NDCO Region 16 – West Vic News Autumn 2017

West Vic News
Autumn 2017

National Disability Coordination Officer Program Region 16
Welcome to autumn 2017! I hope you are well on your way into the New Year and have noticed how quickly Easter is approaching….it will be Christmas again before we know it…Yikes!

Passport 2 Employment (P2E) recognised in Western Australia!

In December last year, the NDCO and Brad Charman (Glenelg Shire Council) proudly presented a program developed by the Glenelg Southern Grampians Transition Action Network and Glenelg Local Learning & Employment Network called Passport 2 Employment (P2E) at the National Pathways 13 Conference in Canberra last year. The Pathways 13 Conference brings together disability practitioners, NDCOs and a range of other professionals from across Australia, and students with disability, to identify and remove barriers for people with disability participating in education and training. Our presentation at the Pathways 13 Conference was so well received that we were invited to present the program to the NDCO’s and a group of stakeholders in Western Australia.

On 27th February 2017 the NDCO headed to Perth and was warmly welcomed by Dale Arthur (NDCO Southern WA Coordinator), Mark Bateman (Northern WA Coordinator) and Alex Murphy (Perth WA Coordinator). The NDCO presented at National Disability Services (NDS) in Perth, Edge Employment Solutions, Subiaco and Worklink, Albany. The P2E presentations were a hit among the NDCO’s and the stakeholders who attended. As a result three working groups have formed to pilot the P2E partnership in Perth, Albany and Mandurah, Western Australia.

“The group I presented to was enthused and indicated that they would pilot the P2E program in Perth this year. The schools I spoke with indicated there were at least twenty-seven students from Years 10-12 who would benefit from attending the program”

The P2E program aims to empower young people with disabilities to build their confidence and skills in leadership and self-advocacy. Since its establishment the program has been delivered in Portland, Warrnambool, Horsham, Geelong, Colac and Gippsland. The aim is to roll it out in a number of additional locations in 2017.

“I would just like to acknowledge my appreciation and gratitude to the wonderful NDCO’s of Western Australia and the Glenelg Transition Action Network. I must also thank the wonderful organisation and people I work for, Ben and Sally, thank you for allowing me to take this journey!! I will never forget this experience,”

Best wishes,

Pam Anderson NDCO Region 16

Mobile: 0418 108 555

Email: pam.anderson@skillsplus.com.au

Website: www.ndcovictoria.net.au

Priority Investment Approach to Welfare and Try, Test and Learn Fund

Department of Social Services

NDCO Region 16 worked in partnership with NDCO NT (Julie Forrest Davies), Elicia Ford (NSW), Lloyd Gris (NSW) and Gillian Hilt (NSW) to submit three ideas for the national Try, Test and Learn Proposal (Priority Investment to Welfare Approach) Department of Social Services – Young Students at Risk at long term unemployment. Ideas submitted and deemed eligible as follows:

Part time work and work experience for tertiary students with disabilities and mental health needs leads to greater success in securing long term employment
Specialist Employment Service for Graduates with Disability
Job Seeker App for PWD
About the Priority Investment Approach to Welfare and Try, Test and Learn Fund:

Under the Priority Investment Approach, the Government has commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to undertake an actuarial analysis of the social security system to identify risk factors driving long-term welfare dependency. This will help the Government to better assess the effectiveness of policy designed to decrease welfare dependency. New insights to be gained through the Priority Investment Approach will allow for the design and assessment of innovative policies which can increase the chances of sustained employment and self-reliance.

Under the Try, Test and Learn Fund, the Department of Social Services will seek evidence-based proposals for policy interventions from relevant Commonwealth agencies and external experts and from the not-for-profit and non-government sector who will all have access to the relevant data.

To review Try Test and Learn Fund successful submissions please click on link: https://engage.dss.gov.au/try-test-and-learn-fund/try-test-and-learn-fund-view-ideas/

Youth Mental Health First Aid Training. Central Grampians LLEN (CGLLEN)

NDCO attended Youth Mental Health First Aid Training at CGLLEN in Ararat held over two days. The course delivered by Grampians Community Health, provided an introduction to Mental Health Problems and Mental Health first Aid particularly focussed on youth – adolescent development, depression in young people, anxiety, eating disorders, psychosis in young people and substance use problems in young people.

