National Disability Coordination Officer Program

The NDCOP is a Federal Government program hosted by CDU in the NT.

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The Australian Government’s National Disability Coordination Officer (NDCO) Program works strategically to assist people with disability access and participate in tertiary education and subsequent employment, through a national network of regionally based NDCOs.

The NDCOs work with stakeholders in the Northern Territory to reduce systemic barriers, facilitate smooth transitions, build links and coordinate services between the education, training and employment sectors.

The National Disability Coordination Officer (NDCO) Program seeks to address barriers to participation in tertiary education and employment by improving the coordination and collaboration among service providers and building their capability to support people with disability.

The Program also seeks to increase the knowledge and awareness of people with disability about their post-school options and supports to enable them to participate in education and subsequent employment to the same extent as people without disabilities.

NDCOs undertake a range of activities which may include:

  • Establishing or supporting local networks to strengthen linkages between schools, tertiary education institutions, and employment services in order to improve coordination across the sectors and facilitate smooth transitions;
  • Working collaboratively with education professionals, employers and the community to identify and address systemic barriers/gaps;
  • Working with local stakeholders to implement changes to policy and institutional practices to enhance inclusive practices and increase accessibility for people with disabilities; and
  • Raising awareness and educating local stakeholders, including people with disability, about their responsibilities and rights, education and employment options, and services and support available.

National Disability Coordination Officer's (NDCOs) work at the strategic level with a range of stakeholders to assist working age people with disability to be better supported to successfully transition to and participate fully in tertiary education and subsequent employment.

NDCOs have developed effective relationships with stakeholders who operate across the school to work continuum in order to identify local barriers and to develop collaborative responses to local needs.

The key stakeholders NDCOs work with include:

  • schools, including government, catholic and independent;
  • tertiary education institutions, including universities, Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutes, community colleges, Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), Group Training Organisations (GTOs) and alternative education program providers;
  • employment agencies, including Disability Employment Service (DES) providers, Job Services Australia (JSA) providers, the National Disability Recruitment Coordinator (NDRC), employer groups and peak bodies;
  • disability services and community agencies that support people with disability;
  • and mainstream government programs which operate in the education, training and employment sectors, particularly those focused on transitions; and
  • Stakeholders that provide relevant services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Disability Employment Services (DES)

Disability Employment Services (DES) support people with a disability, learning difficulty, injury and health condition in their efforts to get and maintain a job. All eligible people with disability have immediate access to the service they need. DES is a free service. There are no waiting lists.
Disability Employment Services (DES) offer a range of services to support a job seeker’s individual needs including:

  • Help to prepare for work, including training in specific skills;
  • Job search support, such as resume development, training in interview skills and help in looking for suitable jobs;
  • Support when initially placed into a job, including on the job training and co-worker and employer support;
  • Ongoing support in a job if required;
  • The purchase of vocational training and other employment related assistance; and
  • Access to help with workplace modifications; support services and AUSLAN interpreting in the workplace.

There are two separate programs within Disability Employment Services:

Disability Management Service (DMS) is for job seekers with disability, injury or health conditions who require the assistance of a Disability Employment Service but are not expected to need long term support in the workplace.
Employment Support Service (ESS) is for job seekers with permanent disability and with an assessed need for long term support in the workplace.

School Students

Young people can register with a DES in their final year at school.  The benefit of the student registering before they leave is the evidence of their disability from the school can be used.  The student may not have to undertake a Job Capacity Assessment.

Many DES providers will assist students to find part time jobs (over 8 hours per week), which can help students build skills and confidence and a better resume, as well as provide welcome income.

How to Access DES

Contact a local Disability Employment Service provider directly or contact Centerlink
T: 132850 or
visit your nearest Centerlink office and ask for a referral to a local DES provider.

Disability Employment Services in the Northern Territory

Alice Springs           

Steps Employment    

Jock Nelson Centre
9/16 Hartley St
Alice Springs, NT, 0870
T: (08) 89507600


Advanced Personnel Management       
17 Scaturchio Street
Casuarina, NT, 0810
T: (08) 89419211

Mission Australia
Building 3, Cascom Centre
Scaturchio Street
Casuarina NT 0810
T: 1300 883 067

Darwin Skills Development Scheme
Project Employment
1Tang Street
Coconut Grove NT 0810
Phone (08) 8948 9999

Darwin Skills Development Scheme
Max Employment   
17 Scaturchio St
Casuarina, NT, 0810
Phone (08) 89457088

To find an Employment Service Provider in your area go to JobSearch.

