Working within the disability sector as an Accredited Exercise Scientist in a multidisciplinary team

Key tips and tricks

The disability sector is an industry with huge opportunities for Accredited Exercise Scientists (AES) working as Allied Health Assistants (AHAs), however, understanding the intricacies of working within a multi-functional team brings with it certain nuances and challenges.

Mark Liberatore, Health and Wellbeing Manager for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance provides you with his top considerations for any AES working in this space:

  • It is important to have a sound knowledge of the outcomes and goals set by the broader therapy team members. This provides you with an opportunity to discuss how you can support the client in achieving such goals as sports performance or increased social and community participation to name a couple.

  • Ensure you are consistently included in client case meetings to provide you with an opportunity to discuss various intervention plans and how you will contribute.

  • Communication is critical when working in the disability sector. Clients can face many challenges and setbacks therefore understanding the key soft skills of empathy – understanding and motivation are vital.

  • It is important to contribute to extended team professional development initiatives and opportunities such as sharing research articles or pertinent background pathophysiology information about the relevant diagnostic group the team are servicing.

  • It is important to gain an understanding of the breadth of outcome measurement or assessment tools used by other allied health professionals when working with shared clients. This will provide you with additional information about the client and will also increase your understanding of how other professionals assess performance and monitor progress.

  • Present assessment and intervention plans and tools to be used (assessment items, appropriate questionnaires, etc.) to other allied health professionals working with the client. You may have more ongoing contact with a client, therefore ongoing assessment information provides examples to these professionals of how an AES makes use of an evidence-based approach.

  • Due to the diversity of disability and associated conditions, it can be daunting when a new client has a condition which is unknown to you. When you find yourself in this situation, make sure you do your own further research and lean on your colleagues who may be more experienced in that area.

  • Sharing client outcomes and progress notes, client case studies and general reporting with other allied health professionals can lead to increased referrals and recognition.


Working within the disability sector comes with many professional challenges and considerations which can help build your breadth and scope of knowledge to help set the foundation for a wonderful career. If you’d like to know more about working as an Allied Health Assistant, click hereor listen to the ESSA Career Chat on this topic.