CRU is recruiting for a Reception & Administration Officer

CRU is recruiting for a full time Receptionist and Administration Officer to join our team and work in our CRU office in South Brisbane.
We are looking for someone friendly, organised and energetic for our busy administration and reception role .

As the position is subject to government funding, it will be a fixed term contract until mid-2024, though we hope that the role will continue for longer.
You can see the position description here, which also contains details on how to apply.
Please let us know if you require this information in a different format.

We would appreciate it if you would circulate this to people who you think might have the skills needed and would also be a good fit with CRU.

Applications close at 5pm on Monday 5th June 2023 and we are keen for the successful applicant to start as soon as possible.
Please submit your applications to with ‘Administration Officer” in the subject line.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Margaret Rodgers at




First Aid & CPR Training now available through CTO

In partnership with Staffing Options, CRU has developed a new Registered Training Organisation (RTO) known as Crucial Training Options (CTO).

The RTO is now offering courses in First Aid and CPR on a regular basis at the CRU office in South Brisbane.

This is accredited general First Aid Training, so if you need to update your qualification, please consider training with CTO.
The income from this enterprise will help to fund the work of CRU.

Training is offered in a blended training model, where theory is completed using the online learning portal before attending a face-to-face practical workshop.
Trainers Dave and Lisa are both experienced trainers, recently joining the CTO team.

To register or find out more, simply click on this link:

If you know of individuals, organisations, support workers, or friends who live or work in this part of town, please pass this message on.
CTO can also arrange to deliver training to a group in a workplace – please contact them directly if this is of interest to you.




CRU is coming to SWQ in May 2023

Catherine and Sue from Community Resource Unit are returning to visit towns across Murweh, Quilpie and Maranoa in May.
Join us for a friendly and relaxed session on supporting a good life, so people with disability can be included and supported to live the lives they want.

Connect with other people in your community, and get ideas from what people are doing in other places.

Individual or small group conversations:
Would you like to talk in more depth about your own situation or goals? Catherine and Sue will also be available for conversations with
individuals and families if there are things you would like to discuss one on one, or in a small group.

See more information and dates for our road trip on the event page here:


Disability Royal Commission is in its final stages – what can we do now?

Disability Royal Commission is in its final stage – what can we do now?

The Disability Royal Commission (the DRC) started nearly four years ago, and is now in its final stage. The DRC’s job is to investigate violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation experienced by people with disability. In its final report, due by 29 September 2023, it will make recommendations about:

• What should be done to better protect people with disability.
• What should be done to achieve best practice to encourage reporting, investigation and responses.
• What should be done to promote a more inclusive society that supports the independence of people with disability and their rights.

The opportunity to make submissions closed at the end of last year. CRU would like to acknowledge and thank the many people with disability, their families and supporters who took the time and borne the often heavy personal cost of making submissions and sharing experiences of mistreatment, exclusion, neglect, violence and abuse with the DRC.

What can we do now?

Whatever the final recommendations of Disability Royal Commission, and whatever actions state and federal governments eventually take based on those recommendations, there are still things we as ordinary citizens can and should do. Here are some resources that may be helpful right now.

• Inclusion is not just an issue for governments, policymakers, urban designers and mainstream and disability services to resolve. It can be a personal act and choice to welcome people. This short video explores the need for us all to have an inclusive mindset. Sharing resources like this with other people can be a simple way of encouraging people to think differently. Inclusive Mindset- Ability Links – YouTube

Safeguards are the things we can do or put into place that reduce or mitigate the vulnerabilities of individuals, systems or arrangements. It is important we recognise and understand vulnerabilities if we are to be prepared when things go wrong. While people with disability have the fundamental right to be safe and free from violence, neglect and abuse, not every strategy, policy or rule made in the name of safety delivers on its promise. Safeguarding must be about more than only being safe from immediate physical harm. For people with disability to take their rightful places in our society as equal, included and valued members, full inclusion must also be safeguarded. In the words of Michael Kendrick, “Long before you can safeguard anything, you need to know what it is you want to safeguard and why it matters to safeguard it.”

• In her article It’s so close you can touch it Ann Greer considers some factors in creating inclusive communities and some that work against inclusion, and suggests things that services and individuals can do to foster the inclusion of people with a disability in their community.

Whether you made a submission or not, if you are affected in any way by the Royal Commission, we encourage you to get in touch with the Blue Knot Foundation for access to specialist counselling and referrals. You can reach them on 1800 421 468:
• 9am – 6pm AEDT Monday to Friday
• 9am – 5pm AEDT Saturday, Sunday and public holidays
You can find more information, including other ways to contact Blue Knot on their website.

Update from CRU : New RTO starting soon!!!

This information was shared in a CRU Email update on Tuesday 26th July 2022

Over the past three years we have been working on the establishment of a Registered Training Organisation.  In partnership with Staffing Options, we are very excited to let you know that we have set up a new entity to be known as Crucial Training Options (CTO).

We will be offering accredited training courses from September 2022 – the first is a Certificate III in Individualised support (Disability) CHC33015.  First Aid and CPR will also be available, and in 2023 we plan to launch the Diploma in Community Services CHC52015.  Staffing Options and CRU are both keen to provide students of Crucial Training Options with opportunities to gain a qualification that meets all the requirements of a Certificate or Diploma level course and gives them a solid grounding in working respectfully with people with disabilities, one person at a time.

Initially these courses will be offered face to face in South Brisbane, with a requirement of one day per week in the classroom.  In time, we are keen to offer this to students outside Brisbane, but we are not able to do this just yet.

There will be no change to the way CRU offers our workshops and webinars. This will be offered in addition to the work of CRU.

We are in the process of finalising dates and our team of trainers and there will be more detail available very soon.

If you are interested, please get in touch with our Training Coordinator Eirin at and we can provide more information on the enrolment process.  We have attached flyers and there is some more detail on our website  Please let us know if you require these attachments in a different format.  Join our mailing list via this link to hear more.


Model Coherency – The Key to Human Service Quality Vol 1,2&3

These books have arrived and are in our Book store!

Books will be avilable as individual volumes 1, 2 or 3, or as the complete Set of 3

the image shows the cover of Model Coherency books - all volumes

Volume 1 – An Explanation of Service Models, and Service Model Coherency

Volume 2 – Designing a Human Service to Be Model Coherent in Accord with SRV

Volume 3 – Evaluation a Human Service by Means of the Model Coherency Rating Tool

Wolf Wolfensberger, PhD (1934-2011) was a long-time professor at the Syracuse University School of Education, where he was on the faculty as a full professor since 1973, and directed an independent training body, the Training Institute for Human Service Planning, Leadership, and Change Agentry. He had been teaching and writing on the topic of this book for several decades but held off attempting to get it published until he was satisfied of its completeness and quality. At his death in early 2011, he had by and large completed the manuscript, but it needed major editing. With the cooperation of the Trust Under Will of Nancy Artz Wolfensberger, we have undertaken the editing, and this book is the result.

