<![CDATA[Collective Support Services - Resources]]>Thu, 30 Jul 2020 16:39:31 +1000Weebly<![CDATA[Psychosocial Recovery Coaching: What is it?]]>Sun, 26 Jul 2020 03:20:23 GMThttp://collectivesupport.com.au/resources/psychosocial-recovery-coaching-what-is-itPsychosocial Recovery Coaching. New to the NDIS and a much needed support to many Australians. Psychosocial Recovery Coaching has emerged as the NDIS realised that more needed to be done to assist those living with a psychosocial disability to live a full and quality life. 

Psychosocial recovery coaches are people who have either lived experience or formal qualifications. The support provided by psychosocial recovery coaches is designed to foster hope, build capacity and resilience through strong and respectful relationships. Communication is the key, not only with the person but also with families and other services. The goal is to work collaboratively with everyone to identify, plan, design and coordinate supports.

So what do Psychosocial Recovery Coaches do? 
A recovery coach will ensure people understand their NDIS plan, and will help build the skills needed to manage their plan. This might also include connection with supports, services and the community. To achieve this, a recovery coach needs to understand a person's goals and actions that can be taken to achieve this goals. They also need to provide feedback and help the person reflect on where they have come from and where they want to be. 

Funding for psychosocial recovery coaching will be included in selected NDIS plans from July 1, 2020. Please feel free to contact us for more information.  #mentalhealth #recovery #ndis #collectivesupport#disability]]>
<![CDATA[Is it Reasonable and/or Necessary?]]>Tue, 02 Jun 2020 02:44:57 GMThttp://collectivesupport.com.au/resources/is-it-reasonable-andor-necessaryIf you have been around the NDIS block a few times you’ve probably heard the term “reasonable and necessary” until it becomes part of the jargon that consumes the NDIS. But to the newbie, the term can be an intimidating aspect of navigating a new plan. What is reasonable and what is necessary, and how on earth do you decide what relates to you as an individual? 

Basically, deciding what is reasonable and necessary to you then decides the choice and control that your NDIS plan can provide you. According to the NDIS, “reasonable and necessary supports for people with disability should:

• support people with disability to pursue their goals and maximise their independence 
• support people with disability to live independently and to be included in the community as fully participating citizens; and
• develop and support the capacity of people with disability to undertake activities that enable them to participate in the mainstream community and in employment”

(If you want to check out the actual terminology, check out this link) https://www.ndis.gov.au/…/supports-funded-ndis/reasonable-a…

The whole point behind funding support that are reasonable and necessary is to help you reach your goals and to be able to participate in activities that increase your presence (or strut your stuff) in society. And they need to tick a few boxes. They need to:

• relate to your disability
• not be a ‘normal’ living cost unrelated to your support needs
• Not be ridiculously expensive (needs to provide value)
• Be beneficial to your needs

So what do you look for? We will explore supports that are funded by the NDIS another time, but essentially something has to be one of these two things:

Reasonable: something that is fair

And/or Necessary: something that you have to have 
because of your disability 

These requests can be found in areas such as:

• Support workers to help with daily activities or personal care
• Therapy supports
• Aids and equipment 
• Home modifications
• Mobility equipment

But be prepared to think outside the box! What do you want to do that you can’t do at the moment. And how could something help you achieve that? Have a look at the examples below to get an idea.
NDIS planners will look at different information when deciding if something is reasonable and necessary. And everyone is different. What may be necessary for someone with a particular disability may not be seen as necessary for someone else with that same disability. Why? Because other factors are included in the assessment. Planners will look at things like your informal supports, such as family members, or other social networks. And they’ll assess each need or reasonable request individually. So be prepared to argue your case! You’ll need evidence that what you’re asking for is
  • A rational and fair request
  • Something you cannot do without

Reports help! Seek out info from allied health professionals or any mainstream supports that can assist in justifying your request before you submit your request to your planner.
Let’s look at a couple of examples.

Joe loves going to music concerts and believes going out regularly to concerts, especially with a group of friends. Joe would need to fund the ‘normal’ costs of attending the concert, including the tickets, food and drink, and buying the band’s t-shirt. But for Joe to attend the concert, it is reasonable for him to ask for

• A support worker to accompany him 
• Transport costs to and from the venue (depending on mobility)

Jane works at an office twenty minutes from her home. She uses a motorised wheelchair and is able to efficiently negotiate her office space, but needs to work from home part-time due to fatigue. It is reasonable for Jane to request
• Transport to and from her workplace
• Modifications to her office work station
• Equipment to enable her to work from home

It can be tricky to decide if a cost is something mainstream (and therefore not funded) or reasonable and necessary for someone with a disability. Would someone without a disability be expected to pay for this? The whole point is providing choice and control and it never hurts to ask the question!]]>
<![CDATA[What is AAC Communication?]]>Tue, 02 Jun 2020 02:41:40 GMThttp://collectivesupport.com.au/resources/what-is-aac-communicationCommunication is the essence of human interaction and learning. The nature of communication relies on an interaction between individuals, and the understanding that is created through that interaction.

