SF Updates Archives - Summer Foundation
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Welcome to our Winter 2022 Update

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Over the past few months we have been working hard on a campaign that puts a spotlight on the lengthy delays NDIS participants are facing for approval of funding for housing and supports. 

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In the past 3 months, the Summer Foundation has led an alliance of more than 130 organisations across the disability, health and housing sectors in calling for faster and more accurate decisions on housing for NDIS participants.

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The Summer Foundation and People with Disability Australia (PWDA) are researching the NDIS experiences of people with disability, their families and close supporters. The survey results will be presented to Minister Shorten, the NDIA and the government to address the current challenges.

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The Down to 10 days campaign used a range of media and social media platforms to create awareness of the campaign and highlight stories of lived experience and the impact of delayed NDIA decisions.

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A new report shines a light on the increasing number of hurdles being put in front of NDIS participants in order for them to receive housing support. 

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The Summer Foundation has appointed a new chairman of its Board.

Chris Leptos AO brings a wealth of corporate and government experience to the role. His experience
in the housing sector combined with his work advising state and federal governments provide him with perfect qualifications to be Chairman of our Board.

He is an experienced company director and is Chairman of the National Heart Foundation, a Non-Executive Director of IDP Education Limited, and Senior Adviser to Flagstaff Partners.

Chris has a strong interest in social impact and systems change, and shares our fundamental belief that young people in aged care is a solvable issue.

In 2000 Chris was honoured as a Member of the Order of Australia for services to business and the community, and in 2022 was honoured as an Officer of the Order of Australia for services to the not for profit sector.

We welcome Chris and convey our sincere thanks to outgoing Chairman Paul Conroy who has supported the work of the organisation for more than a decade.

In his time as Chairman Paul guided the Board through an extensive renewal program and significantly increased the lived experience of disability among Directors. Paul concludes his responsibilities with the Board at the end of June.

The Collaborative Support Approach Tool outlines the cooperation between support coordinators, aged care staff, allied health professionals and other stakeholders working together to assist a younger person to leave aged care.

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What would you like to share with readers about yourself?

My name is Connor, I am 19 years old and moving into an SDA apartment soon. My disability is Friederichs Ataxia. I have dog named Gus who is 8 months and hoping to move in with me if he behaves.

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As part of the Summer Foundation-La Trobe University Research Programme, in recent months we have published several journal articles and reports, and presented at academic conferences. 

We’ve been looking at issues such as hospital discharge, accessible housing regulations, NDIA decision-making, support coordination, and the impact of living in SDA. 

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Critical to successfully resolving the issue of Young People in Residential Aged Care is streamlining NDIS processes for funding housing and support until they become as responsive as the aged care system. 

In the lead-up to the federal election, the Summer Foundation is working with an alliance of people with disability, advocacy organisations and the housing, health and disability sectors to campaign for timely NDIS funding for housing and support. 

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Last week a new campaign was launched to get Australians with disability the housing support
they need.

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Off the back of our successful Building Better Homes campaign in 2021, this year will see many new homes around the country built to minimum accessibility standards. This means new homes will include features such as increased door widths and a no-step entrance, making a significant difference to the millions of Australians with mobility issues. 

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In October 2021, the Housing Brokerage Service (HBS) started working with the Victorian Department of Health and Melbourne health services to support people with disability to discharge from hospital into housing that meets their needs and preferences.

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The Federal Government is looking to introduce amendments to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Act 2013. The Summer Foundation has produced explainers for participants and the sector based on information in the draft legislation.

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What would you like to share with readers about yourself? 

I’m Samar, I’m 33, I have cerebral palsy and live in a new SDA apartment. I work training support workers at courses and my other job is a personal assistant. I also do projects with the Summer Foundation.

I enjoy getting out and about – I like going to the beach, restaurants and out for coffee. I used to stay at home but now I’m very outgoing and love to live life.

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When you have disability it can be hard to find a home that is right for you. And if you have lived somewhere that isn’t right – like a nursing home – for a long time it can be really hard to imagine moving somewhere else. 

With generous funding support from the TAC and State Trustees, people who have experience of moving out of unsuitable housing created some great resources for those who are just starting their journeys. The resources are designed to help people navigate the challenges and feelings that come with such a big transition. They include a podcast, videos and information about getting the right support.

You can access the “Moving out of a nursing home” resources here.

You can also listen to the ABC story that talks about the resources here.

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Welcome to our last edition for 2021. We celebrate the significant amount of critical work that has been done toward ending the need for younger people with disability to live in aged care; in what have been challenging circumstances over this past year. As we open up and resume face-to-face engagement, we look forward to also carrying over the benefits and efficiencies we’ve honed over the past almost 2 years of working with COVID-19 disruptions.

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The Summer Foundation’s Board renewal process continued with new appointments and planned resignations in November.

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The successes, challenges and new opportunities from the 2020/21 financial year are highlighted in our latest Annual Report.

It shows the progress of the Summer Foundation against our key areas of focus including:

  • Building the capacity of key service providers, including support coordinators, hospital staff, allied health professionals, SDA and support providers, and many others 
  • Developing an evidence base for potential solutions that will ensure young people with disability have choice and control over their housing and support
  • Building the capacity of people with disability around housing and support options and housing pathways

You can access the 2020/21 Annual Report here.

On-site shared support (OSS) provides a significant opportunity for people with disability living in Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) apartments to increase control over their housing and support options and to lower the cost of their support.