Australians aged 16-24 with common mental illnesses in any one year: Anxiety disorders: Males 9.3%, Females 21.7%, Substance Use disorders: Males 15.5%, Females 9.8%, and Depressive Disorders: Males 4.3%, Females 8.4% and any common mental illness: Males 22.8%, Females, 30.1%.

The course focussed on self-help strategies for young people, professional s who can help and the important role of a Mental Health First Aider. Mental Health First aid Action Plans have been developed for each mental health disorder in young people. Action 1: Approach the young person, assess and assist with any crisis. Action 2: Listen non-judgementally. Action 3: Give support and information. Action 4: Encourage the young person to get appropriate professional help and

Action 5: Encourage other supports.

For further information about attending a course in Western Victoria, please see link: http://grampianscommunityhealth.org.au/service/mental-health-first-aid-courses/youth/

NDIS Understanding Workshops – Disability Loop and AFDO Project, Bendigo

NDCO attended a three day workshop delivered by the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations/Disability Loop in Bendigo recently. The sessions included:

How does the NDIS Work
Reasonable and Necessary
Planning and Standing Strong
I have my plan, what now,
Plan management explained and is self-management for me?
The workshops were delivered by Carl Thompson, a NDIS participant himself and focussed on the different disability support systems in Australia, why the NDIS is needed and how it is different to previous state systems. Many case studies were discussed in regards to accessing the NDIS during the trial phases. People on the Disability support Register, Futures for Young Adults and in supported accommodation will be the first to transition to the scheme in each area. Followed by people in residential institutions, community respite, therapy, PSD and HACC…

People with disability who are not in any Defined Programs, or are not accessing any services at all will need to go through the standard NDIS Access Process. People on Disability Support Pension with mobility allowance, will no longer receive mobility allowance once signed up in the scheme as it will become part of their NDIS Plan and paid every fortnight. Currently, 30,000 people have NDIS Plans. In addition to this, between 2016 and 2019 the NDIS will need to develop NDIS Plans for over 430,000 people across Australia.

In regards to reasonable and necessary, supports must be reasonable, meaning they provide value for money – this does not mean supports should be the lowest price possible, but must bring a large benefit to the NDIS Participant.

Further information and resources can be found at www.afdo.org.au and www.disability.loop.org.au.

Introducing “Nadia” NDIS new virtual assistant:

Nadia has been developed to provide people with disability with information about the NDIS when and how they want it. Initially Nadia will be used to answer the most common questions people have about the Scheme, but over time, with your help she will develop the capacity to provide detailed responses to a wide range of queries. Nadia has been co-designed by people with disability with the NDIS’s Digital Innovation Reference Group taking the lead. Nadia will be accessible 24/7 through the myplace portal. She can speak, write and chat online and has been designed to meet international accessibility guidelines. The more interactions she has with people, the more her knowledge bank will grow. The plan is for Nadia to be released in a trial environment on the myplace portal in the next few months. Nadia will start as a “trainee”. It will take 12 months and a great deal of interactions with NDIS stakeholders for Nadia to become fully operational. The Agency will hold information sessions to inform people how they can engage with and use Nadia over the next couple of months. Cate Blanchett donated her time to provide the voice of Nadia.
Professional Development, Conferences and Events

National Disability Insurance Agency Information Sessions NDIS, Western Victoria

The NDIA will be delivering Community and Provider Information Session on the NDIS in Western Victoria as follows. Please check the sessions in your local area.

Community Information Sessions – What is the NDIS?: This information session will be delivered by NDIA staff and partners wanting to start raising awareness and understanding of the scheme for potential participants, family, providers and community members

Provider Information Sessions – An introduction to the NDIS for Service Providers – This information will be delivered by NDIA staff wanting to start raising awareness and understanding of being a service provider for the NDIS for providers.

