway. Graduate with an award for your completed program, or continue with further study to enhance knowledge and skills as a disability professional.
The four-year Bachelor of Disability and Developmental Education (BDDE) is accredited by the Developmental Educators Australia Inc (DEAI), and graduates can apply for full membership with the DEAI to practice as a development educator and positive behaviour support practitioner.
The Bachelor of Disability and Community Inclusion (BDCI) forms the first three years of the BDDE curriculum. Graduates of this 3-year course may return to complete the fourth year of the BDDE to be eligible to apply for full membership with the DEAI to practice as a development educator and positive behaviour support practitioner.
The Master of Disability Practice and Leadership (Developmental Education) is a two year postgraduate course accredited by the Developmental Educators Australia Inc (DEAI), and graduate can apply for full membership with the DEAI to practice as a developmental educator.
More information can be found through the Developmental Educators Australia Inc (DEAI) professional association website.
From a young age, I knew I wanted to be in a helping role and make an important difference in people's lives. My experience as a Disability & Developmental Education student at Flinders University was exceptional. Entering the professional world and working in the disability sector, I felt nothing short of prepared. The program has greatly expanded my professional networks and opened up multiple exciting opportunities.
Graduate Marwa Al-Bouch shares what she loved about her placement and studying at Flinders.
Learn about Disability and Community Inclusion at Flinders with Associate Professor Michelle Bellon.
With a passion for helping people with communication, Sarah Tilley found her ideal career in speech pathology before taking on further study in postgraduate Positive Behaviour Support.
Postgraduate disability student James Karanja is pioneering disability support in Kenya.
As a leader within this field, Flinders are committed to encouraging the participation of adults with a range of disabilities, including intellectual disability, in the social and educational life of Flinders University. In 2019, we celebrated 20 years of the ‘Up The Hill Project’, a trailblazing inclusive university program that supports people with intellectual disability to learn, experience, and graduate from university.
This project is supported by the Disability and Community Inclusion Unit at Flinders University which provides a mutually enriching educational opportunity for all.
Our incredible teaching and research staff are experts in their professions and well-connected to industry.
Professor Sally Robinson
Sally is a highly awarded researcher, academic and theme lead of Better Communities for the Flinders Caring Futures Institute. Focused on opportunities and barriers to inclusive lives for people with disability, Sally’s work takes an interdisciplinary and collaborative focus to resolving key social policy concerns such as safety and abuse, wellbeing, participation and funding and organisation of community services.
Undergraduate Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Michelle Bellon
Michelle has had a long career in the disability sector as a Developmental Educator, academic and researcher. Michelle is currently an Epilepsy Ambassador, and member of the Editorial Board of Brain Impairment and DEAI committee.
Postgraduate Course Coordinator:
Jaime’s professional practice as a Developmental Educator has focussed on working with adults with brain injuries and their families in community rehabilitation. Additionally, Jaime has also worked as a social worker, supporting women and children experiencing domestic violence.
Developmental educators are disability specialists and allied health professionals who are guided by a human rights approach to working with and alongside people with a disability across all ages to achieve their goals and promote an inclusive society. Developmental educators adopt a holistic and strengths-based approach to support skill development, self-advocacy, self-determination and supported decision-making.
The BDCI is a three-year program which qualifies you to work as a skilled disability practitioner, for example as an NDIS support coordinator, case manager, program coordinator, supervisor or team leader.
Graduates of the four-year BBDE degree are eligible for accreditation as Developmental Educators – allied health professionals skilled in providing therapeutic support, conducting ethical assessment and leading practice in community teams.
The BDCI forms the first three years of the BBDE degree so graduates can return and complete the final year of the BBDE to be eligible to practice as a Developmental Educator.
Positive Behaviour Support is a specialist area of service delivery; to meet specialist qualifications, practitioners need PBS specific qualifications to effectively apply theory to practice. This course consists of theoretical topics, with a practical focus on report writing and plan development. The course provides regular opportunities for interactive dialogue with PBS specialists working in the field, with workshops and activities to guide learning. Currently, this is also the only post-graduate qualification that consists of a PBS practicum and mentoring program, guiding both students in applying theory to practice and interdisciplinary teams in this process.
Yes! With the advent of the NDIS, jobs in this sector are growing rapidly. There are employment opportunities working as a skilled disability practitioner, working as a case manager, an NDIS support coordinator, supervisor or team leader.
For those who graduate as a Developmental Educator, there are opportunities to also provide therapeutic support, ethical assessments and leading practice in community teams. Developmental Educators are highly sought-after industry professionals in the disability sector.
Graduates of the Bachelor of Disability and Developmental Education can apply for accreditation with Developmental Educators Australia Inc (DEAI).
Developmental Educators are recognised as PBS practitioners; you do not need to do the Graduate Certificate in PBS to work in this space given Developmental Educators have completed a four-year qualification with PBS specific curricular.
Yes, this program is available online and we have many students from interstate.
Yes, there is a mid-year entry for all Disability courses except for the Graduate Certificate in Positive Behaviour Support (GCPBS).
You may be eligible for 1 x 4.5-unit practicum credit if you have been in a suitable role for a minimum of 12 months full-time or equivalent.
Students with a Certificate IV or higher are eligible for credit towards the undergrad disability courses.
No, you are required to complete the practicum within the course rule.
The current pandemic situation (COVID-19) will affect many aspects of your study, from topic availability on campus to how your classes are delivered. For detailed information about the impact of COVID-19 on your study please refer to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page.
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