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What is a Developmental Educator?


Marni Enright, Developmental Educator

Developmental Educators are multi-disciplinary disability specialists with expertise in fostering the skills, independence and quality of life of individuals with developmental and/or acquired disabilities. As allied health professionals, Developmental Educators (also referred to as DE’s) have a practical approach and work holistically across the life span to address issues which may affect the function, independence and social inclusion of individuals with disability, their families and carers.


Developmental Educators implement and develop methodologies that enable the application of effective strategies to support the individual developmental learning goals of people who experience challenges such as acquired brain injury, physical and neurological disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disability, and other disabilities. Developmental Educators also work closely with families and caregivers, and other allied health professionals who may be involved in the support of an individual.


A Developmental Educator's skills are:

  • Promoting the physical and emotional well-being of people with disabilities

  • Undertaking developmental and functional behavioural assessment

  • Developing and implementing positive behaviour support programs

  • Teaching functional life skills including social, communication, self-care, daily living, recreation, and employment

  • Providing case management, specialist support coordination, and counselling supports to people with disabilities

  • Assisting people with a disability to set and attain individual goals

  • Working and liaising with families, service providers, allied health professionals, and community members to enhance the choice, social inclusion and quality of life for people with disability

  • Facilitating self-advocacy and / or advocate on behalf of people with disabilities

  • Supporting individuals with disabilities to access and maintain meaningful vocational experiences

  • Helping families, caregivers and individuals with disability understand the impact of disability on a person’s daily functioning

Information from Developmental Educators Australia Inc 2018

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