One-of-a-kind College Provides Pathways for Young People with Disability and Autism

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While many of us take independence for granted, people with a disability often face significant challenges which can make their pathway to independence seem impossible. This is where STEPS Pathways College offers a unique advantage; the opportunity to discover a world where abilities are not inhibited by disability.

A first of its kind in Australia, STEPS Pathways College is located in Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast. The program, which has funding options through the NDIS, provides a safe and supportive environment where young people with a disability are taught practical skills through a hands-on approach, helping them learn to live independently.

Since opening in 2017, the College has seen considerable progression and is expanding to accommodate the needs of the growing College.

STEPS Pathways Manager DJ McGlynn said their flexible learning options are a “big drawcard” for many young people with a disability, together with their families, who traditionally never had this choice before.

“Students can either reside on campus in purpose-built homes, getting a firsthand taste of independent living, or attend as day students, or learn online” DJ said.

Boarding students are accommodated on campus in a modern, fully furnished apartment complex known as Murphy House.  Students who choose the day program remain living in the comfortable environment of home but visit the College and enjoy flexible learning options from Monday to Friday between 9am to 3pm.

Regardless of whether students board or attend the day program or learn online, STEPS Pathways College offers an innovative, holistic learning model which teaches skills in communication, healthy living, employment, residential living, recreation and technology. Students also develop skills required to cope with change, develop relationships and form lifelong friendships.

“The NDIS helps people get the support they need so their skills and independence improve over time, which aligns with our goal at STEPS Pathways College to bring students in, help them build their capacity and confidence and then transition them into being more independent,” DJ said.

“The end game is for them to become genuine contributors out in their community.”

“Anyone who wants to know more is welcome to book an appointment to come see the campus and the facilities, see the program in action and have their questions answered.”

STEPS Pathways College is now taking enrolment enquiries. To find out more about the program contact STEPS Pathways College on (07) 5458 3000 or visit the website.

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