New initiatives launched across New South Wales and Victoria will go some of the way to affording those living with disability more control over their own lives.
Both projects have been co-designed by their end users.
The first of the two new projects involves a new award-winning teaching resource that its developers hope will improve foundational skills in literacy and numeracy for students with disability and complex needs.
Labelled the Assessment for Complex Learners (AfCL), the project involves a series of integrated, online assessment tools intended to break down the learning barriers for students and assist teachers in understanding the skills of students with complex learning needs.
It was co-designed and trialled by 387 public schools across NSW involving approximately 2900 students and will be available to all NSW public schools in 2024.
The second new initiative sees a decision-making toolkit launched to ensure NDIS participants will be better equipped to have more control over the development of their Behaviour Support Plans.
The accompanying website provides practical resources, tips and information, including accessible and easy-to-read worksheets and templates to record important information a person with disability may seek to communicate with their behaviour support team.
Developed by Flinders University and supported by the Federal Government, the new toolkit is designed to ensure those living with disability are not left out of decision-making that impacts their lives.
Having hosted a webinar to help walk them through the various functions of the toolkit, the NDIS Commission hopes the initiative will also provide practical guidance to providers and carers to improve the quality of their support.
To assist people living with disability, providers, and practitioners with building positive and trusting relationships and finding more effective ways to work well together, it also contains case studies, videos and audio recordings that provide stories and examples.
Minister for the NDIS, Bill Shorten said people with disability deserve more choice and control in their lives and their behaviour support.
“After a review of more than 2,700 behaviour support plans, the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission found that only 32 percent of plans showed evidence that participants and family members had been consulted during the development of their plan.”
“The Deciding with Support website provides the required tools, resources and guidance to inform positive engagement between participants and their providers during the development of behaviour support plans.”
Project leader, Flinders University Professor Sally Robinson, said the new toolkit has been co-designed and tested by people with disability and behaviour practitioners to ensure it empowers them with more choice and control in their lives.
“Supported decision-making is about enabling people with disability to make decisions for themselves. It’s about making adjustments or changes to the way people receive information, so practitioners also feel more confident the support being provided is what the person wants,” she said.