CFC Updates Archives - Summer Foundation
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WELCOME TO THE 2020 SPRING EDITION OF THE C&FC UPDATE

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As we navigate what’s happening in the world around us we are faced with new challenges, but also new opportunities. We have been planning a number of initiatives in recent months that we are excited to start rolling out. 

You will be seeing more opportunities to get involved, including a pilot project designed to develop tools that will help people find a new home, and also inform the future of our work. We will be inviting people to contribute so stay tuned for updates.

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Emma Gee is part of our new lived experience team. 

With a background as an occupational therapist and then surviving a stroke at the age of 24, I hope that I can share my experiences as a provider and recipient to further humanise the incredible work that the Summer Foundation already delivers,” Emma said. 

In my role, I hope to develop and deliver resources, services, policies and processes that are informed and shaped by people with lived experience.” 

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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 and 1:1 interviews to discuss your experiences and perspectives. If you are interested in participating, please email research@summerfoundation.org.au and we will tell you more about the project.

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.

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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.

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The Summer Foundation has worked with 2 of Australia’s largest providers of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to ensure people with disability can get PPE during COVID-19.

The 2 providers – RSEA Safety and Blackwoods – have each developed PPE online stores for NDIS participants.

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SDA participants across Australia recently welcomed much-anticipated changes to the Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) Rules which will allow people with disability to share an SDA property with people not eligible for the NDIS or SDA, including their partner, children and friends.

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The Summer Foundation has decided to reconsider options for all upcoming events in response to the continuing spread of Covid-19. Watch our website for updates.

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An NDIS Housing Options project is being run by the Summer Foundation for Queensland and WA this year.

This project aims to explain the housing options and supports possible under the NDIS to people with disability and housing providers.

It will also help everyone better understand the housing needs of NDIS participants including the needs of people who would be eligible for Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA).

Over the next 12 months, the Summer Foundation will be working to provide:

  • Information for people with disability about housing options
  • Information for housing providers about NDIS
    supports and SDA
  • Events to inform and connect NDIS participants and housing providers
  • Special support for NDIS providers seeking to provide SDA in Indigenous communities, rural areas and for people in hospital or aged care

Although we had to suspend Housing Possibilities workshops we had scheduled for Queensland and WA, we presented some of the information and introduced our new housing and SDA related resources in webinars.

These resources are now available for download from our NDIS Housing Options project web page.

The project has been funded by the Australian Government.

Our second Specialist Disability Accommodation Supply in Australia report has just been published.

Produced with Social Ventures Australia, the latest report finds that there are more than 1,766 new SDA places in the construction pipeline as at 30 September 2019.

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A new-look Housing Hub is on the way!

The revamped website will have a number of extra features, including improved search and matching functions and the ability for housing seekers to create their own profiles.

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In December 2019 Tom Butler’s long journey to become his own provider of Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) ended in success, when he moved into his purpose-built unit.

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A new type of transitional housing funding was announced in December. Medium Term Accommodation (MTA) funding is intended to support NDIS participants while they wait for their permanent home to be ready. 

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The Summer Foundation works hard to develop and regularly update resources and information for people with disabilities to get the right housing and supports when they need it. We understand finding the right information exactly when you need can be tricky, so we are making changes to our website to make this easier.

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The Summer Foundation are completing a study to better understand the experiences and outcomes of young people living in aged care who are participants of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). 

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It’s not too late for you or a family member to tell the Aged Care Royal Commission your story about being a younger person living in aged care.

The commission is accepting public submissions until the end of April.

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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).

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We keep hearing good news about developments that are improving the lives of young people who would otherwise be forced into nursing homes because there are no alternatives. 

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The Summer Foundation has again partnered with Social Ventures Australia to undertake a survey of how much and what types of Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) development is being planned and built around Australia.

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There has been an 11 per cent reduction in the number of people under 65 in residential aged care, the Minister for the NDIS Stuart Robert said.

