Meet the LiveBig Brisbane Team

We’d love to introduce them to you and find out how they can support you.

 

Amanda Lasco – Occupational Therapist

 

Clinician Qualifications: Bachelor of Occupational Therapy 

Area of Coverage: Brisbane South

Tell us about your work at LiveBig: I am a Consultant of Occupational Therapy.

I support NDIS participants with different diagnosis such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Global Developmental Delay, Intellectual disabilities, Attention Hyperactivity/Deficit Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder and many others, to achieve their goals through ongoing sessions as well as assessments. 

What is your experience as an OT:  I have more than 10 years of experience. My professional background includes working with a variety of diagnosis and needs being part of a Multidisciplinary team, and I am particularly interested in working with early childhood early intervention. 

What are you passionate about: I love working with children and supporting their families to become their child’s best advocate and helping them translate evidence into practical strategies to achieve everyday learning and therapy.

 

Allysa Lei – Behaviour Support Practitioner

Clinician Qualifications: Bachelor of Psychology; Master of Counselling 

Area of Coverage: Brisbane North, Brisbane South, Logan and Ipswich 

Tell us about your work at LiveBig: I am a Positive Behaviour Support Practitioner at LiveBig, I work with participants and their stakeholders to promote positive behaviour and improve their overall quality of life by making changes to their environment and building their skills, such as communication and social skills, and building their mental health, flexibility and resilience.

What is your experience as a PBSP:  I have 5 years of experience supporting people with disability across the lifespan spectrum; from early childhood to older adults in managing behaviours of concern and improving their quality of life.

I conduct functional behaviour assessments to find information about the context of behaviours of concern, the skills that might be needed to replace the behaviour and the changes needed to make them and their support network feel safe and supported.  

I also work closely with my participants and support network to develop behaviour support intervention plans and strategies to help them live a fulfilling life.

What are you passionate about: I am passionate about using a strength-focused model to help my participants learn new skills and knowledge to take charge of their own life to make a positive impact. I always have faith in my clients and have always been amazed by their resilience.

I genuinely love what I do and strive to work hard to achieve the best outcomes for my participants.

Our quality clinicians have appointments available now, so there’s no better time to get in touch with us and make a referral.

Make a referral with LiveBig today

Self-Care and Support over the Holidays: Juliet Middleton interview with Vision Australia

LiveBig Chief Executive Officer Juliet Middleton, featured on Vision Australia Radio to speak with Peter Greco on ‘Focal Point’ about the importance of self-care and support for people with disability over the holiday season.

Listen to her fantastic interview now:

As Juliet mentioned in her interview, there is a lot of information about the services we provide on our website, let us know how we can help you.

 Livebig provide services across NSW, Victoria, and Queensland for Occupational Therapy, Speech Pathology, Psychology, Behaviour Support, Individual Counselling and more. Submit your enquiries and referrals through to our website https://www.livebig.com.au/, and our Livebig team will be more than happy to help you.

Accessibility Series – When Accessibility is Music to our Ears

You can’t stop the music – but sometimes a lack of access can stop us getting to the music, especially if it is outdoors. Thankfully a host of music festivals now cater to people living with all sorts of disabilities. If you love your music, here are some events to check out.

Ability Fest

Easily the top of the list is this one-day music festival designed for people (age 18+) living with disability.

Ability Fest aims to promote diversity and inclusion and raise money to empower young people with disabilities to achieve their ambitions.

It was launched by the Dylan Alcott Foundation and the Untitled Group. Wheelchair sports star and 2022 Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott is a big music fan who has even been known to crowd surf in his wheelchair.

The festival features specifically designed infrastructure for all levels of ability – including elevated viewing platforms and accessible pathways, ramps, and bathroom facilities – plus Auslan translators on stage, quiet zones for sensory sensitive patrons, support dog accessibility and free tickets for carers. All event staff are provided with disability inclusion training.

The 2021 event at Melbourne’s Alexandra Gardens featured high-profile artists Alex The Astronaut, Ebony Boadu, Inkrewsive and Peking Duk who all donated their time – along with the venue and organisers – to raise $400,000.

Another festival is planned for Melbourne in 2023. 

Check out Ability Fest’s Website.  

Falls Festival

The annual Falls Music Festival is held in various locations around New Year and caters to people living with a disability. It recognises Companion Cards and provides disability amenities along with accessible parking and wheelchair access in some parts of the venue. Specific access arrangements can be made with organisers.

Falls Festival will be held in Melbourne on December 29, 30 and 31; in Byron Bay on December 31 and January 1 and 2; and in Fremantle on January 7 and 8.