Human service is a complicated endeavor, in which a number of component parts must fit together and work in harmony in order to benefit the recipients. The subject of this book, model coherency, is about putting the component parts of a service together properly–coherently. As Wolfensberger puts it, in a nutshell, model coherency answers the question: “Are the right people being served by the right people, in the right setting, using the right tools and methods?”


Newsletter nine: What can families do when ‘behaviour’ is catching everyone’s attention?

Newsletter nine:

What can families do when 'behaviour' is catching everyone’s attention?

School inclusion can feel very fragile when concerns arise about a student’s 'behaviour'.  CRU speaks to many families who are facing suspensions or exclusions, or who are worried about their child’s enrolment.  This newsletter is designed to provide helpful ideas on what might be behind a student’s 'behaviour' and what parents can do to shape different understandings and conversations.  We hope this information will also be helpful to professionals working with young people and their families.

Dr Michael Kendrick has said that: “Once people are labeled with words such as 'challenging' it will predict that the focus will be brought on their behaviour, because the behaviour is the thing that is catching people’s attention … My advice is not to think of people as having challenging behaviour at all, but rather that they be seen as people who are poorly served or whose needs are not met very well in their present situation”.

To quote Herb Lovitt “People with difficult behavior are social critics who tell us what we are doing wrong.”  We believe children will always do well when they can.  If there is ‘behaviour’, then we need to stop and listen to what a child is communicating, as they will be telling us what we need to do to include them – and indeed everyone.

An image of two pie charts with the titles 'reasons for a child's behaviour'. The first chart is titled 'what people think' and is filled with the category 'naughty and doing it on purpose'. The other piece chart has 6 categories and is titled what really is behind behaviour. The categories are equal and are: development, tired/hungry, anxiety, sensory processing, need connection and unment need.

Image Source:  The Therapist Parent.

CRU believes that:

  • All children have the same need to belong, to feel safe, to feel valued and included by their peers and by their school communities.
  • All children, indeed all human beings, will communicate their feelings, and unmet needs, in the way that they can.
  • As adults, we can do better to support young people to understand their own needs and feelings, and communicate these in more positive ways.

Dangerous Words

The danger in labelling something as 'behaviour' is it immediately limits everyone’s ability to relate to the person who is 'behaving'. Too often, we do not stop to ask: Why is this child acting that way? What are they needing? What can I do to help?

It stops people from listening to the child who is already feeling unheard.

Emma Van der Klift, internationally recognized neurodiverse speaker, author and disability activist refers to the unhelpful tendency to label individuals – both children and adults - as being ‘manipulative’, ‘resistant’, or ‘seeking attention’.

“The problem with these words: manipulation, resistance, even the idea of doing things for attention…makes the person sound like it’s all they ever do, and not only that, it doesn’t tell us anything useful.”

Emma Van der Klift

Emma maintains that these words are a signal of the frustration of the teaching or support staff, but by locating the problem solely in the child who is needing support, it limits the possibility of finding useful ways forward. You can view her video presentation titled ‘Three Dangerous Words’ in the behaviour section of our Inclusive Education Resource site.

What can we do as parents?

As parents, receiving the dreaded ‘behaviour phone calls’ from school can be distressing and overwhelming.  When those calls start to become frequent, accompanied with escalating distress in the child and in the severity of punishment, it can be hard to see a way forward.  CRU has many helpful resources already on our website, but here are some top tips for where to start:

Get informed

It can be helpful to know the tools and resources that The Department of Education have developed to guide schools in their approach to ‘behaviour’.  Please note that schools will have their own policies and approaches, so getting to know your school’s framework and policy will be important.

The Department’s Autism Hub hosts a free functional behaviour assessment tool on their website.

It is designed to prompt family members and professionals to think about what occurs before and after a ‘behaviour’ to understand what function or role that behaviour may have, and what strategies may be useful to help reduce or replace that behaviour.

The Department has also published a factsheet Prevention and de-escalation of risk behaviour fact sheet (pdf) and have available a collection of new resources for parents.

Other resources are in development, so please contact CRU for a fuller guide to materials.

Our tip: Questions to ask school when you are informed of ‘behaviour'

* try to keep conversation objective (focus on facts not emotions)*

What, where, when, who? :

  1.  What is my child doing?
  2. When is this happening?
  3. Where is it happening?
  4. Who is with my child?
  5. What happens before?
  6. What happens after?

Then… take some time!

“I would like some time to think and to talk with my child.”

Families know their child best; this concrete information and your knowledge of the child can help you figure out what is going on for your child, so you can share this with the school.

Keep expanding your understanding of ‘behaviour’

As our child’s advocate, it is important we get clear about seeing past 'difficult behaviour', in order to look for messages of unmet need.  David Pitonyak unpacks what these messages could be in his article ‘Notes for Parents’ (PDF).

Remember that your child’s behavior has meaning.  Finding out what your child needs is the first step in supporting your child, and the people who love your child, to change.

David Pitonyak

Here are just a few different tools available to parents and schools to help your child think about what is happening for them, and how things could be made better at school for them.

  • Is it Sensory or is it Behaviour? is an article written by an Occupational Therapist to work out what might be helpful if you are unsure if it’s ‘sensory or behaviour’.
  • What gets labelled 'behaviour' that isn't is a short video we released earlier this year, in which behaviour consultant, Ann Greer, describes sensory and movement differences in children that get mis-labelled as ‘behaviour’.
  • Identify your School Triggers (PDF) is a self-reflection tool to help students and/or their parents and caregivers identify their ‘triggers’ at school.

Our tip: Questions for parents to consider

When this ‘behaviour’ occurs:

  • What is my child’s experience?
  • What is my child feeling?
  • What need is not being met? *

Was there something/ someone that made them feel uncomfortable?

Was there something they did not understand?

Was there a demand or challenge that they do not yet have the skills to meet?

* Don’t overlook the ordinary needs of any child – to be valued, to belong, to have friends, to experience success, to have age appropriate choice and control, or for their opinion on the situation to be heard (even if they lack the words to express that verbally).

REFRAME, or ‘RESTORY’, the behaviour

In a situation where our child’s actions are described as ‘challenging behaviour’, it is important for us to stand strong in our advocacy, and support them to communicate the real human story of their experience.

We must reframe the picture that is presented to us, to support our children, and to support their school to see our child’s perspective.  We must help others never lose sight of the child and their perspective and well being.

Julie Causton and Kate Macleod state we must ‘restory’ the behaviour:

 “All kids want to do well because they want love, belonging and understanding.  It is up to us to restory our student’s challenging behaviour in order to help them succeed, feel loved, and feel understood.  Certainly, it’s what we'd want someone to do for us.”

(From ‘Behaving to Belonging : The inclusive art of supporting students who challenge us’ by Julie Causton and Kate Macleod)

Image Source: North Star Path

Our tip: With your Child

When your child is calm ask if they are okay to talk. Empathise first, listen, tell them what you have observed (without judgement) then ask for their thoughts on the situation.  Work together on planning solutions.

