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Studying disability online with Open Colleges

by Yvette Maurice

David Soccio

Tom Colwell didn’t plan a career in disability services but it has captured his heart and his imagination.He came across his study path almost by accident – here, he shares his story with Open Colleges.


“I originally enrolled in the CHC30408 Certificate III in Disability to get a job that would support me while studying for a university degree in occupational therapy. Once I started work in the field, however, I found I really enjoyed it and I am now considering delaying my university studies to concentrate on this job,” explains Tom.

Tom, who lives in North Adelaide, preferred the Open Colleges online course over some of the ones he found that were being offered by TAFE. His Open Colleges course provided the flexibility to start his study when it suited him.

“I wanted to begin my Certificate III straight away, and not wait for the next TAFE course to start, and Open Colleges allowed me to do this.

“The course itself was great, with plenty of tutor and fellow-student support via the online portal, if you need it,” says Tom, who adds, “I just got down and applied myself to the assignments but it is important to be self-motivated and to have a work plan.”

Several life experiences have exposed Tom to the challenges faced by people with a disability and he empathises with those difficulties. “I work with various groups of disabled people for the Class agency in Adelaide, and I find the process of building relationships with my clients to be very satisfying.”

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