It features headline acts including Arctic Monkeys, Lil Nas X, Chvrches, Ocean Alley, Spacey Jane, G Flip, Pink Pantheress and Amyl And The Sniffers. 

Learn more at Falls Festival’s Website.

Tamworth Country Music Festival

A regular fixture on the calendar for any country music fan, TCMF is running from January 13 to 22, 2023 with plenty of access for people living with a disability.

The event features an accessibility map on its main program, with disability transport and parking facilities and accessible toilets throughout the Festival precinct.

Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre, Tamworth Town Hall and Capitol Theatre have designated accessible viewing areas for patrons, while Toyota Park main stage features two large screens.

Find out all information on CMF’s website

Mitchell Creek Rock ‘N’ Blues Festival

Over three days from 15-17 September 2023, this blues festival features more than 120 artists on a private property at Mary Valley in the Noosa Hinterland.

It is a disability friendly event with designated access and viewing areas in performance venues, along with camping areas with disability access hot showers and toilet facilities.

All you need to know can be discovered on there website.

We can help

At LiveBig, we are all about helping people with a disability live their best life. Find out more about the many ways in which we can help and support you to do whatever you want to do.

R U OK Day – 8th September 2022

What is R U OK Day?

We all have our up’s and down’s, every annum the second week in September an ‘R U OK? Day’ is run to create social awareness for people who may be struggling with juggling life.

R U OK? Day Aims to motivate individuals to start more conversations around asking others if everything is ok and how to approach someone who may not be ok. Data collected in the last 12 months indicated that over 51% of Australians wished they had someone to ask them if they were ok.

The power of a meaningful conversation can go a long way. Everyone has something going on from time to time by asking “Are you ok?” inspires people to reach out to others in need and invest time with people that may experience hardship.

Learning the signs and getting involved could not be easier

Learning when to ask if someone is ok is a great deal of how we can help one another. It can be overwhelming to not know what to say when someone answers “I’m not ok”. Following a four-step method we can ensure the wellbeing of those we care about in our surroundings are looked after.

Step 1. Ask R U, OK?

Choose the right time to start the conversation. If you notice someone you care about out of character, ask them discretely how they are going, if they are ok. Mention the reasons why you think they may not be themselves or may have concerns can also help them be open to conversation.

Step 2. Listen

Listening plays a large part of the process, by listening and taking seriously what another says without interrupting can go a long way. By showing that you are interested and repeating what they are saying in your own way can help them feel heard.

Step 3. Encourage the Action

By helping encourage a solution or options to manage their situation can help. If you notice the there is no change for more than two weeks, it is a good idea to encourage help from a health professional. Speaking of Health Professions with a positive mind set can encourage guiding someone in a proactive direction.

Step 4. Check in

After reaching out to someone and providing the safe space to share, it is important to continue checking in and showing that you are genuinely interested in their wellbeing. Authentic care can go a long way.

 

For more information visit the R U Ok? website.

Accessibility Series – Cheering On Your Favourite Team!

Australia is a nation of sports lovers. There’s no denying that! Our last article provided tips to help you plan a trip to the snow. This month, we look at the different sporting events people with disability can get involved with.

If you’re a person with disability looking to get a little more active as we approach spring, it may be worth checking out Disability Sports Australia (DSA). DSA is dedicated to enabling people with disability to be more active. You can look for a new sport you may like to try or find service providers that offer your favourite sport. Or you can use the NDSP National Referral Hub (NRH) to help you find a sporting club or activity right for you.

If you’re more a spectator than a participant, that’s ok too. You can enjoy your favourite game in many ways, whether you’re passionate about Premier League netball, Australian Football League (AFL) or the National Rugby League (NRL).

So, grab your favourite Guernsey, beanie and scarf and head out to cheer on your favourite team.

Supporting your favourite AFL team

With finals season underway, there are an exciting few weeks ahead. If your team made the finals, make sure you head to the ground to cheer them on!

Several clubs are leading the way in removing barriers and making AFL games accessible for all. St Kilda, Hawthorn and Geelong have sensory rooms at their home grounds. The quiet, dimly lit rooms allow families to escape from the noise and overwhelm of the crowd and sirens. This enables the family to remain at the game and enjoy the atmosphere in a calmer environment.

A sensory room is planned as part of the Docklands Stadium upgrade, and the AFL is considering sensory rooms for other venues.

The AFL website has a complete list of stadiums with links to each stadium for you to confirm accessibility features.

Cheering along at the NRL

As with AFL, finals fever is upon us. If your team is in the finals, Austadiums list each club’s home ground with links to the individual stadium.