Even where your child has limited effective communication, think about:

  • What words or other strategies (e.g AAC) does my child need to express themselves to get their needs met, or to name and express their feelings next time?
  • How will my child be successful in communicating this next time the situation occurs?
  • Who at the school can ensure this will happen?
  • How can I help the school to tune into my child’s communication including non-verbal signs and the 'behavioural whispers'?
  • Document and share with the school key information, e.g. the signs my child is becoming uncomfortable, what helps them to feel safe and regulated, and what to avoid. 

A black and white photo of Dr Martin Luther King with a quote from him in text over the image. A riot is the Language of the unheard.

Tip: Don’t overcomplicate with tools and strategies – focus on regulation and relationship first!

An image of an upside down triangle. It has the words (bottom to top, small to large). Regulate, Relate, Reason.

Image source:  Bruce Perry, Beacon House (PDF).

He’s confident, he’s happy, and he’s part of the class

CRU believes that too often when 'behaviour' is catching everyone’s attention, we can lose sight of the importance of supporting students in ways that are consistent with full inclusion and participation.  When we focus on 'managing behaviour', we lose the opportunity to focus on the supports and adjustments students need to do better.

This year we released this video that shares the story of a family’s vision for their son, their belief in his potential and an unwavering conviction to his inclusion at his local primary school.  This video shares how a school team transformed Nathan’s experience in his year 4 class through investing in their relationship with him, and nurturing his place in the class as an independent learner.   Instead of a focus on behaviour and risk management, there was a focus on planning for inclusion – with amazing outcomes for Nathan.

The problem with punishment

CRU is concerned that many approaches to dealing with 'behaviour' are reactive, not based in evidence, and have serious immediate and long-term detrimental consequences for students with disability.

Recent data shows that children with disability continue to be suspended and expelled from Queensland schools at a disproportionate rate when compared with children who do not have disability.  This discussion paper from QAI evaluates the current systemic responses and makes recommendations for reform.

A black and white photo of a bearded man smiling. It includes the text quote by Michel Tremblay: If we can look at others with curiosity rather than judgement, then we will rediscover the tenderness within ourselves.

For further reading:

Video series “Supporting people with sensory and movement differences” available for rent

Dear Friends and Supporters of CRU,

We are excited to let you know that the webinar series “Supporting people with sensory and movement differences”, has now been converted to an on-demand video series, available to rent via the CRU website.

Thank you for the feedback you gave us on the importance and impact of these sessions. We have been able to negotiate with our presenters to find a way that this content can continue to be available, and we hope you will find this useful.

We hope that you will find this a useful and flexible resource.  One you can use to share information and strategies with your family and wider support network, or perhaps to use as part of staff training and development?

This is a new concept for CRU, along with our use of Vimeo as the platform you will use to buy and view the videos. So if you have any questions or need assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for support.

Video 1: An introduction to sensory-movement differences and diversity

How movement and sensory differences and disorder affects people, and how they can best be supported.

Video 2: Lights! Camera! Autism!

The use of video technology to support people creatively to increase their independence.

The series

This series has been designed for family members but is relevant for friends and paid supporters to watch as well. The series was initially offered through the support of the Anne Cross Leadership Initiative, sponsored by Uniting Care. Collectively the presenters Kate McGinnity, Sharon Hammer, Lisa Ladson and Anna Nikolay have a broad range of experience in education, coaching and consulting and a commitment to demystifying the experience of people who live with autism or movement or sensory differences.

For more information please visit the Videos On Demand (VOD) section of website.

He’s confident, he’s happy and he’s part of the class.  Building relationships for successful inclusion.

We have produced this 25 minute video because when a student’s behaviour is catching everyone’s attention, school inclusion can become very fragile. It is distressing for everyone, and unhelpful patterns can get established, including the student becoming isolated, stigmatized, punished and excluded. We are sharing this story because we believe that every child can thrive in an inclusive classroom with the right supports.

Read more... (new page)

FFIE Newsletter 8: Focus on inclusion and first nation students and families

The cover of the newsletterAcknowledgement of Country:  CRU respectfully acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as Australia’s first peoples and the traditional owners/custodians of the land on which we work and live. We pay respect to Elders, past and present, recognise the significant contributions of our First Nations people, and seek relationships based on recognition, reconciliation and  justice.

This special edition of our Families for Inclusive Education newsletter focuses on intersections between successful inclusion for students with disability and inclusion for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

We are excited to share a family story of a young North Queensland student, Kassidy, who became the Indigenous captain of her primary school, and who also happens to have Down syndrome. As a proud ambassador for her Torres Strait Islander culture, Kassidy has had many opportunities to contribute to her school community, and develop her own leadership skills.

Kassidy’s story exemplifies the truth that we all have multiple identities, and that school inclusion can provide ways for those identities and strengths to be valued.

We also share reflections from our CRU team about two powerful learning experiences. The first was CRU’s collaboration with Central Queensland colleagues from the Department of Education, Cindy Willett and Barb Carroll, who helped to bring together a Yarning Circle in Mackay, attended by many of the Community Education Counsellors (CECs) and others working with First Nations families and students.

The second was a powerful session at CRU’s Peer Support training event where well-respected facilitator/educator Fiona Bobongie led a facilitated conversation for volunteer Peer Support contacts to expand cultural awareness and be sensitised to experiences, challenges and strengths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.

Supporting People with Sensory & Movement Differences – with Compassion, Collaboration & Respect

The banner of the webinar. The text is repeated in the post below.

The manner in which a person handles incoming information is paramount in determining the most successful supports for an optimally independent, rich and full life. How do we get there? Let’s go together!

Join us in this explanation and video demonstration of what occurs for individuals with sensory and movement differences and diversity.

Based on the work of Leary and Donnellan (2012), we’ll use this understanding as a cornerstone for determining learning and behavioral approaches that are COLLABORATIVE and SUCCESSFUL for some of our most complex learners.

Replay of the first webinar now closed

The replay of this webinar is now closed.  You are welcome to register for the next webinar in this series below.  The even is titled Lights! Camera! Autism! and is on the morning of the 9th of June.

The presenters

Kate McGinnity, M.S.

A phot of Kate McGinnity, smiling warmly

Kate is an international presenter and author as well as a nationally recognized consultant/coach and teacher in the field of autism.  She has over 35 years of experience working with individuals with autism and their families.  During her tenure as a teacher, Kate was recognized as the National Teacher of the Year by the Autism Society of America.

She is currently involved in private practice providing training and consultation/coaching to professionals and parents as well as counseling and yoga to individuals on the autism spectrum.  Kate has taught graduate level autism related courses, through a variety of universities.

Kate is the co-author of the following books, all available through CBR Press: “Walk Awhile in My Autism” (2005);  “Lights! Camera! Autism! Using video technology to enhance lives” (2011); and “Lights! Camera! Autism!2 Using video technology to support new behavior (2013).”   She is committed to bringing her passion and compassion to every aspect of her work and life.