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Our UpSkill team has developed a new guide to delivering support coordination to people with complex needs.

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The Summer Foundation was the proud promoter behind the Million Dollar Vax competition that received over 2.7 million entries in October. The aim was to increase the rate of vaccination nationally to reduce the burden on our healthcare systems and reduce the risk of infection to the most vulnerable in our community including people with disability. The campaign targeted regions with low vaccination rates.

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Andrew, who is 49 years old, has been living in aged care in Tasmania for 4 years. 

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The Summer Foundation’s Housing Hub team will soon pilot a support coordination service that will specialise in developing housing evidence for Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) eligibility. 

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More than 330 people logged in to our 10th Annual Public Forum on 4 November. Reaching Towards Success – Closing the door to aged care for young people discussed the progress being made to end the need for younger people to live in aged care, as well as the barriers that remain.

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Big changes are needed for the SDA market to meet its potential to help provide housing for an estimated 28,000 young people with disability.

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The UpSkill Provider Directory was launched at the beginning of September. The platform gives people with disability online access to a searchable directory of support coordinators and NDIS allied health professionals.

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The Summer Foundation’s Reasonable and Necessary podcast has attracted high-powered talent to discuss key issues and opportunities for the NDIS. 

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Following April’s historic decision by a majority of Building Ministers to incorporate mandatory minimum accessibility standards into the National Construction Code (NCC), it is now up to each state and territory to adopt the new NCC.

So far Victoria, Queensland, ACT, NT and Tasmania have agreed to do so, while NSW, Western Australia and South Australia have declared that they will opt-out. 

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The Summer Foundation–La Trobe University Research Program is designed to understand the issue of young people in aged care. By researching the issues at each stage of the critical pathways that lead young people to aged care we can provide the evidence needed to create systems change that will solve this problem. 

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The Housing Hub has a suite of new resources on the website for people who are thinking about moving out of a nursing home or other housing that doesn’t suit them.

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The new Support Portal on the Housing Hub website is for professionals who are supporting people with disability to look for suitable housing. It makes everything about clients’ housing searches easier.

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Housing Hub Lived Experience Coordinator Rebecca Evans took time out of her busy schedule to tell us about herself.

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Welcome to our winter update.  It comes at a time of greater public focus on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), particularly around new independent assessments, personalised budgets and challenges within the specialist disability accommodation (SDA) sector.

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The Summer Foundation recently launched a new-look website. We invite you to head to the site and take a look around. 

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Under the National Construction Code (NCC) 2022, all new housing will be required to meet minimum accessibility standards. 

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The Summer Foundation Board renewal program continues and we are delighted to welcome new director Cain Beckett.

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The Housing Hub has begun publishing data from housing seekers in a summarised way to inform the market.

General Manager Alecia Rathbone said the Housing Hub is working to make sure the needs and wants of housing seekers are driving the market for accessible housing.

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The Summer Foundation’s Welcome Home education package for SDA providers was launched in May.

The free, self-paced learning package contains resources designed to help Board and executive team members and tenancy managers understand their obligations under the SDA Practice Standards and explore a rights-based approach to service delivery.

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Our partners in research, La Trobe University, are conducting a study to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted people with acquired brain injury (ABI) e.g. stroke, traumatic brain injury, brain tumour, hypoxic brain injury. They are looking for adults withABI who live in Australia, or carers/family members of adults with ABI to participate. Find out more here.

The Summer Foundation is pleased with the recent Australian Government decision to expand eligibility for COVID-19 vaccination to all NDIS participants and carers. 

The Summer Foundation encourages all NDIS participants and carers to get vaccinated, if possible. For COVID-19 updates, click here.

My name is Pam, I have been involved with the Summer Foundation for about a year now.

I was diagnosed with MS in 2009. I was living independently in a private rental but after I had a serious relapse and ended up in rehab for 7 months they told me to consider moving into a supported home. I moved into a group home in 2018. There were pros and cons – it was nice to be surrounded by people, but I didn’t have agency any more.

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The Summer Foundation Research team is currently involved in an extensive range of projects.

These include:

  • Looking at the hospital to home journey for people with disability and complex needs with a focus on health and NDIS timeframes
  • Looking at ways to support young people stuck in hospital to find housing that aligns with their needs and preferences
  • Finding out what makes an effective support coordinator 
  • Looking at the impact of the NDIS on young people in aged care or those at risk of admission
  • Exploring factors that influence the quality of paid disability support
  • Investigating needs and preferences regarding housing, disability supports and assistive technology
  • Evaluating the outcomes and impact of tenants living in new specialist disability accommodation (SDA)
    to create an evidence base for the SDA market, and
  • Exploring the experience of partnering with people with disability in a co-design project

Have your say

Our partners in research, La Trobe University, are conducting a study to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted people with acquired brain injury (ABI) e.g. stroke, traumatic brain injury, brain tumour, hypoxic brain injury. They are looking for adults with ABI who live in Australia, or carers/family members of adults with ABI to participate. Find out more here.

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Despite the unprecedented challenges of the past year I am delighted about the strong progress that is being made on several fronts towards our goal of keeping younger people out of aged care. 

The long-awaited final report of the Aged Care Royal Commission provides great reason for optimism (see here).

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The Summer Foundation has welcomed the key recommendations relating to younger people with disability outlined in the final report of the Aged Care Royal Commission.

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The Summer Foundation has developed The Housing Needs and Preferences to Support Discharge Guide and Template for health professionals to support a person with disability to be discharged from hospital to suitable housing.

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