Communication is a basic human right and essential to our quality of life as a social species. As human beings, we use communication to: relate to others, socially connect, greet, call attention, share feelings, express an opinion, agree, disagree, explain, share information, question, answer, tease, bargain, negotiate, argue, manipulate, compliment, comment, protest, complain, describe, encourage, instruct, provide feedback, show humour, discuss interests, be polite, make friends, express interest or disinterest, etc.

AAC (Augmented and Alternative communication) is a set of tools and strategies that an individual uses to solve every day communicative challenges. Communication can take many forms such as: speech, a shared glance, text, gestures, facial expressions, touch, sign language, symbols, pictures, speech-generating devices, etc. Everyone uses multiple forms of communication, based upon the context and our communication partner.

Effective communication occurs when the intent and meaning of one individual is understood by another person. The way that something is communicated is far less important than the successful understanding of the message.

We all use different methods of communication. Imagine yourself in a noisy bar or pub. Your friend gets up to get a drink at the bar on the other side of the room. While he is there, you decide you would like a drink, too. If it is too noisy to call him, you might wave your hand to get his attention. Once he sees you, you might make a gesture of drinking, or you might hold up your empty glass and point to it. Your friend may nod and then indicate ‘What kind of drink do you want?’ by turning his palms up, raising his hands and using a quizzical facial expression. If you see a poster on the wall that shows your preferred drink, you might point to the poster.

Alternatively, you might pick up and show, or point to someone else’s drink, to indicate you would like the same thing. You might point to your friend to indicate the same as whatever he is getting. If you don’t really care, you might use a body gesture and facial expression with your hands moving palms facing up. You have just used a series of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) forms. Whenever something constrains the effectiveness of our spoken language we will use an augmentative form. 

Four factors influence this: 
1. Our current abilities
2. The environment
3. The person we are communicating with
4. Accepted social norms. 

When you have laryngitis, you might write on a pad of paper, because you are temporarily unable to use your speech. With someone who is not nearby, you may send a text or an email. If you are speaking with someone who doesn’t speak your language, you may point to a map, pictures or a travel book. You may use a facial expression or gesture to communicate with someone across a noisy room
There are two main types of AAC: 

(1) Unaided AAC: 
Communication techniques that do not require the use of an external aid 

This means that the person uses whatever is available to them, generally their own body. Examples of unaided AAC include using eye contact, facial expression, body language, gestures and manual sign. 

(2) Aided AAC: 
Any external item used to aid communication 

Examples of aided AAC include: 
  •  high technology systems (iPad, tablet, speech generating device) 
  •  low technology systems (real objects, communication books, pen & paper, pictures) 

Goals of an AAC system should be to provide a means for the individual to say what she wants to say and how she wants to say it, when she wants, and to whom she wants. Autonomy of an individual’s communication should be central.

People who are new to the field of AAC may make the mistake of looking for one system – perhaps a “high tech” speech-generating device – to be the “perfect solution.” This is rarely adequate. There is more to the process than first meets the eye. Features and access strategies must be carefully matched to the individual’s requirements. Systems require training for the user, and often for communication partners who will be interacting with and supporting the user. Backup systems and creating an aided language learning environment for the user may also be critical. Repair and ongoing tech support for high tech devices will also be needed.

Selecting a pre-designed, carefully thought-out language system, and then customising vocabulary and messages, is an on-going process that should be periodically revisited as an individual’s needs or situation changes. This process is updated as new technologies are invented, and/or a person’s needs or environment changes. For many individuals, this will continue to be important throughout their lifetime.

Note of caution: As new systems are introduced, there is a danger that current systems may be discarded. A person’s communication system should never be taken away. When new communication strategies are introduced, they may be added to existing systems and strategies. The individual who is using AAC will decide when and where to use or discard possible systems.

Selecting, designing and customising an AAC system is only the first step in the process. The individual will need training and experience using the system. Skills in the areas of language, pragmatics, operation (access), and strategic use of AAC may need to be learned. Communication partners will also need to be trained to help support the development and success of the system throughout the individual’s varied daily experiences
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