Anna Nikolay

A photo of Anna Nikolay, smiling warmly

Anna Nikolay is a special education teacher and Autism consultant in Wisconsin. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2018 with degrees in Elementary and Special Education and has taught special education in Wisconsin since then.

Anna was selected early in her career to be a member of an esteemed group of colleagues on a district wide autism support team, co-leading the team after her initial year on it.

Anna develops and presents trainings for staff and families on a variety of autism and other special education related topics. Anna is known for her ability to collaborate with individuals and students who cross her path. In 2019 Anna started her Autism consulting business Nikolay Consulting, LLC to help support and amplify voices of individuals with Autism.

In 2020, Anna started in the Education Policy and K-12 Leadership Master’s program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Useful Resources


These videos were included in the webinar:


There was a number of books mentioned in the webinar.  CRU has the following books for sale in our Online Store.  Click on the images below to find out more.

Another book, which CRU does not stock, is by Judy Endow - Paper Words:  Discovering and Living with My Autism (external link in new tab).

Autism sensory movement differences
Lights Camera Autism
Lights Camera Autism 2
Walk Awhile in My Autism

CRU sharing information: NDIS consultation, new worker screening & Down Syndrome conference

Dear Friends and Supporters of CRU,

As well as keeping you updated with CRU events, from time to time we like to share information about other events that are happening that we think might be of interest to you. Please see below for information on the New Worker Screening for Self and Plan managed NDIS participants, details of the Down Syndrome QLD Conference and find out more and have your say about proposed changes to the NDIS.

Webinar: New worker screening for self-managed & plan managed NDIS participants

From 1 February 2021, a new National Worker Screening system began in Queensland. New workers for registered NDIS service providers, working in risk assessed roles, will need to obtain a worker screening clearance. But what will the new system mean for people who are not using registered providers?
Join CRU, QDN, ADA, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Disability Network of Queensland (ATSIDNQ) for a free webinar to find out what the changes mean for self-managed and plan managed participants and their families.

Endless Possibilities Practical Inclusion Conference
Down Syndrome Queensland

Members of CRU’s Families for Inclusive Education Project team are excited to be presenting at Down Syndrome Queensland’s Endless Possibilities Conference being held in Brisbane – and live streamed – in early March. For families and teachers, the conference will provide practical ideas, strategies and tips to achieve Inclusive Education.

8am – 4:30pm (Qld) March 4, 2021

Victoria Park Golf Club, Herston, Brisbane (and live streamed). Separate Parent and Teacher streams are being run.

Click here for the program and full list of topics/speakers, and to find out how to register.

Have your say on proposed changes to the NDIS

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is proposing a number of significant changes to the way the NDIS works, and is asking for feedback about these changes. We encourage you to take some time to understand what is being proposed and think about what these changes might mean for you or your family. There is more information, including discussion papers and FAQs on the NDIS website.

You can provide feedback on any of the proposed changes, in written, audio or video format. Consultations close at 10am ADST Tuesday 23rd February.

CYDA information sessions on upcoming NDIS Changes

Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA) is holding online information sessions on the proposed NDIS changes, and seeking feedback on the changes through surveys. There will be a session and survey for parents and caregivers, and a session and survey for young people with disability who have hand experience with the NDIS.


Upcoming Project: From School To Work


Banner image. Hands holding up a sign that reads coming soon. Text: From school to work. Text: Join our mailing list to keep up to date on this upcoming project

In the second half of 2020, CRU – Community Resource Unit (QLD), Family Advocacy (NSW) and Imagine More (ACT) will start to work together on a new three year project to support young people with disability and their families to engage with employment.

This program aims to inspire, increase the confidence of and motivate students with a disability and their families to make a start on the road to employment.

We’ll be holding introductory webinars and in-depth workshops for each of the following groups:

  • Imagining Work for students in Years 7 and 8
  • Discovering Work for students in Years 9 and 10
  • Finding Work for students in Years 11 and 12.

We’ll share information about the dates and times of these webinars and workshops soon.  The information contained in the majority of the webinars will be the same in Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT. However some of the content delivered will be specific to the state or territory it is presented in to ensure we cover local schemes and issues.

CRU will be with you on this journey to encourage and support so that your high schooler with disability and your family feel empowered, and you can take action towards employment!

If you would like to join the mailing list and be kept up to date with the details of this project, please add your details to the form below.  If you are not a family member but a keen supporter of a person with disability and are interested in this topic, you are also most welcome to join our mailing list.

School to Work
This will help us as we plan for our workshops

As with the general CRU mailing list, we won’t share your information with anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any time.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about the ‘From School to Work’ project or other aspects of what CRU has to offer, please email

New Edition Launched. CRUcial Times 56: Creating a Home, One Person at a Time

We are very pleased to share with you the latest edition of CRUcial Times. This is our 56th edition and it explores the idea of creating a home, one person at a time.

The cover of crucial times 56
Click to download

The authors in this edition do not try to gloss over the challenges of establishing a real home for a person with a disability , or of supporting someone in this task. The stories are practical and real, and a common theme from all our authors is that a real home is more than just a physical place, and absolutely worth the effort required.

After the last edition of CRUcial Times looked at how a home can be a foundation for a life in community, in this edition we wanted to showcase some examples of how people have gone about being supported to live in their own home. Home is such an important topic because our home is a central part of our lives and deeply connected to our identities. While secure housing is linked to our ideas of safety and security in life, to feel at home also requires a feeling of control and the freedom that comes with privacy and with intimacy.

We would like to thank the authors, Sue Boyce, Bronwyn Moloney and Bronia Holyoak for sharing their stories and experiences for this edition, and to Jeremy Ward for generously allowing us to include an edited excerpt from his book. In a shameless cross promotion, Jeremy’s wonderful book The Shouted Goodbye is available for sale in the CRU bookshop. In the book Jeremy goes into more detail about the strategies that enabled his daughter to live in her own home.

We also thank the organisation TASH in the United States for permission to republish Patricia Fratangelo’s article on life sharing, and Parity magazine, published by the Council to Homeless Persons, for permission to republish Cameron Skinner and Deb Rouget’s article A Home of My Own.

If you would prefer to have a hard copy mailed to you then please let us know and we will happily arrange for that. We do not routinely do large mail outs these days as many people prefer to receive material electronically, but we are more than happy to post you a copy if preferred. If you are having accessibility issues with the attached file, then please find a version with simplified formatting on our website. If you need the articles in this edition in a different format to make them more accessible then please get in touch and will we arrange this for you.

You are welcome to share this edition of CRUcial Times on to anyone you think may be interested and don’t forget there are 55 previous editions of CRUcial Times available on our website.

Update from CRU : CRUcial Conversations Podcast Series

This information was shared in a CRU Email update on Wednesday 13th May 2020

Last year CRU released a series of podcasts featuring stories of grass roots leadership and change in the disability community in Queensland. With the pace of life slowing for some people during this time, it may be an opportunity to re-visit, or listen for the first time to these ‘CRUcial Conversations’.

