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Becoming a sensory disability specialist

The Master of Disability Studies gave Christina a boost in knowledge, skills and confidence when working with with families.
Image is of a speech pathologist talking to a client, pointing to a model of the ear.
  • Vision
  • Hearing

After years working as a speech pathologist, the Master of Disability Studies helped Christina apply what she already knew, to clients with hearing and vision loss.

Tell us about your role

I’m a speech pathologist at NextSense. I’ve been a speechie for 8 years and I love the work that I do. I love being able to work with families, with both adults and children, it's extremely rewarding.

Why the Master of Disability Studies?

I didn't come to NextSense with much experience, particularly to do with hearing impairment, or vision for that matter. I was really enjoying the role that I was doing and I wanted to build on the knowledge and skills that I had.

I wanted to build my knowledge of Deaf culture and gain a bit more deaf awareness, particularly to do with the Auslan language. That was to ensure that when I was working with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, I was using the right terminology and that I was keeping up to date with advances and just be more culturally aware.

How has the course helped you in your role?

It’s helped me increase my knowledge and skills working with children who are deaf and hard of hearing or may have a vision impairment. I’m also now a lot more confident in what I do because I have the knowledge and the skills behind me to be able to do the work that I'm doing with families, which is really great.

What was it like doing study as well as a full-time role?

When it's an online subject, you can structure your time to fit. So if I've had a particularly busy week and I wasn't able to do a lecture that week, I would then do two lectures the next week. You do have to make sure that you're organized and you stay on top of things because it can definitely build up and there's no one there making you accountable or you don't have to go in somewhere to complete it.

Did you have a favourite subject?

Deaf Perspectives—where I was able to build my knowledge of deaf culture and the Auslan language. That was particularly interesting just because I didn't have much background in that area. It helped me understand the importance of just asking if you're not sure. What terminology would you like me to use? Everyone obviously comes from different experiences and backgrounds and so the terms that they wanna use may be different.

What advice would you give others considering this course?

It was a very valuable experience for me and I'm glad I did it. I am someone that values professional development and I think we're really lucky at NextSense to have a lot of access to it.

Find out more about the Master of Disability Studies

Postgraduate study

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