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Disability support


We actively encourage applicants with a disability and relevant skills to apply to the Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program. Often, simple adjustments to processes, or 'reasonable adjustments;, can reduce barriers for people with a disability altogether. 

The Australian government is recognised as a leader in the promotion of disability-inclusive development in developing countries. Since the launch of the Government's Strategy: Development for All: Towards a Disability-Inclusive Australian Aid Program 2009-2014, the Australian aid program has achieved considerable success in making a difference to the lives of people with disability and in international advocacy to encourage other donors to do the same.

The definition used to define disability is "the result of the interaction between people with different levels of functioning and an environment that does not take these differences into account". This is in line with the definition in the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and does not limit or define what particular impairments are covered.

If you have a disability you may be eligible to receive additional support to enable you to undertake your volunteer assignment. Scope Global invites you to disclose this information, as early in the process as possible, so that support plans and accommodations can be organised before you are due to mobilise.

The support that can be provided to a volunteer with a disability includes examples such as:

  • Purchasing and supplying assistive devices to use while on assignment, for example: large computer screens, adaptable keyboards, braille computer, high or low tech communication devices, hearing loops etc.

  • Purchasing and supplying supportive devices to use while on assignment, for example: supportive office chair, mobilisation aids

  • Providing sign language interpreters to use during any stage of the volunteering process (information sessions, interview, pre departure briefing, In-Country Orientation)

  • Providing a carer and/or assistant in-country for getting to and from the volunteer activities, settling into the new Host Organisation, accommodation and local community, help with activities of daily living

  • Provision of an additional allowance to help with any extra transport and/or living costs associated with your disability*

  • Specific training and support to your In-Country Management Team to ensure they are able to support your needs while on assignment

    • Discussions with the Host Organisation to provide reasonable adjustments such as:

    • Adjustments to the workplace (to make it more accessible)

    • Adjustments to work related communications or information provision (including the form or format)

    • Adjustments to work methods and arrangements (flexible working hours, longer induction period)

    • Providing disability-specific training to co-workers, supervisors and other volunteers to promote understanding and awareness of disability as well as alleviate barriers to communication and social opportunities

Each volunteer with a disability has an individualised support plan and a safety and security action plan developed for them, with their input. These documents are used pre, during and post assignment in order to ensure continuity of support and assist with continually improving our services.

*This allowance is assessed on a case-by-case basis and approved by program managers at Scope Global.
If you would like to find out more information about disability support for Scope global, please contact: Alexandra Kay, Disability Development Officer .

To read more about how Scope Global supports applicants with a disability to volunteer through the AVID program, take a look at From policy to reality: Supporting Australians with a disability to volunteer overseas , an article written for Devex by Anthony Rologas, Senior Manager – Volunteer Program Strategy at Scope Global.

Katrina Lancaster Maggs

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Katrina Lancaster-Maggs volunteered as a Deaf Empowerment Officer in Samoa. Katrina is also deaf and in this video, shares her experience volunteering abroad through the AVID program. 

Watch the Video

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