Community Information Sessions

Horsham 5 April 2017

10.30am – 12noon & 7pm-9pm

Grains Innovation Park

10 Natimuk Road, Horsham

Community Information Sessions

Hamilton 6 April 2017

11.30am-1pm & 7pm-9pm

Provider Information Session

2.30 – 4pm

Hamilton Performing Arts Centre

113 Brown Street, Hamlton

Community Information Sessions

Portland 12 April 2017

11.30am – 1pm & 7pm

Provider Information Session


South West Institute of TAFE

154 Hurd Street, Portland

Community Information Session Warracknabeal 19 April 2017

11.30am – 1.00pm

Yarriambiack Shire Offices

34 Lyle Street, Warracknbeal

Community Information Session

Nhill 19 April 2017

7pm-8. Nhill Memorial Community Centre

77-79 Nelson Street, Nhill

Community Information Session

St Arnaud 20 April 2017

5.00pm -7.00pm St Arnaud Town Hall

(Stewart Hall)

40 Napier Street, St Arnaud

St Arnaud

Community Information Session

Stawell 21 April 2017


Stawell Entertainment Centre

Auditorium Room

59-69 Main Street, Stawell

Community Information Sessions Warrnambool 11 April 2017

11.30 – 1pm & 7pm-9pm

Provider Information Session

2.30pm – 4pm

Warrnambool Lighthouse Theatre

185 Timor Street, Warrnambool

National Disability Services VIC Conference 2017

Location: Melbourne Park Function Centre

Date: 27/03/2017 to 28/03/2017

With the continued rollout of the NDIS, planning for change is something our sector understands.

At the 2017 NDS Victorian State Conference we’ll be taking the conversation in the direction of exploring the realities, risks and opportunities of delivering change and creating great outcomes for both participants and provider organisations. With a diverse variety of insightful keynote speakers, professional development workshops and exhibitors, you’ll learn innovative and practical strategies that you can implement to: enhance opportunities for NDIS participants in their daily lives, strengthen disability culture and develop your organisation in a market environment.

Contact information

For registration and sponsorship/exhibitor queries, please contact Alyssa Mason at Alyssa.Mason@nds.org.au or on 02 9256 3133

AGOSCI 13th Biennial Conference

17 – 20 May 2017

The Grand Hyatt, Melbourne, Australia

The AGOSCI Conference Theme for 2017 is “Ready, Set, AACtion”. The conference is an opportunity for people who use AAC, their families, friends, work colleagues, and people who work within the area of Augmentative and Alternative Communication to come together to share their knowledge and skills. Registration for the AGOSCI Conference is now open. You can easily register via an online form or download the registration brochure and manually complete a form.

Register Online Now


AGOSCI Scholarship Information

Limited funding will be available for scholarships to support people with complex communication needs to attend the AGOSCI 2017 Conference. Applications close 28 February 2017. Click below for further information on how to apply and who is eligible.


Policy, Research & Resources

Welcome to the Cultural Atlas

The Cultural Atlas is an educational resource providing comprehensive cultural information on the countries that Australia’s biggest migrant populations have originated from. The aim is to improve social cohesion in Australia and promote inclusion in an increasingly culturally diverse society. The Cultural Atlas was developed to supplement SBS’s Cultural Competence Program. Click on link: http://theculturalatlas.org/

National Disability Practitioners (NDP) has unveiled its new website and is offering tailored development opportunities for NDS members.

NDP is a division of NDS committed to engaging, developing and supporting the disability workforce. Since launching in December 2014, NDP has grown to represent a community of more than 14,000 individuals. Members range from disability support workers to allied health practitioners, leaders, business support staff, students and volunteers. Individuals can join NDP for $45 per person, per annum. NDP recently unveiled a new website, www.ndp.org.au. The upgraded site showcases a growing range of member benefits and tailored resources. There you can download factsheets on a variety of topics, access up-to-date information on the NDIS, attend free online courses and view video content.

