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.
We are in the midst of a unique crisis that poses a particularly significant threat to the lives of people with disability and complex needs. Many of the people we support are already susceptible to chest infections and pneumonia because of their limited mobility. COVID-19 makes this threat considerably greater when people are stuck in hospital.
These are challenging and uncertain times for all due to the continuing spread of COVID-19.
We are changing the way we work to help ensure the health and wellbeing of everyone that we work with.
The entire team is now working from home and we are working hard to deliver many of our planned face-to-face events online. See our events page for details.
While our staff are now working from home we continue to be available to support you. You can contact us via email.
Our existing and on-going relevant projects include:
For hospital staff working with people with disability being discharged to the community:
- NDIS and discharge planning info and resources for hospital staff
- Leaving Hospital Well Community of Practice
For housing providers, housing seekers and the people supporting them:
For support coordinators and allied health professionals supporting people with disability and complex needs living in the community:
The NDIA has also created an information page to help prepare and support NDIS participants and providers at this time.
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.