Challenging Behaviour is communication

We listen to you. We help you build more skills, more freedom and more social connections so you can live without restrictive practices.

Challenging Behaviour is communication

We listen to you. We help you build more skills, more freedom and more social connections so you can live without restrictive practices.

Our Why

More freedom and more social connection for people with disability and their support people.

Our How

We provide easy access to excellent Positive Behaviour Support.

We take the stress out of the NDIS and make quality behaviour support easy to access. No long waiting lists.

We build powerful systems that free us to focus on people.

We invest heavily in training and clinical supervision.

We share our learning and support the growth of new behaviour support organisations.

Our What

We are a team of psychologists, behaviour analysists and allied health professionals who practice person-centred positive behaviour support.

We provide NDIS participants with psychological services, functional behaviour assessments, behaviour support plans, training, coaching, and consulting.

Key factors in our service include:

  • Person-Centred practice: we listen, and we build supports, based on your values, goals, strengths and needs
  • Function-based services: we use ABA to build services that are functional, and effective in meeting your goals
  • Challenging behaviour: we measurably reduce challenging behaviour by building new skills and supports that match your needs
  • Restrictive practices: we manage, reduce and eliminate restrictive practices and empower people to lead freer and more socially connected lives.

    Our values

    Respect, Excellence, Collaboration, Innovation

    Our Team

    Alessandra Baradel

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Bachelor of Arts Majoring in Psychology and Italian (USyd, 2014-18)
    • Gradute Diploma Psychology (UWS, 2019-20)
    • Member Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia (ABAA)

    Alle is passionate about helping people with their mental health, and providing psychoeducation and therapy to improve people's quality of life, and enabling people with disability, and families who are struggling, to meet their potential.

    Ann Keogh

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    Bachelor of Social Sciences 2013 Limerick Institute of Technology

    Masters of Applied Behaviour Analysis Queens University UK (currently completing)

    Ann commenced providing positive behaviour support to people with intellectual disability and autism in 2014. Ann is especially passionate about empowering people to create change. Ann has a special interest in Applied Behaviour Analysis and is in the process of obtaining her board certification.

    Austin Ware

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Bachelor of Science, major in Psychology, University of Sydney – 2016-2018
    • Associate in Arts Degree in Psychology, Mira Costa Community College San Diego, California – 2001-2015
    • Professional Member, Australian Association for Behaviour Analysis

    Austin has extensive experience in coaching and educating people of all ages to help reach their potential. Austin is especially interested in helping children and adults with autism and disability to achieve their goals.

    Daniel Salvatorie

    Senior Behaviour Support Specialist
    Manager Clinical Operations

    • Bachelor of Psychological Sciences, Swinbourne University of Technology (2019)
    • Member: Association of Positive Behaviour Support;  Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia

    Daniel has extensive experience providing specialist behaviour support with people experiencing a variety of complex needs, including intellectual disability, offending history, AOD and mental health. During Daniel's employment with FACS (2007-2017) he managed clinical teams, Restrictive Practices panels, developed policies, and trained organisations in Positive Behaviour Support.

    David Ackling-Jones

    Behaviour Support Specialist, CEO

    David has experience as a Residential Support Worker, Forensic Casework Specialist, Senior Clinical Consultant, and Behaviour Support Specialist while working for FACS (1999-2017). His passion is creating time and labour saving systems that make it possible to provide highly responsive person-centred services.

    David Horne

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Bachelor of Psychological Science honours ACAP 2018
    • Diploma in Counselling

    David is a Registered Provisional Psychologist with 2 years of experience providing Applied Behaviour Analysis therapy with people with moderate to severe autism and ADHC. David has worked as a school psychologist helping young people with anxiety, emotional regulation, autism and ADHD.

