“Choice & Control”, not just a NDIS slogan

The movie “Me before You” I enjoyed it.

At the end of the day it was a humorous love story where a guy who had quadriplegia and his carer fell in love.

It made me laugh and cry, that’s why I go to the movies.

Being born with a disability, I would often look at others who had acquired their’s & think to myself, they need to toughen up & stop being so bitter towards themselves and others.

I remember telling “Superman” (Christopher Reeves) how disappointed I was with him after his presentation at the Fox Studios in Sydney when he told everybody

“He would rather be dead than remain in a wheelchair on a ventilator”

“Me before You” is being criticised big time on Facebook as a “Pity Party” sending out negative perceptions of people with disabilities.

In reality, everybody handles their own disability in their own way.

There are the elite go-getters and at the other end you have those who struggle every day.

We need more “Disruptive” movies like “Me before You” that challenges peoples’ perception about disability.

I support “Choice and Control” when it comes living or not with your disability.

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Do Board Members “Get” the NDIS ?

Following on from my last post about NDIS readiness for disabilities professionals, there is a very important group of people that need to have a better understanding about the NDIS than they do.

I’m referring to Boards and Board members of not-for-profit organizations.

A lawyer colleague of mine, Geoff Donovan and I are delivering a seminar on the Board’s leadership role in the new NDIS world for disability service providers.

Time : 5-6 pm Wednesday 25th of May 2016

Location : Purpose Law Level 17, 31 Queen Street Melbourne

Cost : $65.00  (plus GST & booking fee)

BOOK EVENT : https://www.eventbrite.com/e/is-your-board-ndis-ready-tickets-24383010240

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Geoff’s legal expertise is in the area of “Good Governance” with a particular focus on Directors duties for community and corporate organisations.

I will be giving my views looking through the “participants” lens.

As I have been a governance member on a number of boards I believe the NDIS will challenge some board members in understanding a different way of thinking which is now required as we move from a welfare model to an insurance model.

Leadership by the Board is crucial in these times of transformational change in the disability sector which requires a definite mindset shift by Board members.

When I encourage people to embrace “choice and control” when choosing a provider, I suggest that they look closely at 3 aspects.

  1. Does their board really understand the NDIS?
  2. What is the culture of the organisation?
  3. Are people with disabilities represented with in the organisation?

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Professional Peer Networks for “Connectors” Yes or No?

Planners, Case Managers, Coordinators & Facilitators play a crucial role when organising supports for people with disabilities and their families.

For the purpose of my brief commentary, I’m going to put all of these roles together and call them “Connectors”.

Whilst Connectors do have specific duties as part of their role they also have areas that overlap.

The one common goal for all Connectors is to help people with disabilities and their families have a better life.

Connectors experience 5 common challengers regularly based on my observations.

  • Having limited time to fully understand the needs of the clients that they support as their life changes
  • Being across the new services that are continually evolving
  • Having to continually suggest the same service providers based on their reputations, existing relationships and the level of trust.
  • Limited knowledge of evolving technologies and how they can be applied to assist clients
  • Not being encouraged to think innovatively by management due to service provider culture and risk management issues.

Interestingly, professions such as speech therapists, occupational therapists, and many other similar professions do have established peer-to-peer networks that allow discussions where similar topics are discussed.

As the National Disability Insurance Scheme evolves with new business and existing service providers rethinking their approach, we need to openly talk about the challenger’s connector’s experience.

Connectors are one of the keys for a successful roll out NDIS, so why aren’t they being supported?

When a peer-to-peer network is created, it is essential that people with disabilities are actively involved.

Choice and control will only happen if connectors are supported.

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