National Disability Coordination Officer Program

The Australian Government’s National Disability Coordination Officer (NDCO) Program works strategically to assist people with disability access and participate in tertiary education and subsequent employment, through a national network of regionally based NDCOs.

On this page

About the program

The NDCOs work with stakeholders at the local level to reduce systemic barriers, facilitate smooth transitions, build links and coordinate services between the education, training and employment sectors. The NDCO Program operates within the framework of the Disability Discrimination Act and the Disability Standards for Education 2005.

The NDCO Program objectives are to:

  • improve linkages between schools, tertiary education providers, employment service providers and providers of disability programs and assistance at all government levels;
  • improve transitions for people with disability between school / community and tertiary education, and then to subsequent employment; and
  • improve participation by people with disability in tertiary education and subsequent employment.
  • NDCO Guidelines
  • List of current NDCO Providers

How the NDCO Program operates

The National Disability Coordination Officer (NDCO) Program seeks to address barriers to participation in tertiary education and employment by improving the coordination and collaboration among service providers and building their capability to support people with disability.

The Program also seeks to increase the knowledge and awareness of people with disability about their post-school options and supports to enable them to participate in education and subsequent employment to the same extent as people without disability.

NDCOs undertake a range of activities which may include:

  • Establishing or supporting local networks to strengthen linkages between schools, tertiary education institutions, and employment services in order to improve coordination across the sectors and facilitate smooth transitions
  • Working collaboratively with education professionals, employers and the community to identify and address systemic barriers/gaps
  • Working with local stakeholders to implement changes to policy and institutional practices to enhance inclusive practices and increase accessibility for people with disability
  • Raising awareness and educating local stakeholders, including people with disability, about their responsibilities and rights, education and employment options, and services and support available.

Who NDCOs work with

National Disability Coordination Officers (NDCOs) work at the strategic level with a range of stakeholders. They aim to assist working age people with disability to be better supported to successfully transition to, and participate fully in, tertiary education and subsequent employment.

NDCOs have developed effective relationships with stakeholders who operate across the school to work continuum in order to identify local barriers and to develop collaborative responses to local needs.

The key stakeholders NDCOs work with include:

  • schools, including government, catholic and independent;
  • tertiary education institutions, including universities, Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutes, community colleges, Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), Group Training Organisations (GTOs) and alternative education program providers;
  • employment agencies, including Disability Employment Service (DES) providers, Job Services Australia (JSA) providers, the National Disability Recruitment Coordinator (NDRC), employer groups and peak bodies;
  • disability services and community agencies that support people with disability;
  • mainstream government program which operate in the education, training and employment sectors, particularly those focused on transitions; and,
  • stakeholders that provide relevant services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

NDCO Evaluation

In 2016 the Department commissioned ACIL Allen Consulting to evaluate the National Disability Coordination Office (NDCO) Program.

The evaluation report and the Australian Government response to the report are available at the links below:

NDCO Evaluation Final Report

Government Response

This evaluation found that the NDCO Program provides a valuable resource and range of activities at a local area that help service providers to improve education and employment outcomes for people with disability. Additionally, the NDCO Program is unique in its mandate to provide 'whole-of-system' expertise across different sectors.