Daily Living Skills
Building Resilience in People with Disabilities

building resilience in people with disabilities 1

Daily Living Skills
Building Resilience in People with Disabilities


Spinal Cord Injuries Australia
building resilience in people with disabilities 1

Building resilience is a crucial and transformative process that empowers individuals to confront life’s challenges, especially for people with disabilities. This resilience not only helps them face adversity but also paves the way for them to reduce stress and achieve their goals.

The Importance of Building Resilience

  • Defying Stigma and Stereotypes

People with disabilities often grapple with societal stigma and harmful stereotypes, which can be disheartening and isolating. Building resilience enables individuals to challenge and overcome these negative perceptions. Cultivating resilience can bolster their self-worth, proving their value to society and defying stereotypes.

  • Navigating Physical and Emotional Hurdles

Living with a disability means confronting various physical and emotional challenges unique to their experiences. Resilience equips individuals with the mental strength to face these challenges head-on. It also empowers individuals to develop strategies for managing pain and the emotional toll associated with living with a disability.

  • Fostering Independence and Enhancing Quality of Life

Strong resilience fosters confidence among people with disabilities, allowing us to develop problem-solving skills, adapt to new situations, and reduce reliance on external support. This newfound independence enhances our quality of life and opens doors to more personal and professional growth opportunities.

Methods for Building Resilience

building resilience in people with disabilities

There are numerous strategies and techniques for building resilience. Here are some effective approaches to consider as you continue on your journey:

  • Cultivate Supportive Networks

Building resilience often begins with establishing a solid support network, including family, friends, support groups, therapists and more. Individuals can regain confidence and create a strong foundation for ongoing collaboration and support with invaluable emotional support and encouragement. Professional support groups and therapists can provide tailored assistance in building resilience.

  • Focus on Your Strengths

Everyone possesses strengths, including people with disabilities. Take the time to identify your unique strengths and use them to your advantage, even if they look different from their original format. Doing so can boost your confidence and self-esteem.

  • Find Purpose and Meaning

Individuals with new physical disabilities may find themselves unable to pursue their previous activities or jobs. However, life continues, and it’s crucial to adapt and thrive. Once your medical condition stabilises, consider your passions and how you want to allocate your time to them. This newfound sense of purpose and meaning will enhance your motivation and well-being, benefiting your physical and mental fitness.

  • Set Realistic Goals and Celebrate Achievements

Sustaining long-term goals requires staying on track without becoming discouraged. Setting achievable goals and celebrating small victories are crucial elements in developing resilience. These accomplishments offer a sense of progress and achievement, reinforcing your belief in your ability to overcome the challenges posed by your disability.

  • Accessible Education and Training

Quality education and training programs are potent tools for building resilience. Ensuring people with disabilities have access to these programs is essential. Such programs help individuals gain knowledge, skills, and self-confidence, all of which are critical components of resilience.

SCIA’s Resilience Programs

Explore our Resilience Programs – SCIA, including the Engage and Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) programs.

  • The Engage Program is a free, 10-week program led by experienced facilitators designed to help you reconnect with your passions, gain clarity about your direction, connect with others, and discover new opportunities.
  • The WRAP program is a free, online 8-week program that provides tools to create and maintain your wellness. It includes developing a personalised daily plan to stay on track with your life and wellness goals, creating a personal guide for handling life’s unexpected challenges, and identifying sources of support to remain in control during crises.

Both resilience programs are open for enrollment now. Please visit our Resilience Program page for more detailed information about the program.

Have the Nerve, our podcast for people with disabilities, hosted by Susan Wood has shared the stories about gaining and retaining confidence, meaning and purpose in the following episode: Finding your confidence on the days when you really feel disabled.

Building resilience among individuals with disabilities is fundamental to enabling us to lead fulfilling and meaningful lives. We can reach our full potential by confronting stigma, managing challenges, and fostering independence. Through supportive networks, accessible education, therapy, and purpose-setting, resilience can be effectively nurtured. The benefits are personal and extend to the broader community as we collectively strive to create a more inclusive and supportive society for everyone, regardless of our abilities.