Woman and Aboriginal man talking at table

QUEENSLAND DISABILITY ACTION WEEK HONOURS THE AMAZING CONTRIBUTIONS PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY MAKE TO THE STATE, AND TO ACKNOWLEDGE THOSE CONTRIBUTIONS, WE’RE PAYING TRIBUTE TO THE WONDERFUL NATIONAL DISABILITY INSURANCE SCHEME (NDIS) PARTICIPANTS AND COLLABORATORS NATION-WIDE WE’VE BEEN HUMBLED TO CONNECT WITH.

Honouring Disability Action Week’s ethos of empowerment, our commitment to driving an accessible and inclusive community for the benefit of everyone has seen us assist over 20,000 participants to plan and reach their goals through their NDIS plans.

A leading NDIS partner in the community, our commitment to assisting participants with Local Area Coordination (LAC) across Townsville, Mackay, North Adelaide, the Barossa, and the ACT through an innovative and dedicated approach has proven critical, particularly over the last six months, through the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Feros Care General Manager Local Area Coordination, Jo Hayes, oversaw Feros Care’s implementation of 25 Community Capacity Building Projects over the last financial year including those delivered in the current climate, which required a shift in our approach to engaging with the community.

Through combining collaboration and innovation, some amazing outcomes for people living with disability, their families and their carers were achieved.

“The current climate definitely shifted the goalposts, but that’s not always a negative, and we got through any hurdles with practicality,” Jo said.

“Our LACs were still planning with participants via phone, and most of our ILC projects went soaring ahead.”

“When you have a curveball thrown your way, it can be a moment of brilliance, and you have to work differently. We’re really resilient, we pivot, and as an organisation we have that support to do it quickly, so we responded immediately.”

HOW FEROS CARE PROJECTS ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE COMMUNITY

Navigating the climate, our people, particularly through the careful planning and execution of new and existing projects, drove and embraced change, making great strides in bridging gaps and making community connections in the process.

Information, Linkages and Capacity (ILC) building projects such as the Mackay region’s Pathways Project set the standard in bridging gaps and building trust between Feros Care and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community by making access to the NDIS easier.

Our Grow Bold With Disability Podcast, which delves into various aspects of disability, enjoyed a strong first season, while visually, our Virtual Social Centre’s (VSC) evolution from Aged Care into the disability space to build capacity and provide social inclusion through topics such as employment, music, and nature, has made a big difference.

Community capacity building projects devised and delivered through partnerships also proved to be game changers. Partnering with Disability Employment Service Provider, Multiple Solutions, Feros Care, through Barossa Community Development Coordinator (CDC) Carly Grose’s drive and commitment to assisting people with disability reach their goals, was able to implement and deliver the Talking About Your Disability Your Way guide.

Empowering people with disability and employers alike to build sustainable, on-going employment options, the online guide is set to be a game changer on the national landscape.

“I’m really proud of the Pathways Project, and it’s a sign of success when the NDIS asks if they can use your kinship model, which we designed in collaboration with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups, as their template,” Jo said.

“Now we have that trust in the community, it’s just amazing, and we’re finding the Pathways Project is growing faster and faster. Through respect and connection to family units which form a community, Feros Care is trusted.

“Season One of the Grow Bold With Disability Podcast was a huge success… we now have Season Two, and we’ve had over 8,000 listens across the series.”

“It was also great to launch the VSC for those with disability. The VSC is an intimate environment, it’s very secure and private for participants, and it’s innovative and different to other platforms which took off in the current climate.”

OUR COMMITMENT SHARES DISABILITY ACTION WEEK’S ETHOS OF EMPOWERMENT

The essence of Disability Action Week’s aim of improving access and inclusion, our North Adelaide Language of Inclusion film project, designed to assist the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities, raised the bar, building stronger relationships in the process.

Filmed in partnership with Community Access and Services SA (CAASSA), the collaborative project features videos recorded in 15 languages. Through the help of seven of our multi-lingual LACs and CAASSA case workers, the film series was able to debunk myths and misconceptions of the NDIS by circulating key information in communities’ first languages. 

A main highlight was our partnership with the City of Playford Council for film and cookbook series, Look n’ Cook. Featuring four participants learning and executing easy to make recipes, the project powered on, to set a solid platform for how inclusiveness and collaboration could look in the future.

“For Look n’ Cook to go ahead, that really brought a smile to my face,” Jo said.

That’s why we do what we do, to see the difference a Look n’ Cook can make and what it sets up next… that’s just amazing.”

While our projects have set the standard in helping to set Feros Care up as a game changer and leader in the LAC space in 2020, Jo said there wouldn’t be any resting on laurels moving forward.

Underpinned by careful planning and continued innovation, Jo said the bar would be raised even higher, with big plans to further assist the community and empower people with disability to reach their goals across this financial year.

“There’s so many projects coming through identifying key areas, such as under-18s and under-25s with disability, and the top three disabilities – Autism, Psychosocial and developmental delays,” Jo said.

“We’ve got more mature in thinking how we can move forward and support those cohorts and that’s what I’m excited about.”

“I want Feros Care to be the leader in collaboration and innovation within the community space. I don’t just want to talk about what we’ve done well, I want it to be known that what we’ve done well by showing success through a community that’s been absolutely touched and turned on its head, or community group who’s really flourishing.”

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR CAPACITY BUILDING PROJECTS HERE.

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