There are seven podcasts in the series: five feature leaders from the disability community in Queensland, opening up and sharing their own very personal stories. There is also an introduction podcast, talking about the purpose of these crucial conversations, and reflecting on the stories you will hear. The final podcast is a conversation between Karin Swift and Lesley Chenoweth, discussing the messages of the series with journalist Nance Haxton.

The podcasts are really easy to listen to – the series can be found wherever good podcasts are found – iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts and countless others. You can click on this text to access the podcasts. There are more detailed instructions on how to listen below.

  1. Josey McMahon and her twin sister Cathy grew up in a large family in rural Queensland until Cathy moved to live in an institution where she remained for 47 years. This is the story of how Josey reconnected with Cathy and helped her to reconnect with the wider world once again. At its heart this story is about personal change, reconnection and the power of family.
  2. Margaret and Jeremy Ward have been active members of the disability community in Queensland since the 1980’s. In this story they share the personal struggle for their daughter Mena to attend the local school alongside her peers, describing the importance of clarifying their vision; learning about new ways of doing things and getting the right people around the table to help make it happen.
  3. Anne Cross is the founding director of CRU and the recently retired CEO of Uniting Care Qld. Anne’s career coincided with various developments that have come to define our understanding of professional services and their place in people’s lives. Her story is an example of how skilled and committed professionals can partner with people with disability and their families to create change.
  4. Leanne Burke’s leadership has been in quietly and consistently demonstrating what good quality service looks like. Guided by the example of her first teacher, her big sister Maria, Leanne is committed to creating the best life for the people she works with. In sharing what she’s learnt, Leanne challenges many common assumptions of how to serve people well and what leadership looks like.
  5. Kevin Cocks. Since acquiring his disability in his early 20’s, Kevin has engaged in disability advocacy, co-founded an innovative service, won a class action to change the Australian Building Code and served as Queensland’s Anti-Discrimination commissioner. In this podcast, Kevin reflects on his earlier life and some of the ways he was active in cutting new paths for himself and on behalf of all people with disability.


The three main ways to find the podcasts are:

  1. If you have an iPhone, CRUcial Conversations is available through iTunes (just search for the title), or you could click this text and it will do it for you.
  2. If you are not an iPhone user then click here for Spotify, or click here for Google Podcasts.
  3. You can also listen to the episodes on our website if you follow this link to our website. The page also includes more detailed instructions on using iTunes, Spotify and Google Podcasts.

These podcasts were funded by the Anne Cross Leadership Initiative, which was established in 2017 to honour the contribution of Anne Cross to Uniting Care Queensland during her years as the Chief Executive Officer.

CRU staff are still available to provide support via phone, email and zoom to people with disability and their families. There are a variety of ways that CRU can provide this – either through one of our particular projects or through a Fee for Service arrangement.

If you need some information, a sounding board, are experiencing issues with NDIS or formal supports, or just want to use this downtime to do some dreaming/planning for you or your family member, please contact us on 3844 2211 or . Our Admin staff will link you with the best person to talk to.

Update from CRU : Wed 6th May : Information and Resources

This information was sent in a CRU Email update on Wednesday 6th May 2020.


With all of the information being circulated at the moment, and in the busy-ness of peoples’ lives we thought it might be helpful to pull some of the information together into one place.

This week we are drawing from a very broad range of interest areas so and hope there is something here for everyone.


Communication with School – Building a Foundation for Partnerships Webinar, with the CRU Families for Inclusive Education Project Team

Effective parent and school partnerships may be more important now than ever. This webinar will give parents an opportunity to refocus their vision and goals for their son or daughter, and to explore effective communication and collaboration skills that can lead to achieving the best outcomes for their child. Effective advocacy strategies will be explored, including tips specific to email and phone communication.
Registrations closing Friday 8th of May for the LIVE session of the Webinar on Monday 11th of May (11am – 12noon), or the RECORDED Session on the 18th of May.
Please click on this text to register.
Note: For anyone who has not used ZOOM before, please let us know if you require ‘technical instructions’ and we can happily send these out to you.


Becoming a Better Communication Partner for Someone with Communication Needs

Dr Jane Remington-Gurney has developed an online, self-paced communication partner training course.
“Do you interact with someone who has a complex communication need? Are you frustrated by not being able to communicate smoothly with this person? Do you feel that your interaction is just a series of questions and answers rather than a conversation? Chances are that the person you are supporting shares your feelings of communication frustration. Only too often training courses for communication partners deal with one specific product or tool and leave you wondering about the big picture and how you develop their communication partner skills.”
Please click on this text to go to the website for more information or to register.


Universal Design in Housing

The Centre for Universal Design Australia has launched our new FREE e-learning course on universal design in housing.
“Home is the foundation upon which society functions and yet Australia still does not have a mandated minimum standard of universal design for dwellings. The course shows how housing fits into a broad policy context ; digs deep into the statistics to determine ‘need’; and assesses the current compliance context. Home Coming? provides a knowledge and evidence base to understand how housing contributes to economic, social and human rights outcomes in Australia and how a lack of mandated standards are affecting Australia’s productivity and prosperity.” Click on this text to find out more or register.



CYDA Annual Survey

Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA) is conducting their annual survey on education issues and we would encourage you to make a contribution.
In the past, the CYDA surveys on education have produced important snapshots of the issues faced by students and their families which is able to inform systemic advocacy issues, highlighting the gap between what students and their families need and should be receiving in line with their human rights, legislation and policy – and what they experience. Obviously in noting good examples of inclusive education and supports, it also points to ways forward for systemic reform.

This annual education survey of young people and families is focusing on the COVID-19 environment this year. Please share widely with your networks as CYDA is keen to hear from as many young people with disability, and families, as possible. Click on this text to go to the online survey.



Disability Royal Commission Newsletter, Edition 2 of CONNECT

Edition 2 of Connect, the newsletter from the Disability Royal Commission has now been released.
You can read the newsletter by clicking this text to link to the website.
This edition looks at the awareness and recognition of the rights of people with disability.
The DRC want to learn more about the level of awareness that people with disability, and the wider community, have about the rights of people with disability. They are also interested in attitudes towards people with disability, and want to know more about how those attitudes develop and what can be done to change them.


We hope you find some, or all, of the this information helpful and that you continue to keep safe during the COVID-19 distancing measures.

Support from Families for Inclusive Education for families moving to Learning at Home

We hope that you have enjoyed a happy and safe Easter.

As you will now be aware, the government has announced that when school goes back next week, most students will be moving to Learning at Home for the first 5 weeks of Term 2 (to be further reviewed).  This will be a big change for families and students and so we thought it would be helpful for us to be in touch with you about CRU’s plans and also to provide you with some important links to resources which can assist you.  We know there is a lot of information out there – so we hope to not overwhelm you with too much information.

