Research and interesting reading
Communication Rights Australia is Recruiting for our Research Project
Communication Rights Australia is partnering with Federation University and Disability Advocacy Victoria in seeking input from people with disabilities who may be interested in participating in our project.
The aim of this project is to document the experiences of people with complex communication needs who have interacted with the civil or criminal justice system so that justice agencies can better understand how to respond effectively to this group. For this research, complex communication needs are defined as: ‘complex communication means someone who (regardless of the disability types) requires assistance (person or device) to comprehend and or communicate information’.
The research is interested to learn directly from people with complex communication needs about their experiences with the justice system (criminal and civil).
For further information contact Jan Ashford on 9555 8552 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Survivors of Abuse
Scope Victoria is looking for adults with communication difficulties who are survivors of abuse/have experienced abuse and their family/friends.
We want to talk to you about taking part in research on communication aids and staff training to support people with communication difficulties identify and report abuse. Abuse includes financial abuse, psychological, physical or sexual abuse. It also includes neglect.
Scope’s Communication and Inclusion Resource Centre is working on a study, supported by the Victorian Government. The study is called Speak Up and be Safe from Abuse. Scope has developed a communication toolkit, resources, and staff training. We are looking for feedback.
The research has been approved by Scope’s Human Research and Ethics Committee.
Who are we looking for?
• Adults (aged 18-65) with disabilities who have communication difficulties who:
o are survivors of abuse/have experienced abuse, and
o live in Victoria, and
o have funded support through the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and
o are under the age of 65years.
• Support people, in an unpaid role (i.e. family and friends), who have supported people with communication difficulties, as above.
What will happen?
We will ask you to interview you. People with communication difficulties will also be asked to participate in focus groups to talk about the supports available to report abuse. A $50 gift card will be provided to reimburse you for any costs.
Information on counseling and support services will be available to participants.
More information: For more information about the study and what is involved, please email email@example.com, phone 03 9843 2000 or use the national relay service 133677. We can also live chat via Skype if that works best for you.
Research on customer service communication with customers who use AAC
Have you ever had bad experiences as a customer in a shop, a bank, a cafe or a restaurant because of your speech? Or have you found a favorite shop where customer service is very good? If you are an adult who does your own shopping or goes to cafes or entertainment venues, your experience of communication with customer service staff would be very valuable for a significant new study on customer service communication experiences of adults with CCN who use AAC systems. Using shops, banks, cafes and other retail outlets is a right for all Australian citizens, and is necessary for anyone to live as a member of their community. This study aims to discover how difficult or easy it is for people who use AAC, and how customer service communication impacts on customers.
If you use an AAC system and live independently or with family, with little or no support, and if you shop independently (possibly with physical support, but you make your own decisions), the study is seeking your experiences and thoughts about how retailers communicate with you. Participation will be through interviews and optional participation in an online focus group. People living anywhere in Australia are eligible to participate.
Interested in participating contact researcher, Sue Taylor, at Deakin University, Melbourne, on firstname.lastname@example.org
Sue will send you more information about the research project, and if you decide to participate, she will ask you to sign a consent form.
Coheath - What is your experience with health?
Cohealth is a community health service which operates out of several sites in Melbourne’s west and north.
Cohealth is preparing its first disability action plan. If you have used cohealth, we are keen to hear from people with disability, and from their parents and carers, about their experiences with cohealth.
The short survey will help cohealth to understand the barriers that exclude, or make it difficult for, people with disability. The information will guide cohealth in preparing its disability action plan to remove these barriers and make cohealth accessible and welcoming for people with disability, and their parents and carers.
PWD survey link:
5 Tips for NDIS Pre-Planning
Article by Sally Coddington
Today we had Nicky’s first NDIS plan review meeting. We’ve come a long way since our very first planning meeting two years ago. We’ve changed providers, several times, looking for the kind of support we need; we’ve worked out how to play with our flexible supports to get more of what we need and even some of what we like (such as a night away every now and again for just Mike and me); and we’ve also learned that Nicky’s potential to communicate and enjoy the things she loves (like hydrotherapy and massage) could never be reached with her current plan’s meagre allocation of therapy support hours.
