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We are committed to people with a disability having the same opportunities as other citizens. The focus of our effort is on building skills, independence and working with people on their dreams.

 

Help us - donate today!What we do

UnitingCare Community offers a wide range of disability support services to adults, children and young people and their families through its Disability Division.

We support people with a wide range of individual needs and abilities, including people with very high and complex support needs. UnitingCare Community Disability operates in regional centres throughout South East Queensland and also in Townsville. Our services continue to expand as the demand for quality support services grows.

The aim of UnitingCare Community’s Disability Service is to engage with people with disabilities and their families and friends to assist them to create lifelong opportunities in the community and to have good lives.

Eligibility and access

Disability services are available to people with a wide range of needs. To be eligible to access support through Disability a person must meet residential and citizenship qualifications and have:

  • A disability which is attributable to an intellectual, psychiatric, cognitive, neurological, sensory or physical impairment, or a combination of impairments.
  • A disability which results in the person having a substantial reduction of a capacity and requiring support in the areas of communication, social interaction, learning, mobility, self-care/management. 
  • A disability which is permanent or likely to be permanent and manifests before 65 years of age.

We provide services for adults, children and young people and their families or carers. It is necessary for adequate funding to be available to enable support to be provided. UnitingCare Community Disability also needs to assess its ability to provide the support being requested.

If you would like more information about how we may be able to help you, please contact us.

Our history in disability

The disability sector in Australia has been through many periods of reform and the disability service provided through the Uniting Church has been part of this reform story since its inception in 1971, amidst the emergence of the community living movement. 

In 1974 we saw the Handicap Persons assistance Act come into being and the development of Sheltered workshops, Activity Therapy Centres, Family Group Homes, Hostels for men and women with disabilities. This work flourished on the first wave of people moving from institutions and our organisation was at the forefront of that work because we held a vision of community participation, rather than segregation, for people with disabilities. 

The beginning of the 1980’s saw the International Year of Disabled People and the growth of a strong movement to change Commonwealth funding legislation to focus on people, not buildings, and so the Disability Services Act was born in 1986. 

The Uniting Church responded by going through a reform process that saw the down-sizing of accommodation services, restructuring of employment services into competitive employment agencies and businesses, and the closure of our Activity Therapy Centre. The Disability Services Act was quite a radical move at the time and was closely followed, in the mid 1990’s, by institutional reform. This process of closing institutions was a hotly contested and debated process and was instigated because of the revelations of abuse and neglect that came from an inquiry into the Basil Stafford Centre at Wacol. The Uniting Church Disability Services assisted approximately 50 people to move from the Basil Stafford Centre and Challinor Centre at this time. 

The Disability reforms since the 1970s have resulted in good outcomes for some people, but the dominant experience for many people with more complex support needs remains one of segregation, not inclusion. The National Disability Insurance Scheme provides us with yet another opportunity to further develop very community-based, individual and personal ways of supporting people with disabilities. We are indeed on the verge of yet another interesting learning experience.  

More about our disability services

Disability programs and services