For information and advice on looking for work or gaining support in your workplace, contact  Job Access
T: 1800 464 800
Visit the Job Access website 

There are a number of ways in the Northern Territory to learn skills and gain qualifications after secondary school.

Disability Standards for Education

The Disability Standards for Education were formulated under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and came into effect in August 2005.

The objects of these Standards are:

  • To eliminate, as far as possible, discrimination against persons on the ground of disability in the area of education and training
  • To ensure, as far as practicable, that persons with disabilities have the same rights to equality before the law in the area of education and training as the rest of the community
  • To promote recognition and acceptance within the community of the principle that persons with disabilities have the same fundamental rights as the rest of the community.

All education and training providers are legally required to make reasonable adjustments in areas including:

  • Applying for admission;
  • Enrolment procedures;
  • Physical access to facilities and around campus;
  • Studying;
  • Course participation;
  • Assessment procedures; and
  • Participation in student activities.

For more information check out the Disability Discrimination Act Education Standards website.

Study through a private registered training organisation

Contact your registered training organisation and arrange an appointment with the lecturer prior to the course commencing to seek information and advice and to discuss your needs and adjustments that you may require, such as access to venue and equipment, assistive technology, study and assessment adjustments etc.

University - Disability Liasion Officer

Charles Darwin University (CDU) has campuses in Alice Springs, Darwin, Palmerston, Katherine, Nhulunbuy and Tennant Creek and also offers units through Distance Education. CDU has over 350 courses to choose from, including courses to support students or potential students to prepare for University study.

Visit the CDU website for information for future students, admissions processes as well as student support and services, or contact the Student Central on 1800 061 963.

The University Disability Liaison Officers are located within Student Administration & Equity Services.

The Disability Adviser can:

  • Assist identify options for reducing the impact of a disability or chronic health condition on study
  • Provide information about and arrange access to appropriate services;
  • Assist the arrangement of study and assessment accommodations; and
  • Review study and assessment accommodations.

For further information go to disability support.

Universities provide support services to students with disability including chronic medical conditions. This may include planning for assessment adjustments, exam provisions, equipment and assistive technology provision, liaison, advice and advocacy, among other services.

Disability Advisors are available to meet with prospective students with disabilities and ongoing medical conditions to help plan their university studies. Call or email well in advance of when you would like to see someone. For example, if you would like to meet on your term break, ring to make the appointment at least two weeks before. If you live far away, or can't make it in, ask for a phone appointment.

For contact details for Disability Advisors at all Universities across Australia visit the ADCET website.

Financial support for students with disability

The Australian Government provides income support to students (meeting specific eligibility criteria) through Centrelink. To find out about some of the payments, allowances and concessions that you may be entitled to, go to the Centrelink website. You may be entitled to one or more types of income support while you are studying. Which payments and how much you may receive depend on your individual circumstances. It is very important to contact Centrelink directly to get advice based on your own personal details.

The Road Ahead... further education and employment guide for people with a disability in the Northern Territory

The Road Ahead

The workbook was produced for people with a disability (which includes a chronic medical condition) who are considering their post-secondary education and training, for example, secondary school students, VET (Vocational Education and Training) students, potential New Apprentices and people looking to change their career direction.

We hope it will be used by secondary school students in Year 11 or earlier. Teachers and trainers facilitating group work on career planning with people with a disability could also use it. This project was a joint Initiative and can be accessed on the following websites.

Download The Road Ahead (pdf 1.65MB).

Assistive TechnologyAssistive Technology in the Workplace for People with a Disability

People with a disability use assistive technology for a whole range of tasks. Whether it is simply accessing print media or communicating on the telephone, assistive technology provides a vast array of solutions. This booklet is by no means comprehensive, for example it proved virtually impossible to narrow down the array of different technology used by people with a physical disability. Instead, a comprehensive list of contacts has been provided so that the reader can explore the many solutions available.

Download Assistive Technology in the Workplace for People with a Disability (pdf 109MB).

For further information please contact Anna Kwan
National Disability Coordination Officer (Mon, Tue, Thurs & Fri)

T: 08 8946 6951
E: anna.kwan@cdu.edu.au
Casuarina Campus
Blue 1.1.21-34