Job Seeking

For more links see Useful Job Links in the above menu.

Information about Work for People with Spinal Cord Injuries

Looking for work? Here are some things to think about…

  • Centrelink
  • TAFE and OTEN Counseling Services
  • Employers’ Responsibilities
  • Disclosure
  • The Law – Know your rights
  • Discrimination – What to do if it happens to you
  • Transport: Getting There and Back
  • Working from Home

If you need to contact Centrelink you should make sure that you contact the Disability Support Officer (DSO). Doing this will save you time and confusion.

To contact a Disability Support Officer, call the appropriate number from the list below and get the operator to make arrangements for an interview with a Disability Support Officer.

The Disability Support Officer (DSO) will make an assessment of your needs (they will do this using information provided by you and a health professional e.g. a doctor, an occupational therapist or a social worker). The DSO will then make a decision regarding which vocational rehabilitation provider or which disabilities employment assistance provider Centrelink will refer you to.

For enquiries about:
Disability Support Pension contact: 13 27 17
Newstart contact: 13 28 50
Youth Allowance/Youth Study contact: 13 24 90
General Appointments contact: 13 10 21

Online: www.centrelink.gov.au

TAFE and OTEN Counselling Services

You don’t need to be an enrolled TAFE student to use this service. Remember that these counsellors focus mostly on options involving TAFE courses but they will also give you advice on other areas as well. You can make an appointment for a face-to-face or telephone interview.

Online: You can get in touch with a counsellor from your nearest campus by doing the following:

  1. Go to the TAFE website http://www.tafensw.edu.au/
  2. Click:  Menu | Student Services | Counselling and Career Advice
  3. Have a read and then click “at our campuses” to find a campus to contact.

Telephone: For general information contact the state office of TAFE NSW Counselling and Career Services (02) 9244 5103

Employers’ Responsibilities

It is illegal for employers to discriminate against employees or potential employees on the grounds of disability (NSW Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 Part 4A).

The Federal Disability Discrimination Act (1992) requires employers to make “reasonable adjustments” to ensure that people with a disability have equal opportunity.

Reasonable adjustments are a form of equal opportunity and may include:

  • job redesign
  • changing the workplace or work area
  • purchasing or modifying equipment
  • offering flexible working arrangements.

Disclosing your disability can be a big decision. Remember it is your choice and it can be an important one. When thinking about employment or study, the document Disclosure: It’s a Personal Decision helps you understand the potential benefits and disadvantages of disclosing your disability.

You can access the general disability policy documents at:




The Law – Know your rights

Disability Discrimination Act 1992
The Disability Discrimination Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against people with disabilities in employment, including recruitment, terms and conditions of employment, and dismissal or termination.

Types of discrimination

  • Direct Discrimination – when someone receives less favourable treatment than a person without a disability in the same circumstances
  • Indirect Discrimination – when a policy, practice or requirement is applied equally but has a discriminatory effect on people with a disability

For a brief guide to the Disability Discrimination Act and links

Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission

The Federal Privacy Act 1988
The Privacy Act 1988 protects your personal information. You have the right to know how your personal information is collected, what it is to be used for, who is collecting the information and to correct any wrong information.


Discrimination – What to do if it happens to you

Employees with a disability who believe that they are being discriminated against because of their disability can:

  • Ask their manager and/or the agency’s EEO Co-ordinator for advice and assistance
  • Use their agency’s grievance procedures to attempt to resolve the matter
  • Complain to the Anti-Discrimination Board if they consider their concerns have not been listened to or dealt with.

Under the Disability Discrimination Act of 1992, you have the right to complain to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) if you think you have been discriminated due to your disability.

Your complaint should be in writing. If you cannot write, send it by email. You can get someone else to write down your complaint or you can ask the HREOC to help you write it down. You can also lodge a complaint electronically through them (HREOC) website.

The complaint should say what happened, when, where, who was involved, and give the names of anyone else who can say what happened.

Contacts and Information:

Link: Information About the Complaints Process

Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline – This referral and advocacy service is an Australia-wide telephone hotline for reporting abuse and neglect of people with disabilities using government-funded services.
Telephone: 1800 880 052

Australia Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission complaints info-line
Telephone: 1300 656 419


Transport: Getting There and Back
Mobility Allowance

Financial assistance is available for people with disabilities who are employed or are in training or job-seeking and are unable to use public transport without substantial assistance. Transport concessions are available – check with your local state transport authority for details.

Mobility Allowance is for people with disabilities, illnesses or injuries who need to travel between their place of work/study and home. It is for people 16 and over and who can’t use public transport due to their disability for 12 months or longer and who are:

  1. Doing at least 32 hours work or training over a 4 week period
  2. Receive a Newstart/Youth Allowance or Austudy
  3. Have an agreement with a Job Network or disability employment service to look for work.

For more info: Centrelink 13 27 17

The Mobility Parking Scheme

The Mobility Parking Scheme (MPS) provides parking concessions to people with disabilities. MPS card holders can:

  • Park in disabled car spaces
  • Park for no charge in areas metered parking
  • Park longer in parking spots which have time limits. (See table below)

Information about the Mobility Parking Scheme
If the sign says:

“Park for more than 30 minutes”:

  • MPS cardholders can Park for an unlimited time

“Park to 30 minutes”:

  • MPS cardholders can Park for 2 hours

“Park for less than 30 minutes”:

  • MPS cardholders can Park for 30 minutes (maximum)

More information about the Mobility Parking Scheme

Mobility Stickers

To apply for the Mobility Parking Scheme: You need to fill out a Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) Application. Part of this application requires your doctor to complete a Medical Certificate. Applications must be made in person (unless under 16 or the RMS has provided a photo exemption). You will need to have a photo taken, provide proof of identity and pay a small amount of money (pension holders are exempt).

Application Forms for the Mobility Parking Scheme

List of RMS offices

Roads and Maritime Services: 13 22 13

Public Transport

Station Information for people with disabilities traveling on CityRail

131 500:
Transport Covers all modes of transport (Bus, Train and Ferry). “Plan a Trip” then enter details. If you scroll down you will see “Mobility Requirements”.

Be prepared:
If you are going to travel a lot, having an OPAL card can make getting on the bus smoother. If not, having the correct change ready will also make your trip less stressful.

Accessible Taxis:
Waiting time can vary from 5 minutes to 2 hours so it’s important to get a regular booking if you want to use taxis to get to work. It is a good idea to contact the taxi company in your local area and get the mobile telephone number of a number of accessible taxicabs. You can then pre-plan your trip and develop a personal relationship with reliable companies and drivers.

ABC Cabs: 13 25 22

Manly Cabs: 13 16 68

Premier Cabs: 13 21 16

RSL Cabs: 13 22 11

TCS Cabs: 02 8332 8888

St George Cabs: 13 21 16


Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme

Under the Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme people with a disability can get a subsidy equal to half the metered taxi fare, to a maximum of $30.
Under this scheme, bookings for conventional cars are called ‘M40′ bookings and bookings for larger multipurpose taxis are known as M50’ bookings. Your eligibility will depend on the nature of your disability, and whether it is permanent or long term, and your difficulty in using other forms of public transport. Contact the Department of Transport on 1800 623 724 for more information.


Working From Home