Neurological disability FAQs

Looking for information on neurological disability? Here are some of our frequently asked questions.

What is neurological disability?

Neurological disability—also known as neurological disorder—describes damage to a person’s nervous system that affects their mental or bodily functions.

As the brain, spinal cord, and complex nervous system can all be affected, the impact of neurological disability varies greatly between people, and can even change on different days and over the course of life.

While neurological disabilities caused by trauma or stroke can improve over time, unfortunately others are degenerative, meaning that they increasingly disrupt brain function as the condition progresses, such as Multiple sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson’s disease.

What causes neurological disability?

Just as neurological disabilities can vary greatly, so too can their specific causes. Some causes are genetic and others are due to a physical injury or illness. 

Causes of neurological disability can include: brain injury, spinal cord injury, nerve injury, genetic disorders, viral or bacterial infections, malnutrition, and physical trauma.

What characteristics are typical to neurological disability?

There are currently over 600 conditions considered a neurological disability and they all come with individual characteristics. However, neurological disability often affects a person’s:

  • speech 
  • movement 
  • ability to process information
  • ability to express their emotions.

Some more well known conditions that are classed as neurological disabilities include:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Alzheimers

How common is neurological disability in Australia?

Neurological disabilities are some of the most diverse and most common disabilities in Australia. There are currently 850,000 Australians living with progressive neurological or neuromuscular conditions that have no known cause.

How is neurological disability diagnosed?

It’s not always easy to diagnose a neurological disability which can be frustrating for those who suspect that they or a loved one are experiencing symptoms. However, there are a range of tests that doctors and neurologists can perform in making their assessment. 

Common assessments include:

  • MRI, PET and CT scans
  • Chromosome studies
  • Developmental tests 
  • Ultrasound scans
  • Hearing assessments
  • Genetic testing
  • Vision assessments
  • X-rays

Can adults with neurological disability live independently?

With the right support, many people living with neurological disability lead active and independent adult lives. Organisations like Mambourin are dedicated to supporting people with disabilities to build practical skills that prepare them for independent living. 

We can support people with neurological disability with skills such as:

  • Personal care and self-care
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Communication skills
  • Healthy meal preparation
  • Meal planning and grocery shopping
  • Budgeting and home management
  • Goal setting
  • General skill development
  • Using transport 
  • Positive behavior support

What support is available to people with neurological disability?

People living with neurological disability may be eligible for NDIS support. Mambourin’s NDIS team can help open up the NDIS for you and your family and assist you with:

  • Your NDIS questions, big and small
  • General NDIS planning support
  • An individual NDIS pre-planning session, just for you and your family
  • Our digital quoting system that offers tailored quotes for Mambourin services and supports
  • Plan review support

Where can I learn about social activities for people living with neurological disability?

For some people with a neurological disability, getting out and connecting with people in a safe environment is important for keeping engaged and confident – while having fun, of course! 

Mambourin offers a range of social and interest choices that almost always take place in a group setting and are designed to accommodate a range of unique interests.

Our social and interest choices include:

  • Arts and crafts
  • Various leisure options
  • Gym and fitness
  • Swimming and swim safety
  • Meditation and self-care
  • Performance and expressive arts
  • Hip-hop dancing and music production
  • Radio hosting and production
  • Choir and singing
  • Computers and digital tech
  • Movie making

What leisure and recreation choices are available for people living with neurological disability?

Along with social and interest choices, Mambourin offers leisure and recreation choices for those who are interested in getting out and about.

Our wide range of leisure and recreation choices include:

  • Weekends At Mambourin (known as WAM!) – group social activities on the weekend
  • Flexi-choices – individual activities as and when you want them
  • Assisted holidays – ask us about assisted weekends away!

Weekend activities are varied to suit all tastes and you can choose which ones you’d like to join. Some of our more popular options include:

  •  Tenpin bowling
  •  Movies
  •  Melbourne and Werribee Zoos
  •  AFL matches
  •  Live music
  •  Dance parties
  •  Music therapy programs
  •  Car shows and racing
  •  Wrestling (local and international)
  •  Local markets and shows
  •  Museums and art galleries

What community programs are available for people living with neurological disability?

Getting out into the community, either in a group or individual setting is great for developing and maintaining interpersonal skills. Mambourin has a huge range of structured, group-based activities and individual outings to choose from that we like to call community choices.

Your community choices:

  • Cafés
  • Shopping trips
  • Community events
  • Nature walks
  • Bowling (lawn and ten pin)
  • BBQs and lunches
  • Day trips and sightseeing
  • Art exhibitions and museums
  • Movies and theatre
  • Clubbing and parties
  • Major events and concerts
  • Sports and recreation events

What employment opportunities are available for people living with neurological disability?

Unfortunately, finding employment when you have a disability can be challenging.

The good news is that with the right network and opportunities, many people with neurological disability can find work in a variety of fields.

Speak to Mambourin about your employment goals and we will work to connect you to every opportunity to make them happen. We have a range of pathways to further training and offer on-the-job support when you need it.

Opportunities we can provide include:

  • Mambourin Business Solutions warehouse which offers work in packaging, assembly and logistics services from our award-winning Derrimut warehouse
  • Our professional gardening team servicing the western Melbourne and CBD regions
  • Our administrative team supporting the organisation with administration and front-of-house duties


Are there traineeships available for people living with neurological disability?

For those with a neurological disability aged 16 and over and still enrolled in school, a Mambourin Traineeship is a great pathway to further study or employment.

The best part? You get paid as you go!

The current traineeships we offer at Mambourin include:

  • Certificate II Warehousing Operations
  • Certificate III Warehousing Operations

Mambourin supports people living with a range of different disabilities and support needs.

If you’d like to discuss how we can support you, contact one of our friendly team members on 9731 9200 or email us at hello@mambourin.org

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