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In a ground-breaking initiative, we are launching a program in July to train people working in the disability sector in how to support people with cognitive and communication impairments to create training videos for their support workers.

The NDIS is revolutionising the disability support system, promising to offer choice and control to people with disabilities. But for many people with a disability, having a real say over the way they are supported remains a challenge.

Some people with disability – especially those who have cognitive or communication impairments – have trouble explaining how they want to be supported ‘in the moment’.

If people feel like their preferences can’t or aren’t being taken on board, it can be incredibly disempowering,” said Carolyn Finis, Summer Foundation chief of staff.

We’ve developed an innovative way for people with disability to determine how they are supported – based on goals that are meaningful and valued by the person with disability.

We’ve developed resources that guide someone through the process of making a training video for their support workers,” Ms Finis explained. “The video can then be shown to the person’s support workers, to help them understand what’s important to the person – what they want to be supported to do and how they like to be supported. It’s about handing control back to the person with disability.”

NDIS participant Richard road-tested the process. “This is the best gift anyone has ever given me,” he said of the video.

Now that the process has been road-tested and refined with the help of participants who have cognitive and communication impairments, it is being rolled out. The first workshop is in Canberra in early July for local NDIS support coordinators and allied health professionals.

See the resources here.

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