A skilled, informed workforce is crucial for the NDIS. As an NDS member, you have the opportunity to support the information, learning and development needs of your staff with an NDP group subscription. Group subscriptions start at just $20 per person, per annum*.

NDP strives to build and maintain a community of capable, professional and engaged individuals who are committed to delivering high-quality supports and life opportunities for people with disability. To find out more, visit www.ndp.org.au or contact Belinda Allen, Executive Officer at or phone 02 9256 3194.

Access and Inclusion Index

Access and Inclusion is the consideration and incorporation of the needs of people with disability in all areas of an organisation’s operations. This means ensuring that people with disability have equal access to employment, training and development, products and services, premises, communication and information communication technology. For more information about the Access and Inclusion Index and how to use it go to https://accessandinclusionindex.com.au/overview

Document Accessibility Toolbar (DAT)

An innovation that revolutionises the ease and speed of creating accessible documents in Microsoft Word, the Document Accessibility Toolbar (DAT) supports individuals and organisations to embrace accessibility as ‘business as usual’ at no cost. The DAT puts the power of accessible functionality into the hands of content authors, for the ultimate benefit of consumers with disability or age-related impairment. https://www.visionaustralia.org/dat

Decision-making support: Building Capacity within Victoria

The aim of the Supported Decision Making Project was to build knowledge on how people with cognitive impairment can be supported to make major life decisions, such as post-school options and accommodation. The research, conducted by La Trobe University, explored the processes and dilemmas associated with supporting people with cognitive disability in decision making. The outcomes of the research were then used by Scope to develop a range of resources to improve knowledge and build capacity in the area of decision-making support. The multimedia and print resources target families and carers, service providers, and legal professionals. http://www.scopeaust.org.au/research-project/decision-making-support-building-capacity-within-victoria/

Disability Knowledge Clearing House

The CADR Disability Knowledge Clearing House exists to help us understand ‘what works, for whom, under what circumstances, at what cost’. Here you will find a repository of links to a wide range of disability research and evaluation resources. CADR is constantly adding material to this site with the aim of building the most comprehensive collection of disability research and resources for the Australian context. http://www.cadr.org.au/

Downloadable Disability Access Symbols

There are over 54 million citizens with disability who want and need access to work and the buildings in which people work. Apart from all ethical considerations, the law demands that people with disability are accommodated. These symbols advertise your accessibility to employees, customers, audiences, and anyone else who needs access to your building or offices. Examples of places you’ll want to promote your accessibility include: advertisements, newsletters, conference and program brochures, membership forms, building signage, floor plans and maps. http://www.artsaccessaustralia.org/resources/publications/118-downloadable-disability-access-symbols

Employ Outside the Box

Employ Outside the Box is a series of publications to encourage businesses to diversify their workforce. By providing a clear business case and a systematic approach to internal procedures, the guides help businesses to hire people with disability, mature-age workers, Indigenous Australians and other categories of people with skills to offer. https://www.acci.asn.au/program/employ-outside-box

Get Ready Workbook Series

The NDCO program has developed a series of workbooks for young people with disability, a chronic medical condition or a mental health condition to help plan life after school. These workbooks are based on the top ten tips for moving into post school education, training and employment pathways. They contain practical activities, facts on rights and responsibilities, useful links and more! There are three workbooks: Get Ready – Top Tips for Students with Disability; Get Ready – Top Tips for ATSI Students with Disability & Get Ready – A Guide for Parents. The workbooks are FREE to download and can be progressively completed electronically and saved to a computer. There is also a plain text version for users of assistive technology and an Easy English version of the Student and ATSI workbook for people with low literacy or language skills. You can download all versions at www.westernsydney.edu.au/ndco/

Person-Centred Practice across Cultures resources

Person-Centred Practice Across Cultures is a series of resources focusing on the crucial importance of cultural awareness and sensitivity in disability support and service delivery. There are 14 workbooks to assist you to be sensitive to and maximise cultural and linguistic diversity in your work. They cover issues such as choice and control for CALD customers, attracting people, engaging with local communities, bilingual workers and interpreters, and the business case for culturally-sensitive service delivery. The Person-Centred Practice Across Cultures project was designed by futures upfront for NDS. Funding was provided by the NSW Department of Family and Community Services, Ageing, Disability and Home Care.