While we know that schools will also be communicating with you with more specifics and tailored resources – we also know that school responses are likely to vary considerably.  While many families will be looking forward to the opportunity to spend more time at home with their family, this won’t be without its challenges and juggling, and could feel quite overwhelming – particularly given loss of other routines and supports, and general anxiety about the impact of COVID-19.

Individual consultations

We hope that as with any big transition that you are able to prioritise taking care of each other – including Mum and Dad! – and being led by the bigger long-term vision – even if it is harder to act on many of those dreams right now!  Without taking away from the challenges, this provides a time to take stock and even to get to know your child as a learner and therefore to be clearer about their strengths, passions and what supports work for them.

While this is the hope, we know this isn’t straightforward and want to reassure you that CRU will continue to support families though our individual consultation service – phone/email or zoom consults are possible by emailing or by phoning 3844 2211 and a consultant will get back to you.

This will be valuable for families knowing where to start in their transition to home learning!  Please remember that while the Families for Inclusive Education Project focuses on issues around inclusive education, CRU generally supports people with disability and their families, so if you have a question relating to other issues (e.g. NDIS or supports during this time), we may be able to assist you by linking you with another CRU team member.


As already announced on our date claimer, we will be hosting a webinar at 10.30am on 11th May on the topic of Communication with the School: Building a Foundation for Partnership.   It will include suggestions both for “ordinary” times as well as during this current context.   Given the new technical restrictions, we will be offering a recording and zoom session at a different time slot the following week – more details to follow.

Additional resources for families

We will also be:

  • Launching web resources for families
  • Offering group zoom conversations for families to learn about helpful resources, offer strategies, and support each other
  • Offering online learning versions of our workshops – in flexible formats
  • Sharing family stories and examples of inclusion in different formats
  • Continuing to support family to family peer support connections.

More information will follow, with specific dates and links for the zoom conversation and other online learning.

Department of Education Resources

We also want to draw your attention to the resources being made available by Queensland’s Department of Education:

Australian Coalition for Inclusive Education

CRU is a member of the Australian Coalition for Inclusive Education which has produced a very valuable resource for families leading home learning at this time. It has lots of interesting links for stimulating learning for all ages and interests.  There is also great information on how students can be socially connected during these unusual times.

CRU is interested in hearing your feedback about what additional supports would assist you to navigate the current challenges, and the Department of Education is seeking feedback from us on how learning at home is progressing, even in this preparatory phase.  Please contact us by phone or email if you would like to provide this input or need assistance.

Children and Young People with Disability (CYDA)

As well, Children and Young People with Disability (CYDA) is collecting national data and you may want to contribute through completing CYDA’s survey of young people with disability and families.  This survey will remain open during the COVID-19 crisis.

We hope you are able to enjoy the slower paced school holidays – and look forward to supporting you over the coming months.  Hang in there!

Videos from Disability Royal Commission event with CYDA now live

These videos were filmed by Community Resource Unit Ltd. (CRU) at a joint event held with Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA) at Common Ground on the 18th February 2020.  The videos can be viewed on the playlist above, or can be viewed individually in our videos page.

This event discussed the Disability Royal Commission (DRC), its interest in education of children with disability and how people can share their stories with the Royal Commission.

CYDA has created a workbook to assist families as they prepare submissions around education.  Download the workbook here (MS Word).  They also have created some factsheets which we have linked to below.

Here is a list of links that relate to these videos:


Disability Royal Commission (DRC)

Queensland Collective for Inclusive Education (QCIE)

Support for people making submission

CRU and CYDA Disability Royal Commission workshop – towards transformation in inclusive education

This event was filmed by Community Resource Unit Ltd. (CRU) at a joint event held with Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA) at Common Ground on the 18th February 2020.

This event  discussed the Disability Royal Commission (DRC), its interest in education of children with disability and how people can share their stories with the Royal Commission.

CYDA has created a workbook to assist families as they prepare submissions around education.  Download the workbook here (MS Word). 

There are additional links to useful websites in the descriptions of each video.

Read more... (new page)

CRU and CYDA Disability Royal Commission workshop – towards transformation in inclusive education

CRU is delighted to be working with CYDA (Children and Young People with Disability Australia) to co-host this workshop on Tuesday 18th February from 9.30am-12.30pm (morning tea provided).

Please arrive from 9am for a 9.30 start. The workshop will be held in the Gambaro Room, Commonground, 15 Hope Street, South Brisbane.

Bookings are essential for catering and venue purposes; please register your interest here:

Click here to register

This workshop will be an opportunity to learn about the Disability Royal Commission and how to have your say on the issue of education. For some of you this is of current concern and for others your son or daughter may have already graduated but you may have a story that you would like to tell.

The workshop will provide information about:

  • The current Royal Commission,
  • Practical tips and
  • Support to prepare your own submission if you would like to do so.

The aim is to help students and parents to feel more confident about contributing their experiences and insights in order to guide the work of the Royal Commission.

On the day, there will be the opportunity to prepare (or at least begin to prepare) a submission – either a written or a video submission. Frequently asked questions will be addressed and you will have some opportunity to hear about other work being undertaken to promote inclusive education through engagement with the Disability Royal Commission.

Advocates from QAI and also SUFY who have funding to support individuals and families to tell their stories, will also be in attendance.

If you are not able to attend due to distance or competing commitments, let us know as we will distribute information following the event and CYDA may be able to resource you further.  CRU also intends to offer further workshops later in 2020.

Parking will be paid on-street parking (4-9 hour parks are available in the following streets – Hope, Montague, Merivale, Cordelia, Russell Streets) or you can park at the Queensland museum. Hope Street is very accessible for public transport – an easy walk from the cultural centre busway and South Brisbane stations.

Families for Inclusive Education – Date Claimer, Term 1 2020

Dear friends,

Last year, CRU was delighted to offer 20 workshops across Queensland for families of Queensland school students with disability as part of our Families for Inclusive Education Project proudly supported by the Queensland Government, Department of Education.

We are excited to announce our workshops for Terms 1 & 2 2020.


Term One Dates

The cover for the 2020 term 1 date claimer for the families for inclusive education project
Download here

Registrations are open for our term one workshops:

The workshops help families to learn more about inclusive education, including what inclusive education looks like and how it benefits your child, and how, as family member, you can develop a collaborative relationship with your child’s school to improve their educational experience.

Supported Attendance for Regional Attendees

For regional families, we want to draw your attention to our final half day version of Setting the Direction for Success (Richlands, Brisbane West) on 27th February, the day before one of our follow up workshops Working Effectively with your Child’s School (Chermside, Brisbane North) on 28th February.

We have intentionally scheduled these workshops back to back for those regional families who have not been able to attend our workshops so far.

If CRU is not offering workshops at a location closer to you (ie you don’t live in or very close to Townsville, Rockhampton, Toowoomba or SE Qld) and your child is currently attending a Queensland state school, you can apply for support (travel costs e.g. petrol, airfares and accommodation) to attend the workshops on 27th and 28th February by filling in the application form below.