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The recently announced Australian Government initiatives and the Aged Care Royal Commission’s interim report highlighted the lack of data available around young people in aged care. The Summer Foundation has been working to address this for a long time.

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Individual Living Options (ILO) are living arrangements that focus on the individual. They include living alone, co-residency, host arrangements and living together options. They are an alternative to group home services.

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Three important new SDA documents were released in October:

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Welcome to the new format for our Consumer & Family Carer Network update. It will bring you the latest news and information to help you navigate the ever-changing world of services and supports under the NDIS.

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You’re invited to the Summer Foundation’s Annual Public Forum

This year’s Summer Foundation Annual Public Forum comes at an important time. Systems must change to keep young people out of aged care. And these systems are being influenced and are changing in ways we’ve never seen before.

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Our UpSkill program to build the capacity of the support coordination workforce and allied health professionals is going from strength to strength.

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The Summer Foundation is pleased to announce that applications are now open for the Allen Martin Research Scholarship 2019, sponsored by The Rotary Club of Kew and Robinson Gill Lawyers.

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The Summer Foundation’s interaction with the Aged Care Royal Commission ramped up in September when we lodged our submission and CEO Luke Bo’sher appeared at the commission’s Melbourne hearings.

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The publication earlier this year of Kim MacIntosh’s book “Full Circle – Overcoming Disability through Faith” is just the latest in an impressive list of life goals achieved by the Summer Foundation storyteller.

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The Summer Foundation has been funded to deliver a national Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) Quality and Safeguards Education Project.

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In July, the Federal Government began the rollout of a new national carer support services system through the Carer Gateway. This system will become the main way carers can access services and supports. It will not affect other supports for carers delivered through My Aged Care, the NDIS or state and territory governments.

The rollout began with new online services from July and will be followed by a rollout of direct services across regions in September. To find out more, go to the Carer Gateway website.

The Victorian Government is now providing half priced public transport for carers and free travel during National Carers Week, 13 – 19 October.

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We are making it easier for people with disability to find information on our website.

The information aims to help people access the NDIS, make changes to their NDIS plan or search for suitable housing.

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NDIS participants, their families and carers have been invited to have their say on how the NDIS can be improved.

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At the end of March, in partnership with Youngcare, we hosted the inaugural Get Building SDA National Conference in Melbourne. The lineup of impressive speakers and storytellers generously shared their knowledge and expertise, which provided a rich and informative day for more than 400 attendees.

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The Summer Foundation has worked with Oscar Building and Stretchy Tech to develop a self-contained, relocatable unit that can be rapidly installed and moved from location to location to provide housing for people who require short-term accessible housing.

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During February, March, April and May, staff at the Summer Foundation have been supporting people to tell their stories to the Aged Care Royal Commission.

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In Victoria, regulation of specialist disability accommodation (SDA) will soon become part of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.

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In April, the Summer Foundation ran Connecting NSW, a series of events across NSW to bring together housing providers and people with a disability looking for new housing options.

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When Karen (not her real name) came to one of our Royal Commission workshops she had no idea of the possibilities that were about to open up to her.

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The Summer Foundation continues to be concerned about the high numbers of people with disability who remain in hospital long after their medical or clinical needs have been addressed.

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Carers Victoria has produced two new resources to help people navigate the NDIS.

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CONSUMER & FAMILY CARER NETWORK UPDATE – AUTUMN 2019

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Preparations for the first Get Building SDA National Conference in late March are well underway.

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Early last month the Hon Paul Fletcher, Minister for Families and Social Services, and Sarah Henderson, Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services, announced important reforms to Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA).

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Have you seen The Housing Hub? It is a website where people with disability, family members, support workers and health professionals can search for a home that is suitable for people with disability to live independently.

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A lack of accessible housing available at the right time and in the right area can leave people with a newly acquired disability stuck in hospital, rehabilitation settings or being admitted to aged care.’

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New NDIA guidelines will streamline the appeals process on decisions.

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