The Early Years Fact sheet

Starting school is a big step for every child and their family. When your child has a disability, it can feel even bigger. It is good to know that in Queensland, every student is entitled to attend their local state school.

It is also reassuring that 50 years of research has found that mainstream education settings provide positive academic and social outcomes for all learners, along with better long-term outcomes for employment, independence and social belonging for learners with disability.

Families may choose to enroll their children with disability into their local school because they are guided by a vision for their child to grow up as any child would, following the typical life path that leads from school to life in their community.

Read more… (new page)

Videos On Demand: Responding Well to Challenging Behaviours

Based on the two-day Responding Well to Challenging Behaviours workshop facilitated by Ann Greer, we present an On Demand Webinar Series which aims to encourage participants to understand more about the situations in which people with 'challenging behaviour' find themselves and explore how they can best respond to support the person. Ann Greer, a parent from regional Queensland, is a behavioural support consultant who is passionate about ensuring people with disabilities get the best opportunities to live the good life. Her son is her greatest teacher.

These on-demand videos provide practical insights & tools, so that people can be supported with compassion, collaboration & respect. They are a useful resource for families, friends & paid supporters & can also be used for training and development. This series can be purchased as a 7 day rental or as a 30 day rental.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for support.
Having trouble finding a video you have purchased?  Click here to view your Vimeo Purchases.

New Resources at CRU – Why it Matters

CRU is very please to share new resources titled “Why it Matters“.
These three new booklets are now available on our website via the Why it Matters Resource Page.

Why Advocacy Matters A Guide for Family Advocates: 
A booklet full of practical tips on how to speak up for your friend or family member.

Why Employment Matters A Handbook for Job Seekers:
Designed to help raise expectations that employment is possible and to provide some ways to get started.

Why Succession Planning Matters A Resource for Families to plan for the future:
A booklet to stimulate the necessary conversations and planning for when key people can no longer do what they are now doing.

These three booklets are designed to assist people with disabilities, their families and friends explore and discuss these important topics.
Two of the booklets draw on the work of our friend Jeremy Ward and were created in collaboration with his daughter Rebecca.

The Why it Matters resource page which contains further resources to complement and expand on those three topics.
Some hard copies of these booklets are also available, please get in touch with CRU about how they can be made available to you.

These booklets have been developed thanks to the generosity of the Anne Cross Leadership Initiative, a partnership between CRU and Uniting Care, that was formed to honour the contribution of Anne to Uniting Care QLD during her years as the Chief Executive Officer, and which aims to contribute to strong, principled leadership amongst people with disability and families across Queensland.

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.




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?”


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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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