Download the Travel Support Request Form here

We will be able to assist with logistics and transport to the venues. (These supported attendance is also available for all our workshops, e.g. for people in Nth Queensland to travel to Townsville).

Newsletter and resources

We are pleased to share our second newsletter on how to promote and defend a vision of inclusion.  We hope the newsletter resources will strengthen and embolden you as you prepare for another school year.  Some of the messages are around high expectations and your child’s right to a quality inclusive education; that your child has gifts and strengths and will be an asset to the school; that you hold a natural authority as their advocate; and encouragement to link with others to stay strong in your advocacy efforts.

In preparation for return to school, you may also want to revisit newsletter one and our webinar!

In addition to the dates/locations on the date claimer, we will also offer an evening session in Brisbane (at the CRU office) on Monday 23rd March with an abridged version of Setting the Direction for Success.  More information will be available soon but if you want to receive a reminder about this session, please email

As well, our second webinar will be held early in Term 2 on the topic of Communication with School – Building a Foundation for Partnerships.

We very much look forward to connecting with families in the school years in 2020 and remember we are available for individual consultations.   We hope this coming school year will be a wonderful year of fun, friendship and learning for your child.

If you are not the parent of a school aged child, please spread the word or check out our other events.

News and Christmas wishes from our CEO

Christmas festive banner with the words merry christmas with best wishes from all at cru

Dear Friends and Supporters of CRU

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your support of CRU during 2019 and to wish you a happy Christmas and a safe and relaxing holiday period.

Last Friday we received an early Christmas present, with the news that we have been successful in securing some funding from the NDIA for the next three years. This funding, known as Information Linkages and Capacity Building will enable us to continue to work across the state, offering workshops, webinars, leadership development and other small projects.

The focus of this funding is capacity building for people with disabilities and their families, so it does not replace all that CRU was doing and we will continue to seek funds from other sources. This funding gives us a more secure base from which to do that.

You will know from my previous updates that over the past few years, we have been working hard to navigate this transition from secure and flexible state funding to the new competitive world of the NDIS and that at times, our future has been very uncertain.

It is a huge relief to the Board and Staff of CRU to receive this news and very exciting to be able to now plan for longer than a few months at a time. It is due to begin in April 2020 so stay posted for lots more information in the New Year.

The cover of the advance notice document
Download here

We had already been planning for 2020 – please download our advance notices and a flyer for our first workshop for 2020, which is a two-day Social Role Valorisation workshop on the Gold Coast. Our workshops on Inclusive Education will continue until May and a date claimer for those is included in the advance notices above.

Thank you to all those who took the time to fill out our recent survey. We have not seen the results yet but expect a report from the third party consultants early in January.

We have just updated the CRU website to make it more accessible so if you have time to have a browse over the holiday period we would welcome any feedback.

The CRU office will be closed from this Friday 20th December and will reopen on Monday 6th January.
2020 is already shaping up to be a busy and exciting year and we look forward to continue working with you to achieve our mission of full and meaningful lives for people with disability.

With best wishes

Event Update

Dear Friends and Supporters of CRU,

Please find below an updated status on CRU events happening between now and the end of 2019.

While many of the workshops are coming to a close for 2019, we are busy making plans for another full program to start the year in 2020 and will release the new Date Claimer as soon as more details are available.

CRU Workshops

Self-Management : Confident, Connected and In Control

Presented by Catherine Laherty & others

The final Self-Management: Confident Connected & In Control workshop for this year will take place tomorrow at North Lakes.

The aim of these workshops are to build the confidence of people to self-manage their NDIS supports. Repeat workshops are being planned for 2020.

CRU 2019 Annual General Meeting

CRU’s 2019 AGM will take place at 5.30pm on Wednesday 27th November in the CRU Office, Level 2/43 Peel Street, South Brisbane.

Everyone is welcome to attend, however you do need to be a current financial member of CRU to exercise voting rights.

Towards a Better Life: Exploring SRV with regard to People who are marginalised

Presented by Jane Sherwin

2020 dates for Gold Coast and Mackay workshops are currently being planned. We will keep you updated as soon as those are available for registration.

Implementing and Reviewing Your NDIS Plan

Presented by Jen Mouritz

  • Implementing Your NDIS Plan – from Goals to Action
    Brisbane : 3rd December
    Register for this event
    This workshop will help you better understand your NDIS plan, provide strategies to help you get started to achieve your goals, and consider ways to design and sustain supports to ensure a “good fit” for you and your family. You will look at ways to direct supports for a good life, including recruiting the right staff for the role.
  • Reviewing Your NDIS Plan – Record, Reflect, Plan
    Brisbane : 11th December
    Register for this event
    The second workshop is for people who want to get prepared for their annual NDIS review and get clear about the goals they would like to see into the future.

Getting to the Heart of What Matters – the Role of a Support Worker (Support Worker Training)

Presented by Suellen Welch
Brisbane : 5th December
Register for this event

The role of a support worker is complex and multi-faceted. Paid staff can make a significant contribution to a person’s life – enabling the person to live a rich life and pursue their own unique goals and dreams.

This full day workshop will be an opportunity for support workers to critically reflect upon the essential purpose of their role, the values that drive “support”, and the sorts of relationships which are core to supporting someone well, particularly in relation to valued roles and community belonging.

Families for Inclusive Education Project workshops

Presented by CRU

CRU has been funded by the Department of Education to deliver workshops across Queensland under the Families for Inclusive Education (FFIE) project.

These workshops are an opportunity for families to reflect on their long-term vision for their family member – and how the school years can become a pathway to that positive, rich, included life.

While the 2019 workshop program has now concluded, the 2020 program of events is currently being planned and details will be soon be available.

In the meantime, if you weren’t able to tune-in to the webinar that took place on 14th October, the presentation slides that were used are available to downloaded here, or you can watch the recording here on our You Tube channel.

For more information on all CRU workshops, see the Events page on the CRU website,
or click on the individual links listed above for each workshop.

Why we need a vision for inclusion

The Families for Inclusive Education Project is a CRU initiative funded by Queensland Government’s Department of Education to help families develop a clear vision for their child’s school years, learn about inclusive education policies and supports, and develop advocacy skills and peer support networks.

This newsletter explores how a positive vision can build a strong foundation for inclusive education.

Navigating the school years when your child has a disability can be daunting – so we encourage families to keep believing in their child, their gifts and strengths and their right to belong and contribute.

Stand Strong - our schools and communities are better when everyone belongs

Early in Term 4 we hosted a webinar on Planning Successful Transitions, which builds on the themes of this newsletter.  The webinar can be viewed in full on our website.

We can also offer individual consultations/ conversations if you want to explore these ideas or other issues more deeply.  Please call or email us for a conversation, to request information, or to be linked to a family with similar experiences.

Click here for upcoming events for this project

Group of boys in school uniform talkingLindie presenting at a day 1 workshop

What is a vision and how can we use it?

