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Attitudes, values, knowledge and skills

The essential attitudes, values, skills and knowledge needed by everyone working in disability.

The framework

The Let’s get real: Disability framework explains the values, attitudes and seven Real Skills needed by all staff working in disability, be they administration staff, support workers, or team or service leaders. Each of the seven Real Skills includes a broad definition and a set of performance indicators that describe what each skill involves. The performance indicators are at four levels: essential, capable, enhanced and leader.

The competencies described in the seven Real Skills are intended for use across the disability sector. Where appropriate, they can be used in conjunction with organisation-specific competencies. The values and attitudes described in this framework are common to the disability sector. They are a core component of good practice, and are expressed in action through the seven Real Skills. Acknowledging the role that values and attitudes have on how people working in disability engage with disabled people and families and whānau is an essential component of Let’s get real: Disability.

The seven Real Skills

Let’s get real: Disability describes seven Real Skills that are shared by everyone working in disability, including administrative staff, support workers, whānau advisors and team leaders.

  • Working with disabled people
  • Working with Māori
  • Working with families and whānau
  • Working with communities
  • Challenging stigma and discrimination
  • Upholding law, policy and practice
  • Maintaining professional and personal development

The framework describes a disabled-person driven approach for providing quality disability services. The following values and attitudes underpin Let’s get real: Disability:


  • Human rights
  • Respect
  • Service
  • Communities
  • Relationships
This brief video presents the fundamental values that are shared across the disability sector.


  • Compassionate, caring, sensitive, understanding
  • Enabling, encouraging, accepting, supportive
  • Genuine, warm, friendly, fun
  • Honest, fair, sincere, trustworthy
  • Non-judgmental, non-discriminatory, uncritical
  • Open-minded, culturally aware, self-aware, innovative, creative, positive risk-takers
  • Optimistic, positive, enthusiastic, inspiring
  • Patient, tolerant, flexible, accommodating
  • Professional, accountable, reliable, responsible
  • Resilient, emotionally strong, able to bounce back in the face of challenges
  • Understanding, perceptive, considerate, responsive


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