    Denisa Valera Hanik

    Manager General Operations

    • BA (Hons) European Business Studies, University of Lincoln (2003)
    • Proficient in seven languages (Swedish, English, Spanish, French, Czech, Danish, Norwegian)
    • Learning and Development Management, European Union, Brussels (2002-2007)
    • Specialist in Leadership Development, Kinetic Concepts, Inc., Netherlands (2008-2012)
    • Director, Management Consultantcy, Koudos Ltd, Windsor, UK (2013-2017)

    Denisa is the powerhouse of Ability Consultants. Thanks to the initiative and empathy demonstrated by Denisa and her team, clinicians focus on behaviour support rather than administration, and customers have a smooth and streamlined service.

    Elizabeth Stringer

    Senior Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Registered Psychologist with General Registration (AHPRA)
    • Graduate Diploma  of Psychology, 2011
    • Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology Hons), 2015
    • Bachelor of Education (Primary) 1994 
    • Associate Member Australian Psychological Society (APS)

    Elizabeth is experienced in school-based psychology and disability service provision.

    Elizabeth is committed to providing specialist assessment, intervention and behaviour support services with people of all ages, with a range of needs.

    Elizabeth is passionate about helping people achieve their goals and flourish in their lives.

    Emma Hession

    Senior Behaviour Support Specialist

    • BSc.(Hons) in Psychology, 2007, University of Sheffield
    • Member of: AABA, AHPRA, APS, ASID, PsychDD

    Emma is a Registered Provisional Psychologist with 15 years of experience providing specialist assessments, advice and treatment. Her aim is to help her clients experience improved learning, thinking, emotional balance and behaviour. Emma is committed to working in partnership with her clients, their families and carers to achieve person-centred goals.

    Felicity Heydon

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Master of Teaching, University of NSW
    • Bachelor of Arts (Psychology & Music), University of Sydney
    • Music Therapy, University of Western Sydney (Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Golden Stave Centre)
    • Professional Member, Australian Association for Behaviour Analysis

    Jane Pfaff

    Manager Clinical HR

    • Behaviour Support Programmer (Health/DOCS, 1987-2002)
    • Senior Behaviour Support Practitioner (DADHC, 2002-2006)
    • Manager Access (DADHC/FACS, 2006-2017)

    Jane leads high peforming teams. She provides supervision and support to team members, helping them achieve their potential, and deliver excellent client outcomes.

    Jane is passionate about building healthy human connections and a strong social fabric--this is where real positive changes start to happen.

    Lidia Toledo

    Senior Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Registered Psychologist with General Registration.
    • Bachelor of Psychology (2012)
    • Registration, College of Professional Psychologists (2017)

    Lidia has been providing Positive Behaviour Support with people with Challenging Behaviour and complex needs since 2013. 

    Lidia is especially committed to providing specialist assessment, training and support with people affected by complex and traumatic life challenges.

    Lidia is passionate about providing psychoeducation and advocacy for people whose voice and rights might be at risk.

    Liliana Smolinski

    Senior Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Bachelor of Psychological Studies (2014)
    • Master of Forensic Mental Health (2019 - final semester)

    Lily has six years of experience providing function-based behaviour support with people with intellectual disability, mental health and behaviour challenges.

    Kathy Zaia

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Bachelor Psychology Honours (currently completing)
    • Diploma in Professional Counselling
    • Telephone Counselling Certificate 4

    Kathy has a background in professional counselling assisting families, children and adults, with relationships, grief and loss, suicide prevention and behaviour support. Kathy has a particular interest in child development. Kathy brings her extensive life experience and empathy to the support of people with disability and behaviour needs.

    Kire Gulevski

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Bachelor of Social Sciences (Psychology and Sociology)
    • Professional Member, Australian Association for Behaviour Analysis

    Kire comes to Ability Consultants with 17 years of experience improving the lives of people with intellectual disability and challenging behaviour. Kire has extensive experience in psychotherapy, forensic casework, and child protection. He is passionate about working with families and teams to provide empowering, person-centered supports.

    Kirsty Passmore

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Bachelor of Health Science (2006)
    • Master of Education in Applied Behavioural Analysis (2018)
    • Member: Australian Association for Behaviour Analysis; Association for Positive Behaviour Support.

