Children and adults with a disability, and their families and carers, can use a range of support services, based on their individual needs. Some of these services are provided by the Victorian Department of Human Services. Family members and other unpaid carers play an important role in increasing opportunities for independence, choice and community participation by people who have a disability.
Like all members of the community, a person with a disability can access a range of general services, in areas such as health, early childhood and education, sport and recreation, employment, and maternal and child health. Anyone can contact their local government or community health service to explore these options.
People with a disability and their families and carers can also use a range of specialist disability support services, many of which are funded by the Victorian Department of Human Services. This support helps the person with a disability to participate actively in the community and reach their full potential.
Who can access disability support services
People with a disability, their family or carers can request disability support.
You can request disability support if:
- You have an intellectual, physical, sensory or neurological disability or an acquired brain injury
- Your disability affects your mobility, communication, self-care or self-management
- Your support request meets specific requirements related to the service you are seeking.
Deciding which disability support services you need
The Department of Human Services uses a self-directed approach to disability support services. This means you and your family or carer will be supported to plan what you need to meet your goals and to decide how the support will be managed.
Disability support for families
Relationships with family and friends are important for everyone and can increase opportunities for independence, choice and community participation, but families and carers sometimes need help with particular challenges or problems.
Government-funded disability services work in partnership with people with a disability, family members and carers to support people to live at home and participate in their community. Support may also enhance the wellbeing and resilience of family members.
Support may be short term or long term
Support may be one-off, short term or ongoing. Support services:
- Are flexible and respond to the needs, wishes and circumstances of the family
- Aim to strengthen family relationships and resilience
- Promote independence and participation in community life
- Are available through various family support agencies across Victoria
- May be funded by the Victorian Department of Human Services.
A range of support services are provided
Assistance may include:
- Helping you to identify your needs and goals
- Developing a plan to meet those goals and working out how to put it into action
- Information about supports and services
- Help to organise or coordinate services – or to lead you through that process
- Support within the home
- Support to participate in out-of-home activities
- Support for carers.
Support is available for children and adults with a disability who require support with:
Access to services
Service providers consider several factors when deciding who should have priority access to services, including:
- The need to support the person’s family
- Safety of the person and their family
- Existence of a number of disadvantages
- What would happen if the person did not receive the service
- Availability of informal and generic supports.
Where to get help
- Your regional Victorian Department of Human Services office
- Victorian Department of Human Services – Disability services Tel. 1800 783 783 or TTY 1800 008 149
- If you would like an interpreter, you can call the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship Translating and Interpreting Service Tel. 131 450
- If you are deaf, have a hearing impairment or complex communication needs, you can contact:
- Local council or shire
- Maternal and child health service
- Early childhood and education centre
- Disability service providers
- Community health centre
- Neighbourhood houses
- Yooralla Independent Living Centres
- - National Relay Service – TTY and voice calls Tel. 133 677
- National Relay Service – Speak and listen Tel. 1300 555 727
Things to remember
- A range of support and services is provided in Victoria for children and adults with a disability and their families or carers.
- People with a disability, their family or carers can request disability support.
You might also be interested in:
- Disabilities - children and everyday activities.
- Disability - schooling choices.
- Disability - volunteer support.
- Independent living - aids and equipment.
- Intellectual disability.
Want to know more?
Go to More information for support groups, related links and references.
This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by:
(Logo links to further information)
Department of Human Services
Fact sheet currently being reviewed.
Last reviewed: June 2011
Content on this website is provided for education and information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional. Content has been prepared for Victorian residents and wider Australian audiences, and was accurate at the time of publication. Readers should note that, over time, currency and completeness of the information may change. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.
Content on this website is provided for education and information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your qualified health professional. Content has been prepared for Victorian residence and wider Australian audiences, and was accurate at the time of publication. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users are urged to always seek advice from a qualified health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.
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