So going into today’s meeting I was anxious. Ridiculous really considering that the NDIS is my bread and butter. I work with parents almost on a daily basis to alleviate their fears about moving into NDIS but I was truly anxious. A lot rides on getting a good outcome from a single meeting: I wanted to maintain Nicky’s current supports and increase her allocation of therapy supports to 50 hours. On the back of horror stories coming out of the ACT about NDIS eligible people being turned away, I was anxious (have I mentioned that I was anxious?!).
To make sure we had the best chance at stating our case, I chose a face-to-face meeting over a phone meeting. We always take Nicky with us to our meetings – no one does a better job of advocating for her needs, despite being non-verbal, than Nicky. And I wanted to be prepared, unlike our initial meeting when we pretty much just turned up. The stakes are too high this time to not be prepared.
So I reached out to Nicky’s therapists (Speech Pathologist, Occupational Therapist and Physiotherapist), who happen to all work with the same provider, for help in making a case for increasing Nicky’s therapy support hours. Unfortunately the call from NDIA with the date of our review came late last week so I could only give Nicky’s therapists a couple of days warning. At this point, I want to clarify that not so long ago I was thinking of taking our therapy business elsewhere. I was concerned with the high turnover amongst the therapy staff allocated to Nicky, which had meant time wasted in getting to know each other, over and over again. I was unsure of what, if any, value they were bringing to Nicky in exploring her potential.
But they nailed it! The three therapists rallied together to write a single combined, powerfully succinct, outcomes-focused review report written entirely in NDIS-speak. They responded with a report the next day that clearly indicated they knew Nicky, had registered my goals for her development and was short; clearly not a lot of therapy hours were wasted in bringing it all together. It was not until I read the report that I realized I actually do speak another language, NDIS, and fortunately so do Nicky’s therapists. It was art in a report, but on reflection it revealed 5 secrets to getting it right for participants.
1. Create support teams for customers for continuity of care and a better support experience. Receiving a single report from all of Nicky’s therapists felt so much more reassuring than it would have to have received 3 separate reports. It gave me confidence that Nicky has a team of professionals truly collaborating to support her and that any future staffing changes would be facilitated by this connection.
2. Empower your front line staff to work without management intervention. The report from Nicky’s therapists came through within a day of my asking. Rather than stuffing around talking to their supervisors, they just got on the task. Not only is this more efficient for their organisation, it is wonderful for participants and their families who don’t really want to unnecessarily engage with members of staff who they’ve never spoken to before and probably won’t again.
3. Engage the key stakeholders in decision making: show parents and carers that you’ve listened to them. A huge proportion of NDIS clients have their NDIS decisions made by their families so make sure you include their input in the pre-planning documents you create.
4. Speak ‘NDIS’ like a pro to get the best outcomes for customers and your businesses too. The moment our NDIS planner saw the therapy report I could see her shoulders drop and her breathing deepen. She was in NDIS Planner Nirvana. NDIS Planners need to make the case for every support they include in a plan, and they’ve got a ton of plans piling up for completion. So the easier you make it for them to justify the supports you need, including using the right terminology and focusing on outcomes, the better for the NDIS Planner, the participant and ultimately you – the support provider. The NDIS Price Guide is the best tool for learning the lingo: read it, use it and save it to your desktop for constant use.
5. Money talks. Give evidence of value for money in everything you do. Don’t waste time on lengthy reports – get straight to the point in delivering value. It was clear from the report that we received from Nicky’s therapists that a template had been created which made it easy for them to include all the information needed by the NDIS Planner and nothing more. I appreciate that minimum time was spent on preparing the report so that maximum time could be spent where Nicky needs it most.
We’ve come a long way since our very first planning meeting two years ago. We’ve changed providers, several times, looking for the kind of support we need and today I decided that I won’t be taking our therapy business elsewhere after all.
Sally has diverse commercial experience spanning over 20 years across financial services, human services, B2B, B2C, for profit and for purpose industries around the world. Sally is especially passionate about supporting businesses in developing and marketing products, services, spaces and experiences for people with a disability – commercially superior solutions that promote consumer empowerment for people with disability. Sally has a Bachelor of Business from UTS and an MBA completed at Harvard.
Sally is a member of the NSW Disability Council, Director of Endeavour Group Australia, Director of the Centre for Universal Design Australia, Director of the Hunter Business Chamber and, lecturer in Marketing at the University of Newcastle.
Among Sally’s perspectives on disability is that of mother and carer to Nicky, one of her three young daughters. Nicky lives with quadriplegia as a result of an acquired brain injury and is an NDIS participant.