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Enabling Risk: Putting Positives First

La Trobe University
5 hrs

Enabling Risk: Putting Positives First

La Trobe University
5 hrs
Included in GO1 PremiumStarting from $12 per user for teamsLearn moreTry it free
Included in GO1 PremiumStarting from $12 per user for teamsLearn moreTry it free

Course Overview

Enabling Risk: Putting Positives First has been developed specifically for disability support workers. Enabling people to take risks is an integral part of disability support work. It is also important that practice leaders, frontline managers, senior managers are aware of the essentials of enabling risk outlined in this resource as they play a significant role in creating the right environment for support workers to put risk enablement into practice.

​This resource is designed to provide an introduction to enabling risk. You will be introduced to the ways you can support people with cognitive disabilities, including people with intellectual disabilities and acquired brain injury, to make choices and be involved in activities that may involve some risk while minimising potential harm to themselves or others. There are many positives in supporting people with cognitive disabilities to participate in positive risk taking. Working from a risk enablement approach ensures that you provide empowering support that enables the people you support to live an engaged and meaningful life.

This online learning resource is based on review of research about risk and from piloting these materials with disability support workers and people with intellectual disability.

Learning Objectives

By the completion of this resource you will be able to:

  1. Define risk, its types of outcomes and factors that influence risk-taking behaviour

  2. Describe The 4 Essentials of Risk Enablement

  3. Describe The Risk Enablement Process for supporting people with cognitive disabilities

  4. Apply the process of risk enablement to different case scenarios

  5. Describe the benefits of working in a way that enables choices that involve risk

How to use this online resource

This is a fully online learning resource that you can complete at your own pace.

  • It is comprised of 5 separate modules and you are encouraged to work through these in order because the learning material in one module will inform the next one.

  • You can work through this resource on your own, or with the support of a facilitator or trainer in your workplace or training organisation.

  • Each module includes short video talks introducing key concepts and videos of Australian examples of support workers putting risk enablement into practice. 

  • ​This resource includes a glossary. Words that you may not have come across before are underlined and linked to the glossary where a brief explanation is provided. For example, the word engagement. Just click the grey underlined word to see what it means. You can also see the full Glossary online, or download a pdf version in the Resources section.

  • Each module includes activities that can be completed using the downloadable workbook in the Resources section.

  • The workbook also has examples to help you complete the activities in each module. You can discuss your answers with colleagues in team meetings, or if you would like some further guidance you can send an enquiry using the online Contact Form.

  • Suggested answers to the activities are provided in the Resources section. 

  • Each module will take you between 30 and 60 minutes to complete.


This online learning resource was led by Professor Christine Bigby and Professor Jacinta Douglas from the Living with Disability Research Centre at La Trobe University. This work was supported with funding from the New South Wales Department of Family and Community Services (NSW FACS). Material presented was developed with input from a wide range of stakeholders including staff from the Living with Disability Research Centre, and industry partners Unisson Disability (formerly Sunshine) and the New South Wales Council for Intellectual Disability (NSW CID). For a list of full credits click here.

Course Introduction
Course Introductionvideo
Module 1: Introduction to Risk
Module Introductionvideo
What is risk?text
Types of outcomes from taking risktext
Benefits come from taking riskstext
What influences whether someone takes a risk?text
Activity 1 - Reflecting on my risk-taking behaviourtext
Summary Module 1text
Module 1 Resourcestext
Module 2: Enabling risk for the people you support
Module Introductionvideo
What is 'risk enablement'text
Getting the Balancetext
​How people with intellectual disabilities feel about taking riskstext
​What gets in the way of enabling risk for people with cognitive disabilities?text
What happens over time when disability support workers try to eliminate risk?text
Activity 2.1 - Thinking about risk enablementtext
Activity 2.2 - Maggie's Cup of Teatext
Module 2 Resourcestext
Summary Module 2text
Module 3: The 4 Essentials of Risk Enablement
Module Introductionvideo
Being Person Centredtext
Activity 3.1 - Josh's Big Tripvideo
The 4 Essentialstext
Activity 3.2 - Tom's Business Ideavideo
Putting Positives Firsttext
Extra Activity 3.2 - David's Skateboardtext
Being Proactivetext
Activity 3.3 - Gloria goes Rock Climbingtext
Staying True to Preferencestext
Activity 3.4 - Josh wants a Phonevideo
Activity 3.5 - Dan's Trekvideo
Extra Activity 3.5 - Amanda wants to walk her dogtext
Minimising Harmtext
Activity 3.6 - Tanya's Datevideo
Extra Activity 3.6 - Susan's Smoothievideo
Summary Module 3text
Module 3 Resourcestext
Module 4: Risk Enablement in Action
Module Introductionvideo
The process of risk enablementtext
Working Togethertext
Taking account of contexttext
Activity 4.1 - Cody is Moving out of Hometext
Activity 4.2 - Angela's Birthday Caketext
Activity 4.3 - Shane's New Starttext
Activity 4.4 - Chloe Catches the Traintext
Activity 4.5 - Scissors for Romeotext
Module 4 Resourcestext
Summary Module 4text
Module 5: Being Someone who Enables Risk
Module Introductionvideo
Skills needed to enable risktext
Empowering others to take risks means you also empower yourselftext
Activity 5.1 - Experiences from risk enablementvideo
How do I know if I'm doing it right?text
Activity 5.2 - Applicationtext
Where do I stand: Do I have the support of my organisation?text
Activity 5.3 - Organisational processes and supporttext
Summary Module 5text
Module 5 Resourcestext
Complete Workbookdocument
Activity Workbookdocument
Answers to Activity Workbookdocument
Figure: The 4 Essentials of Risk Enablementdocument
Figure: The Risk Enablement Processdocument
Key Referencestext
Contact Us
Contact Formlink