Supporting tertiary students with ASD

Information for university and TAFE students diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), their parents, and tertiary staff interested in learning more about ASD. This information pertains to supporting students with an ASD in academic settings and comes from a variety of sources including local and international information, peer reviewed research and research conducted at OTARC (funded by DHS, Victoria). The information provided is general and not targeted for specific tertiary institutions. http://www.latrobe.edu.au/otarc/families-individuals/support

Consultation Overview – Victorian State Disability Plan 2017-2020

The Victorian Government consulted with a wide range of stakeholders to develop the Victorian State Disability Plan 2017-2020. The Consultation overview provides a summary of key ideas that emerged from a formal consultation period that ran for six weeks from May to July 2016. The key ideas are presented by the themes of the discussion paper that was released as part of the formal consultation. To assess the Consultation Overview please visit: http://www.statedisabilityplan.vic.gov.au/consultation-overview

Victorian NDCO’s

The NDCO Program works strategically to assist people with disability access, and participate in ‘Tertiary Education’ and subsequent employment, through a national network of regionally based NDCOs. There are 31 NDCO regions in Australia with 7 in Victoria. Each NDCO region has an Advisory Committee with representation from key regional stakeholders. In Victoria the NDCO program has also established a state network to work on collaborative state priorities. You can access contact to all Victorian NDCO’s via the state website: www.ndcovictoria.net.au

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The Wonderful World of Work – A Workbook for Asperteens
Region 16 Pam Anderson – Friday, December 11, 2015
ASPIE EMPLOYEES (Jeanette Purkis 2014)

Some people call Asperger’s syndrome a disability or a deficit. Some of them think that people on the Autism spectrum are incapable of doing all the things that other people can do, like going to mainstream school, socialising, having empathy, playing sport or working. This is not a very helpful way of treating people on the Autism spectrum and sometimes it can pull us down and make us feel inadequate. There is another way of looking at this issue and that is that we can do anything we choose to. Our Aspie thinking styles and understanding of life are actually positive attributes which others value. Qualities like honesty, dedication, loyalty and integrity are very common among people with Autism, and almost everyone, Autie or otherwise, values these qualities in a friends or in an employee. There are examples of people on the Autism spectrum doing all sorts of things that people might not expect them to be able to do. Asperger’s is not necessarily a disability; its just a different way of processing information and approaching the world. Often what makes it a disability is the attitudes of other people and society generally. If everybody in the world had Aspergers, the world would still function. It would function in a different way to what happens now, but it would still work!

Author: Jeanette Purkis (2014) – The Wonderful World of Work – A workbook for Asperteens

You can buy the whole book from the following websites:



Jeanette has also published “Finding a Different Kind of Normal – Misadventures with Asperger Syndrome” available online.

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The Human Library – a Unique Experience for IDPWD!
Region 16 Pam Anderson – Tuesday, December 01, 2015
The Human Library … where the Books are Alive

As part of International Day of People with Disability, the City of Greater Geelong is hosting the “Human Library …where the books are alive”.

The Human Library brings people together and invites them to have a one-to-one conversation about the lived experience of disability. It’s a great way to break down barriers, encourage understanding and learn about the impact of disability.
How it works
The Human Library works in the same way as a regular library but instead of borrowing a book, visitors borrow a person, that is a Living Book. They can then have a direct, one to one conversation with the Living Book as a way of learning more about disability.

Details can be found in the International Day of People with Disability 2015 Program.

For further information, contact Sandra Muratti.

03 December 2015, 11:00 AM – 02:00 PM
Where: Market Square (next to Novo Shoes)
Parking available
Toilets available
Undercover areas
Wheelchair accessible
Further information

Contact: Sandra Muratti
Phone: 03 5272 4743
Email: smuratti@geelongcity.vic.gov.au
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