When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Australia in March the Summer Foundation responded rapidly with a raft of projects to provide tangible, direct support to people with disability and complex needs.
The Summer Foundation’s program of training to hospital staff, support coordinators, housing seekers and other groups across the country hit a large bump in the road with the COVID-19 lockdown in March.
The State Government recently changed its Hospital Visitor Directions to allow “a disability worker to enter or remain at a hospital for the purpose of providing a disability service to a patient with a disability”.
The change in policy came as a result of one of our storytellers, Sam Petersen working together with the Summer Foundation’s Policy Manager Dr George Taleporos, to drive change in this area.
Over the past 18 months the Summer Foundation’s Leaving Hospital Well Project has built the capacity of Victoria’s health services to understand, navigate and develop best practice collaborative discharge under the NDIS.
The project delivered 93 training sessions to 2,000 participants within 20 Local Health Networks in Victoria. They included local health network staff, support coordinators, allied health and community health staff, GPs and housing providers.
In NSW, around 2,000 younger people live in residential aged care, and many other people with disability live in homes that don’t suit their needs.
Our sister organisation, Summer Housing, is building Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) apartments that you can apply for now in Kirrawee, Westmead, Baulkham Hills, Sydney Olympic Park and Edmondson Park. Other organisations, such as Enliven Housing and Good Housing, are building great new SDA properties around Sydney too.
If you are a person with an acquired neurological disability, a close other with an acquired neurological disability, or a disability support worker, we want to hear your views about the factors that influence the quality of paid disability support.
We will be facilitating online focus groups to discuss your experiences and perspectives. If you are interested in participating, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will tell you more about the project.
As the Summer Foundation moved quickly to respond to the evolving COVID-19 situation, a new project team was created to identify and address the needs of people in our network, especially those at risk of social isolation and reduced access to supports. The Phone Outreach project aimed to provide a point of social contact, information and support with problem solving.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made feeling and staying connected more important than ever before.
Our new Staying Connected web page is providing the opportunity for people with disability to share their stories.
You can visit the webpage to find out more here.
Summer Foundation storyteller Michelle has welcomed the opportunity to spend quality time with her family and to learn something new.
“COVID-19 hasn’t really impacted me in a bad way and has actually been a lovely opportunity to spend quality time with my family. I have really missed my support workers though,” Michelle said.