Gina Wilson Burns

So the things in Mac’s vision are things we want for any child, it’s just something we’ve intentionally articulated.

The vision allows us to test things against it and see whether we are staying on the right path.

(Gina Wilson Burns, Mac’s mother).

See Mac's vision in action at 19 Stories of Social Inclusion.

One page profile for Kindy student Ellie Stafford

Crafting your vision for inclusion

Resourcing Inclusive Communities (RIC) has a practical and in-depth workbook for Creating a Vision Statement.  They provide examples of people’s visions and family stories about using a vision statement to pursue inclusion.

American mother Tiffany Stafford has a step by step guide on How to Make a One Page Profile, Ellie Style.  While there are many ways to capture your vision, a one page profile can be an easy way to share your child’s strengths, interests, and vision with friends, family and schools.

To craft the good life, we need to do the hard work on clarifying and sustaining our vision of what we want, not what others  tell us are the limits of what is possible. 

If we try to choose in a vacuum, not knowing what it is we really want,  others will choose for us

Jeremy Ward, Parent advocate

Connecting with others

QCIE logo dark and light brown lines and circles in a circleQueensland Collective for Inclusive Education (QCIE)

QCIE is a group of families who promote inclusive lives for their children with disability and work together to make inclusive schools a reality for all.  They offer ‘coffee and chat’ gatherings where families can meet to share knowledge and experiences.

The QCIE Peer support Network is their closed Facebook group for families to learn and share experiences.

Learn More

All means all logoAll Means All: Australian Alliance for Inclusive Education

Highly recommended for practical resources, past submissions and Facebook groups for parents and educators.

All Means All offers resources For Parents and For Educators that include Inclusion Toolkits, resources, Facebook groups for discussing how to make inclusion a reality for all students.

Learn More

What do we mean by Inclusion?

In this edition of CRUcial Times, people reflect on what inclusion is, what it isn’t, and why it’s vital to know the difference.

The cover page of crucial times edition 51: What do we mean by inclusion?
Download here

There are 55 editions of our publication,
free for download on our website.

Inclusion 2.0:  Teaching to diversity

In this video, Canadian educator Shelley Moore discusses the need for a shift from: "How do we support disabilities in a classroom?" to "How do we support a diverse classroom?" and the benefits this has for all students.

Being clear on these benefits can help families in their advocacy.

Inclusive schooling is an educational movement that stresses interdependence and independence, views all students as capable, and values a sense of community.

Paula Kluth

Stop-press: Paula Kluth will be a keynote presenter at Illume Learning’s Australian Inclusive Schooling Conference.  12-13 March 2020.  Brisbane

This project is proudly supported by the Queensland Government through the Department of Education.

The Department of Education website outlines its commitment to Inclusive education through its inclusive education policy.


Community Resource Unit Ltd - CRU (logo) Bright colours expanding from central point with the words Community Resource Unit Ltd, Expanding Ideas; Creating Change

Seven Steps to Self-Direction – Cairns

Join Sharon Bourke in this one-day workshop to explore a practical, values-based framework of self-direction, and how to develop supports that work respectfully and constructively together. Now OPEN for registration.

How have other people made self-directing work?
This one-day workshop explores a practical, values-based framework of self-direction, and how to develop supports that work respectfully and constructively together.

The seven steps provide a simple, helpful guide that can be worked through, or started at any step. This workshop draws on the resource developed by Griffith University (Dr Margaret Ward) as part of the NDS Innovative Workforce Fund Project.

Self-direction has been found to give greater choice and control, and more effective and flexible use of available formal and freely-given support. Good support requires the right people to provide the right level of support at the right time.

September update for the Families for Inclusion Education project

Dear Friends of CRU,

Registrations are now open for a number of our Term 4 workshops being delivered as part of CRU’s Families for Inclusive Education Project. See below for our date claimer or click here for the latest updates on all the project is doing.  The workshops and other aspects of the project are designed to assist family members of students with disability across Queensland to be informed and confident so they can work as respected and valued partners in their child’s education.

Read more... (new page)

Date Claimer released – Sept to Dec 2019

CRU are pleased to release our Date Claimer for the remainder of 2019.

New workshops are now open for registration. Please see the date claimer or the event page for more information

The reverse side of the Date Claimer lists the Term 4 workshops planned as part of our Families for Inclusive Education Project, which are all open for registration.

We will keep you updated as more events go live, or by subscribing to the CRU Facebook page you will receive live updates.

An accessible word document version of the Date Claimer is available here.

image of the date claimer
Click to download

CRUcial Times 55: What it means to create a home

The cover of crucial times 55: what it means to create a home
Download here

In this, our 55th edition we have returned to an exploration of what it means to create a home.

Generally we think of home as a safe and secure place to be oneself and from that security take up opportunities to work, study or contribute to community, so we think it’s important to consider why a real home is so often out of the reach of people who live with disabilities. This topic has been the theme of previous editions of CRUcial Times and in some ways nothing has really changed about the fundamental importance of home and how essential it is. What we need to consider to assist someone who lives with disability to create and sustain a home hasn’t changed much either. However, the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme in Australia means that for the first time having enough funded support to move into a home of their own is a real possibility for many more people with disabilities.

With many people being offered only accommodation or a bed in a house we thought it was timely to return to the topic of creating a home to ensure that houses do become homes and do offer the comfort and security required to be a Launchpad into the rest of life.

Read more... (new page)

CRUcial Conversations Podcast

CRUcial Conversations Podcast

Two clay figures talking with the words above crucial conversations Resource Unit has a long history of curating stories of meaningful and positive change for people with disabilities and their families. To date this has been via written articles, books, conference presentations and videos.

Today we are pleased to announce the launch of our new podcast series:

CRUcial Conversations:  Five stories of grassroots leadership and change in the disability community in Queensland.

Read more... (new page)

Follow up resources from our Employment For All event with Michael Callahan

Here are some resources to follow up from the Employment for All seminar, held on August the 15th, 2017.

Michael Callahan (and related) Resources

Michael Callahan has written extensively on Customised Employment and related topics.  He has many of them can be found on the Marc Gold & Associates website.  This includes articles, forms, guides, examples and presentations from Michael.  There are literally dozens of papers here so we encourage you to explore this website.

You may have seen three books on the table that Michael brought with him.  He will be selling e-book versions of these through the Marc Gold & Associates website soon.

Read more... (new page)

New Opportunities: Wisdom from the NDIS trial sites

These videos are from footage taken our our “New Opportunities for a Good Life: Experiences from NDIS Trial Sites” events.  These one day forums, held in Toowoomba, Brisbane, Rockhampton and Hervey Bay showcased stories by and about people with disabilities and their families who have been involved in various NDIS trial sites from across Australia.

Read more… (new page)

Aoife O’Toole: Agency Transformation

The ‘Agency Transformation’ events held throughout October were designed to assist managers and other key decision makers to think through the core requirements for authentic service transformation so that services would be individually tailored and designed to assist people with a disability to live better lives.

Read more… (new page)