The National Disability Coordination Officer (NDCO) Program is an Australia-wide government funded program which promotes the transition of students and people with disability aged 15 to 64 into training, education, and subsequent employment.
A national network of NDCOs works within 31 specific regions across Australia to improve the coordination and delivery of support services to help make it easier to enrol or participate in post-school education, training and employment.
Hosted at the University of Newcastle, Kay Dean is the NDCO for Newcastle and the Hunter Region, and assists staff from the education, training, employment, and community sectors, and students and people with disability, to access information and targeted activities to assist in this move forward.
The NDCO program in Newcastle offers a range of resources and assistance to staff, students, community members and employers.
High school leavers as well as TAFE and university students heading into employment can access toolkits that provide resources such as the ‘MovingOn’ guide, which offers detailed information on all post-school pathways. Secondary and tertiary students with disability can also sign up for the MovingOn email list, which enables the students to stay in touch with a supportive network that also provides reliable information. More than 1500 regional staff are subscribed across several professional email lists to ensure they can also stay in the loop.
The Hunter School Leavers Expo for Students with Disability takes place on 25 July this year, with the Central Coast School Leavers Expo on 1 August. These annual events are for regional staff and students in Years 10-12 and their families to help plan life post-school.
Staff working with students with disability can also access resources and information at the NDCO website.
In addition to working with students and teachers, Kay is a great connection for employers seeking to improve their disability confidence. The Newcastle Disability Employment Advisory Group (NDEAG) is a committee of local business, education, vocational, employment services, community members and government departments either involved directly with the employment of people with a disability, who have an interest in this area, or who are people with a disability themselves.
As part of their aim to enhance existing service and develop networks at a local level, the committee delivers free training through the NDCO to regional employers to provide awareness of the issues surrounding the employment of people with disability, and offering links to resources and support.