We are running a study to investigate the role of support coordinators and how they can effectively assist people with disability and complex needs who are enrolled in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). This research is essential because the role of the support coordinator has changed with the implementation of the NDIS, making it challenging to find skilled and experienced support coordinators.
Written by: Belinda Aitkens, Summer Foundation Lived Experience Facilitator
Over the past six weeks, the Summer Foundation has been presenting online Housing Options workshops for people with a disability in Tasmania and their families. I was pleased to be a facilitator at these workshops. Up until now, people with a disability in Tasmania have mainly had the traditional options for housing, such as group homes or having to live with family; but not anymore.
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.
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.