New tool for assisting people with a disability choose the support they need

Victoria takes another step forward in assisting people with disability find the allied health services they need, while also providing resources to upskill allied health professionals with the launch of My Allied Health Space.

Funded by the Victoria Government as part of the $26M NDIS Keeping our sector strong: Victoria’s workforce plan for the NDIS, My Allied Health Space will assist implementation of the new Allied health capability framework: disability and complex support needs. This free website is set up to provide information, tools and training resources to ensure that people with significant disabilities can confidently choose the allied health services needed to improve their skills and independence over time. It also offers a range of resources for allied health professionals working in the NDIS.

Developed by a consortium, led by Associate Professor Libby Callaway from the Monash University School of Primary and Allied Health Care, the site provides guidance for people with disability and complex support needs, friends, family or carers on how to choose allied health professionals that meet their individual needs, questions to ask and things to think about when they start working with an allied health professional. Checklists are also provided for planning and assessing the quality of different types of allied health support as needs change over time.

There are around 4.3 million Australians who have a disability.  Within the next five years the NDIS will provide an estimated 500,000 Australians who have significant and permanent disability with funding for support and services.  For many people, it will be the first time they receive the disability support they need.

Chris LeCerf was one of the team working on this project. Chris is an NDIS participant who was living as a younger person in a nursing home prior to securing a smart-technology enabled unit located on the border of the Monash Peninsula Campus. Through the NDIS, Chris has greater access to funding for allied health support linked to his goals for community living.

This has required him to think about the type of allied health services he needs, and assess the quality of these supports over time.

“The resources on My Allied Health Space have a focus on putting people and their families at the centre of decision making. It places them as experts, working alongside professionals to give them more control over their life and the services they receive. Using the tools available on My Allied Health Space, people can truly take part in decision making and form partnerships with their service providers,” said Mr. LeCerf.

Associate Professor Callaway said “Achieving best outcomes, choice and control for people with disability was the overarching goal of this work. The tools and training resources provided on the My Allied Health Space website are aimed at assisting both those people using allied health services, and the allied health professionals who provide them.”

Allied health professionals will be able to access a range of online implementation tools and training resources, such as a self-assessment tool with links to resources and professional development guidelines, an organisational checklist for service managers and allied health educators with links to resources and e-learning packages, and reference documents that outline behaviours for each capability in the new Allied Health Capability Framework.

Victoria’s Chief Allied Health Officer, Donna Markham, noted: “Through the guidance offered by the Allied health capability framework: disability and complex support needs - and these new implementation and training tools available via My Allied Health Space - allied health professionals will be able to better provide high-quality, person-centred support that promotes choice and control for people with disability.”

My Allied Health Space has been developed with the invaluable input from people with disability, allied health educators and researchers, community-based clinicians who work with people with disability across all ages and settings, the Major Victorian health network Peninsula Health, experienced disability service provider Yooralla; and digital design educators from the Monash Centre for Professional and Continuing Education and the University of Melbourne Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning.

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