Disability Support Worker

Job Description

A Disability Support Worker, is responsible for the health and wellbeing of those with disabilities who are no longer capable of caring for themselves or those that require assistance with certain tasks.  A Disability Support Worker provides care, emotional support, physical assistance and supervision for people with physical and/or intellectual disabilities.

The role of Disability Support Worker is of a similar vein to that of an Assistant in Nursing, but is focussed on those with disabilities and special needs, rather than caring for the elderly.

For the most part, Disability Support Workers work in residential establishments, aged care homes, clinics, hospitals and private residences.  It is a demanding but challenging job, that involves a wide variety of tasks and responsibilities.

Disability Support Workers typically assist with (depending on level of qualification and location of the patient and their personal needs) the following: 

  • Showering, dressing, toileting and personal hygiene
  • Shopping, meal preparation and meal consumption
  • Cleaning, laundry, and changing bedding
  • Provides emotional support and friendship
  • Assist with social outings, shopping and appointments
  • Transfer between rooms
  • Infection control and prevention
  • Palliative care, restorative care and pain management
  • Liaise with patients, family, medical team, and other residences in the facility
  • Documentation of vital signs, medication intake, patient assessment
  • Family and patient education

To work in the Disability industry you can start out by completing a Certificate III in Individual Support (Disabilities).  You can then progress from this role, to Endorsed Nurse, Endorsed Enrolled Nurse and then Registered Nurse.

Registered Nurses work as part of a multidisciplinary team alongside other skilled professionals including doctors, surgeons, specialists, therapists, specialty nurses, social workers and many others to provide ongoing patient care to people who are sick, disabled, injured or recovering from surgery.  Registered nurses deliver primary health care predominantly in hospitals, clinics, assisted living facilities, aged care facilities, Government or military institutions, community or school settings, in the home or in outpatient facilities.  

Careers Ladder


It’s possible to work as a Disability Support Worker without formal qualifications, however, many employers require a vocational qualification such as a Certificate III in Individual Support.

Complete a vocational qualification in disability or community services. This may be a Certificate III in Individual Support or a Certificate IV in Disability.

Ensure you have a current police check for your state. It’s also recommended to have a First Aid Certificate.

To advance your career, consider undertaking further study, such as a Bachelor of Social Work.


  • Autonomy
  • Communicator
  • Compassionate
  • Detail Orientated
  • Flexibility
  • Interpersonal
  • Patience
  • Reliability
  • Team Player

Key Skills

  • Supportive and caring nature
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Maintaining Records
  • Building Relationships
  • Energetic

Future Prospects

Career progression in this field can lead to other roles such as: