Personal Outcome Measures Update
National Reconciliation Week
Post School Options Expo
Demand Management & Direct Funding Workshop
Community Development Update
We Are What We Do
Everyone Everyday Update
ACT Chief Minister’s Inclusion Awards
Grants for Community Groups
New Disability ACT Staff
Article: Towards an integrated and inclusive level of support by Mr John Thorne
Calendar of Events
Disability ACT E-News (June 2012) brings together information about recent events to keep you informed of current activities in the ACT. If you would like to include an item in the next E-News, email Sharon Hooper at email@example.com .
Providing the right support and assistance to people with disabilities is critical and Disability ACT has begun working with the community sector to implement Personal Outcome Measures (POMS). Essentially, POMs is about people taking subjective information about what people with disability describe as giving them quality of life and distilling this into objective data that can be used for quality service development and delivery. Our aim is to open POMs to employees in the ACT Government and the community sector.
Recently, staff from various services in Canberra took part in a CQL four-day POMs Workshop. Since then, Lead and Disability ACT have worked together to initiate a Community of Practice Forum for people across ACT who have completed the Workshop.
The first Community of Practice Forum was held on 24 May 2012 at the DISH @ Oatley and was attended by 30 people representing six organisations across the ACT. The forum participants identified several initiatives and areas for cooperative support and from that decided to meet regularly and continue to share ideas and support each other with the overall aim to consistently provide high quality support for people with a disability in line with the person’s identified outcomes.
If you would like more information, contact Gillian Marsh on 6205 0491.
Across Australia, National Reconciliation Week was celebrated between 27 May and 3 June 2012. This is a time to focus upon two key dates in the reconciliation journey – the anniversaries of the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision. The Community Services Directorate held several events including the 2012 Community Services Directorate Reconciliation Awards. One of the award winners was Maryanne Allan who was recognised for her contribution towards reconciliation.
In 2012 Maryanne worked as one of Disability ACT’s community partners in her role as a Local Area Coordinator and part of the DISH team, congratulations Maryanne. National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements and to explore how each of us can join the national reconciliation effort.
An event held recently into ways that we can better support people with disability was a talk on Citizen Advocacy by John Armstrong. John is an internationally recognised speaker on the rights of people with a disability and is the inaugural chair of Citizen Advocacy Australia. His talk at the Disability Information and Support Hub (DISH) on Monday 18 June 2012 discussed how Citizen Advocacy might be introduced in Canberra.
If you’d like more information about Citizen Advocacy follow this link - www.citizenadvocacysa.com.au
The Post School Option Expo was held on 19 June 2012 at the Hedley Beare Centre for Teaching and Learning in Stirling. This provided an opportunity for students, families, teachers and other professionals to meet with a range of service providers to consider options for life after graduating from school. The Expo included planning a career and Pathways, employment and employment services, further education and training providers, life skills and community access services, advocacy and being work ready. The day was well attended by schools, students and their families with a total of 445 people attending the expo.
On Wednesday 20 June 2012, Disability ACT hosted two interactive workshops on Demand Management and Direct Funding. The forums were attended by close to 100 people with disability, family members, service providers, advocates and government employees. Attendees had the opportunity to ask a range of questions and explore key issues in designing and implementing a resource allocation system that promotes citizenship, inclusion and participation of people living with a disability. The forums were run by John Waters, Director of Research and Evaluation, In Control UK. In Control UK pioneered the concept of self-directed support and developed individual budgets as a way for people to take charge of their support.
Digital Storytelling provides an opportunity for people with disability to capture their stories on a short 3-5 minute DVD. A professional facilitator supports people to reflect on their skills, characteristics, interests and dreams. The information is then collated and presented in a unique digital format. This audiovisual ‘snapshot’ of a person can assist with the goal of “telling my story once”. It might also be used as an introductory tool for prospective employers, involvement in activities; connecting with the community; or just keeping as a memento. The DISH and Disability ACT will be hosting Digital Storytelling workshops in the coming months, and sessions for school leavers start this month. If you’re interested in registering for the workshops or would like more information, contact Maureen Howe on 6205 9365 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find more information by following the link to the facilitator’s website – www.engagingsolutions.com.au
On Friday 2 December 2011, BLITS and Disability ACT hosted two workshops presented by Nick Stanhope, CEO of We Are What We Do - the international, not-for-profit organisation that inspires people from around the world to do small, good things which help address social and environmental issues. The participants were engaged to take action to include everyone in their workplace, business and community. Nick conducted some practical exercises on being more inclusive of people with disability and challenged us to help change the world, one small step at a time.
The Nick Stanhope workshops were filmed and the footage is now available to view at http://vimeo.com/40523175
The judging process is now underway for the Everyone Everyday Competition. ACT school students were invited to tell us their ideas – through words, drawings or photos – about the things that everyone can do to include people with disability in everyday life. All the entries can be viewed on Photobucket at http://photobucket.com/everyone_everyday
The winning entrants will be announced in early July and have their ideas published in a book, which the Minister for Community Services is to launch as part of the International Day of Disability celebrations in December 2012.
The Inclusion Awards acknowledge the outstanding achievements of business, organisations and individuals who have clearly demonstrated their commitment to encourage, welcome and support people with disability in their workplace, business and community. 2012 marks the 10th anniversary of the event which will once again be celebrated in style in Gandel Hall at the National Gallery of Australia on Tuesday 4 December 2012.
Nominations for the 2012 ACT Chief Minister’s Inclusion Awards will open on 1 July 2012 and nomination forms will be available online at www.inclusionawards.com.au
Hello all, a quick note to introduce myself as the acting Executive Director of Disability ACT. I started this role in May 2012 and have worked in the ACT Government for over 20 years. Immediately before assuming my new role in Disability ACT, I was a Senior Executive within the Community Services Directorate and before that, in the ACT Chief Minister’s Department.
Like many Canberra residents, I moved from another part of the country, in my case, South Australia where I worked in local government. I enjoy working with and for the Canberra community and have been fortunate to meet a great number of wonderful people during my time here.
In my usual role in the Directorate, I have developed some understanding of the needs of people with a disability, their families, guardians, disability services sector and staff. In this new role, I am looking forward to working more directly with the disability community.
Funding for Disability Services has risen to $84.24m in 2012-13. The ACT Government funding commitment in the 2012-13 Budget includes:
- $495,000 over three years to establish the Community Visitor Scheme which will provide an independent and informal service for identifying, resolving or referring matters of concern for people with disability;
- $1m over two years to extend the successful Therapy Assistants in Schools program that provides children with a disability or developmental delay with additional therapy support;
- Almost $3m over three years to construct homes specifically for people with disability;
- $1.5m in 2012-13 in the Education and Training Budget for the transport of students with disability ensuring access to the nearest most appropriate setting;
- $2m in 2012-13 in a one off grant to support existing students with disabilities in non-government schools on a needs basis using the student centred Appraisal of Needs approach; and
- Bus stop upgrades to Disability Standards stage 2 $4.5 m over 4 years. This assists people with a disability by ensuring that public transport infrastructure is available to all.
Community groups are being encouraged to apply for $400,000 Community Support and Infrastructure Grants which can help them continue to deliver key services to ACT residents. The funding can pay for important projects and equipment for organisations.
The program awards grants of between $20,000 and $25,000 to ensure that community groups remain viable, inclusive and have access to the technology, resources and support they need. The grants target three areas: community support and capacity projects, non-fixed infrastructure and equipment funding and capital works and fixed infrastructure funding to community owned facilities.
Through last year's funding the Community Services Directorate was able to assist 28 community organisations to deliver key services to thousands of people across the city. Last year's funding round money was awarded to organisations such as Karralika Programs to provide clients with access to resources to support therapy, rehabilitation and skills development, Garran Scout Group to upgrade their kitchen facilities, Australian Red Cross for project management training; and Marymead for the renovation of residential properties.
Links to application packages and further information can be found on the ACT Government's Grants Portal at www.grants.act.gov.au or by phoning (02) 6205 3685 or (02) 6207 1048.
By John Thorne
Peter and Adam are working towards an environment that maximises their independence and realises their potential. As their parents we want them to live happy and fulfilling lives and to achieve this we want a new level of support that is consistent and integrated. Everyone and every organisation involved in their lives must be working towards the same goals.
An important step has been the appointment of a House Coordinator from House With No Steps and funded by Disability ACT. We had our own ideas and experiences but our coordinator helped us put them into a plan to drive our philosophy and support structure.
Essential Lifestyle plans for both Peter and Adam were a key outcome. These plans outline their interests and their needs, their likes and their dislikes as well as information on how to interact with them in plain, easy-to-understand language. We have ensured that everyone involved in their lives sees and understands their plans and ‘buys in’ to our philosophy and the support structure we want for them.
Our support philosophy is built on respect for our lads and the knowledge that they can develop, learn and contribute. Tandem, our in-house support organisation, requires each support worker to know and understand the Essential Lifestyle plans. They are inducted into the house via our Induction checklist. We want them to be part of our team and be an integral part of their lives. Consequently, evenings are a time for learning how to prepare meals, set the table and clear up afterwards, for washing clothes and ironing them for the next day, making lunches and for getting properly prepared for bedtime. Supervised and directed by support workers, but not done by them. There are games of pool, watering the garden, visiting shops and walks in the local area. On Sundays the lads take turns in doing the weekly shopping. In all this Peter and Adam are encouraged to make choices.
This level of support extends Tandem’s normal respite model and CEO Cheryl Pollard has enthusiastically endorsed it. More needs to be done, but Tandem is actively developing new models of support along these lines.
LEAD and Koomarri provide support and work for our lads outside the home and both organisations are familiar with the lad’s Essential Lifestyle plans. Capital Community Housing provides valuable assistance to the house and involves them in the running of the house and treats them with the respect due to any tenant. We continue to reinforce the philosophy behind these plans to all these organisations.
Leisure activities foster the lads’ self esteem and knowledge and also provide an opportunity for involvement by the community in their lives. There are visits to the club, restaurant outings, discos, swimming and the like. Some of these are supported, some are done with family and some closely involve the general Canberra community. For example, there are outings with the Canberra Bushwalking club and games of pool at the Burns Club, both of which involve interaction with the local community.
In summary, our ‘model’ is characterised by integrated and consistent support. Everyone involved is working towards the same goals and conveying the same messages to Peter and Adam. It’s a work in progress and there are still challenges ahead. We want support organisations that can adapt to our needs and be able to supply quality people who can engage in activities with our lads, teach new skills, watch them develop and give them opportunities for the kind of varied and interesting life we ourselves take for granted.
However, we have had to ‘cobble’ together Home and Community Care (HACC) hours and other hours to make this work. This does not give the level of security we need nor does it give us control. We hope to see this change when Disability ACT takes over management of HACC funding.
We are not there yet but we have the structure in place and we know what we want!
NB: Adam and Peter have consented to sharing their personal experiences in this publication.
Did you know that in the second half of 2011, in keeping with the ACT's commitment to the national harmonisation of health and safety laws, the ACT Legislative Assembly passed a new Work Health and Safety Act 2011 . The new Act replaced the previous Work Safety Act 2008 on 1 January 2012.
This means that Disability ACT has a responsibility under the Work, Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) to ensure the health and wellbeing of its employees, clients and visitors to, the workplace. In addition to our obligations as an employer the WHS Actalso places an obligation on ‘other persons at the workplace’. While Disability ACT Households are the resident’s homes, they are also considered to be a workplace under the WHS Act.
The WHS Act requires all persons at a workplace to take reasonable care for their own health and safety and to ensure that their acts and/or omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons. This includes Disability ACT staff and guardians. Any individual at the workplace must also comply, as far as reasonably practicable, with any reasonable instruction given by a Disability ACT member of staff.
If a person fails to comply with their obligations under the WHS Act they may be open to prosecution by the Work Safety Regulator. To assist both Disability ACT and guardians to meet our joint obligations under the WHS Act, Disability ACT would ask that all people associated with households are treated with dignity and respect and provide support consistent with the procedures and guidelines available.
Consultation on the draft National Standards for Disability Services
Disability ACT is offering a further opportunity for people with disability, families and carers to have a say about the draft National Standards for Disability Services (National Standards). You may participate at one of the facilitated focus groups on 26 June 2012, complete the online survey, or make a written submission. More information is at:
NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Date: 1-8 July 2012
Further information: www.naidoc.org.au/
Quarterly Disability Sector Forum - The ACT Disability Sector into the Future
Date: 5 July 2012
Venue: ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Centre
245 Lady Denman Drive Yarramundi Reach
DISH Open Day - Drop in to the DISH 5 July 2012
The Disability, Information and Support Hub (DISH@Oatley) is a partnership between Local Area Coordination, House With No Steps, PATH and Disability ACT.
DISH@Oatley will be hosting Drop in to the DISH to provide access to information and people who could talk with you. The first Drop in to the DISH will be on 5 July 2012 (open 10am – 7pm) and is about Money! Money! Money! There will be a guest speaker from Care Financial Counselling at 12 pm. Please drop in and talk with DISH team members and guests about what is happening for you. For more information phone DISH@Oatley on: 6205 9331
Disability ACT Quarterly Information Sessions
These information sessions will feature topics that people have expressed interest in and significant for people with a disability, their families and friends.
Date: Wednesday 22 August 2012
Location: Ballarn Meeting Room
Ground Floor, Nature Conservation House
Corner of Emu Bank and Benjamin Way
BELCONNEN ACT 2617