    Kirsty started with Ability Consultants in January 2019. Kirsty has worked as a Senior ABA Therapist in Perth and Singapore, gaining extensive knowledge, experience and tools to support people of all ages with diverse needs to achieve their goals through the science of applied behaviour analysis.

    Naydene Mostert

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Honours degree in Psychology (University of Pretoria, 2016)
    • Master Behavioural Sciences (Florida Institute of Technology, 2019-present)

    As a trained PROMPT practitioner, Naydene helps people with speech and behavioural challenges develop functional communication.

    Naydene's passion is training staff and family members, enabling them to build skills and provide positive behaviour support in a broad variety of contexts.

    Ramoh Kokalis

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, minor in Ethics (1999, Murdoch University)
    • Professional member, Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia

    Ramoh has 18 years experience in disability services and mental health. Ramoh enjoys empowering people to overcome challenges and live healthier and more fulfilling lives.

    Rosa Ferdosian

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Registered Provisional Psychologist
    • Bachelor of Psychology (2015)

    Rosa has been providing person-centred clinical services with people of all ages, and with a variety of diagnoses and complex needs since 2015.

    Rosa is committed to providing services of the highest quality to people with special needs. Enabling people to meet their goals is her passion.

    Trini Macrae

    Team Leader Administration

    • BA (Anthropology), University of Sydney (1995)
    • Grad Dip (Rehabilitation Counselling), University of Sydney (2016)

    Trini has a background in disability support, aged care, website management and rehab counselling.

    She is passionate about the quality of life for people with disabilities and brings her varied skills to provide administrative support to the team.

    Working with us

    We are a growing team in every sense of the word.

    You will love working with us, if you are motivated to foster learning and growth, in yourself and in others.

    We practice Hands-Off Leadership. We don't micromanage or impose KPI's. We provide a highly rewarding work environment, and partner with you to hit your goals. Each team member can build new systems and strategies. 

    We are an empowering workplace, driven to attract and develop brilliant clinicians, so NDIS Participants have easier access to life-changing behaviour support.


    Founder’s statement


    This is me abseiling off a perfectly good mountain. Starting Ability Consultants in 2016 was a similar leap into the unknown world of the NDIS. 

    David Ackling-Jones

    In 1999 I  began working with and caring for people with intellectual disability and challenging behaviours.  People who are ignored, over-medicated, restrained, secluded, cut off from their community or who are punished because they often do not have a high enough level of positive support.

    Our mission is to help NDIS participants lead a freer more socially connected life through easy access to excellent Positive Behaviour Support.

    We serve 6 customer groups:

    1. NDIS Participants. We work with you on delivering measurable goals that matter to you.
    2. Our referrers. We focus on making the referral and support coordination process a relief and a joy. Short wait time, detailed progress reports, responsive communication, evidence-based recommendations.
    3. Carers. We make the process of sharing ideas, and information simple and time-efficient. We work in partnership with carers and NDIS Participants to build an assessment and plan that fits.
    4. Our clinicians. We provide an empowering workplace. We fund clinical supervision, professional courses, and conference attendance for our brilliant team of independent consultants.
    5. National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). We present evidence to ensure Participants are funded for all of their reasonable and necessary supports, at the right level.
    6. NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission. We ensure our team provides Participants with high-quality function-based Behaviour Support, to minimise Restrictive Practices, build liberating skills, and improve quality of life.

    We are an NDIS-registered Specialist Behaviour Support Provider and we are working to exceed the required standards.

    Person-Centred principles of empowerment and strengths-based practice underpin our approach. We apply these principles to everything we do.

    Finally, we are all about innovation. We use technology to be more human. We build and shape the powerful tools we need to serve our customers in new and unique ways.

    Thanks for joining us on the learning and growth journey.

    David Ackling-Jones

    CEO - Ability Consultants

    David is a Member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) and provides MI Training on request.

    MI Training

    Have an enquiry?

    Want to learn more about our services or how we can help you?
    We’d love to hear from you.

    We serve Greater Sydney & beyond

    Ability Consultants is a team of Behaviour Support Specialists who work with clients on site throughout Greater Sydney all the way through to the Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Illawarra regions.

    Contact us

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