Most people who are looking for information about services and supports would agree that there is much to gain when government and community work together.
For people with disability who live in the ACT, the idea for such a partnership has become a reality with the establishment of a new venture called the DISH@oatley.
The DISH, Disability Information and Support Hub is a unique collaboration between Belconnen Community Services, Woden Community Services, House with No Steps and the ACT Government through Disability ACT.
“We have been dreaming and talking about the potential for something like this in the disability sector for quite a while, said Dira Horne, chief executive officer of Belconnen Community Services, one of the partners in the venture.
“It’s a fantastic that we have been able to turn an idea and a commitment into a tangible entity that will genuinely assist people with disability in Canberra.”
The DISH@Oatley brings together shared expertise, skills and knowledge and a consolidation of resources into one accessible space in Belconnen.
“This is more than just sharing our resources. It is a new way of working.
“Each of the partners share a vision in the way they work. This is, to strengthen the capacity of people with disability, their families and carers to maximise their control over their own lives.
“Providing people with the tools, strategies and the information that suits their circumstance, are vital when working with people with disability. This is what can assist them in achieving the best life they can.”
“At The DISH@Oatley, we work with people with disability so that they ‘know what they need to know’, to work towards their goals.
“This is particularly important at key transition points in their lives, such as young people who are leaving school, or away from their family home”.
“It was this kind of thinking that brought together like-minded organisations to set up the exciting concept, which has evolved into The Dish@Oatley”, said Dira.
“We believe that people with disability, their family, carers and friends want to know what’s available and how they can access it, and that’s what The DISH can do.”
So what’s on the menu at The DISH?
Local knowledge: Provided through Local Area Coordination, or LAC as people in the disability sector refer to it. This service assists people with disability to develop the tools to self manage and self advocate, and works with families and individuals. LAC also has a role in community development, linking people to local informal and formal supports and services.
Planning for the future: Staff at The DISH can work with people with disability using a range of planning tools such as PATH (Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope), MAP (Making Action Plans), Essential Lifestyle Plans and Person Centred Reviews to identify hopes and aspirations and turn these into real and possible futures.
Leaving school: Is an important step for most young people, and for young people with disability finding the right information and support is a critical part of moving into adulthood.
The Transition Service for School Leavers is for young people leaving school or getting ready to leave but who are not ready to go on to employment or further study. The aim is to assist young people and their families to plan and prepare for a meaningful life after school.
There is also a phone-based information and referral service to guide people to the range of supports available for people with disability in the ACT.
Many parents need some help with the process of establishing a home for their son or daughter away from the family home, which is where the housing options facilitator come in. Their role is to work with individuals or families to identify what kind of housing is needed, and to plan and establish accommodation and support arrangements.
For a person with disability, having opportunities to participate in all sorts of activities or being able to ink into the community is supported through the work of a community development officer. This service is provided through The DISH
If you would like to find out more about any of the services or supports provided through The DISH please contact 6205 9331.
Unique partnership brings big benefits for people with disability