If you’d like to play rugby league, the NRL All-abilities program runs competitions for all abilities.

Shooting for goals at netball

Though the Premier League season finished in August, there’s still an opportunity to support state-based competitions. If you’re in Victoria and not ready for the season to end yet, you can cheer on the teams in Netball Victoria’s State Finals, including mixed all-ability teams.

The finals are played from Friday, 30 September, to Sunday, 2 October, at the State Netball Centre, Parkville.

A-League saves you from winter sports withdrawal

If you suffer sports withdrawal over the summer off-season, don’t be sad! Football Australia has announced the A-League 2022/23 dates, starting in October. You can view the match calendar here. Austadiums list the match venues with links to each stadium to check accessibility.

 

Check back with us next month for the next LiveBig accessibility segment.

Womens Health Week | 5th to 11th September 2022

It is easy to neglect self-care checks, both mentally and physically often having an abundance of things to look after self-care is one of the last things on the do to list. As a part of Women’s Health Week our CEO speaks on the movement and how important it is to Arriba Group. 

Arriba Group Founder & CEO Marcella Romero explains the importance of a commercial balance when leading a business which goes hand in hand with looking after your health both at work as well as at home and ensuring a work life balance. As a female leader it is crucial to identify the signs when one needs to take a break and looking after your health so that you can passionately drive and lead a business.

It is important to lead by example, Marcela describes one of the things that she does is keep active by bringing her runners to work. Marcela Quotes “I enjoy taking walks three times a week & ensure I put aside family time. As this enables me to spend quality time with my kids and husband, this includes anything from pamper sessions with my daughter, to spending time with my sons at Basketball games, kicking the footy around at the local park and walking the dogs”.

Arriba “You days” play a fundamental part in our company when speaking about health and mental health, as it allows staff to take the day away from work to focus on them. Marcela added that U days allow employees to look after themselves but also promotes the importance of mental health and doing things that are important to them.

Marcela quotes “Being allowed to take the day off and recognising the signs to be available for us, not just for women but for everyone that may feel they need time off is super important. It makes staff feel valued as well as displays a significant reduction in sick leave”.

Marcela emphasizes the importance of self-evaluating and knowing when to pause, prioritize and monitor ourselves our health, and wellbeing. We need to make sure we take care of ourselves away from work and take on the challenge of prioritizing our health and wellbeing.

For more information visit the Womens Health Week website.

Speech Pathology Week 2022: Living with a Communication Disability

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has highlighted the challenges faced by Australians with communication disability. Communication is a basic human right and Speech Pathology Week seeks to make Australians aware of this.

For this important week in LiveBig’s calendar we wanted to highlight one of our participants Andrew, a 61-year-old NDIS participant who lives in a supported independent living accommodation.

For many years, Andrew had lived a relatively normal life and communicated with ease until one day in 2016 when he was admitted to hospital due to a fever, drowsiness, headache, and generalised weakness. Whilst in hospital, Andrew was diagnosed with cerebral vasculitis and subsequently experienced multiple strokes which left him paralysed from the neck down. Aside from losing most of his motor and cognitive abilities, Andrew also developed a communication disability which rendered him non-verbal his communication now consists of raising his eyebrows, nodding, and close his eyes.

Andrew was referred to LiveBig for speech pathology services, predominantly to explore other methods of communication which might provide Andrew with autonomy and control once again.

Together with LiveBig speech pathologist, Olivia, Andrew has worked and communicated closely with all of his formal and informal supports to ascertain a range of augmentative and alternative communication methods that could accommodate Andrew’s communication needs. Olivia has also reached out to various assistive technology service providers in search of innovative tools that can provide Andrew with communication access.

After several trials of a range of different high and low technology AAC tools, systems, devices, and strategies, such as a symbol board, symbol-based speech-generating application on an iPad. Olivia was able to organise a trial for Andrew with Control Bionics, an assistive technology provider which supplies an eye-gaze and electromyography communication device called Neuronode Trilogy.

This technology combines touch, eye control, and electromyography/spatial control which provides Andrew, who has complex communication and physical needs, with an opportunity to communicate his needs, wants, and opinions once again beyond just his facial expressions!

The current goal of therapy is to trial, implement, and educate all of Andrew’s formal and informal supports to use this device when communicating with him. In time, the long-term goal is for Andrew to effectively regain majority of his communicative functions but via a multimodal form of communication.

Speech pathology is a vital support to those who face communication difficulties ranging from a mild speech impediment such as a lisp, or a stutter, to those who require alternative means of communication.

Speech pathologists at LiveBig are a dedicated team of professionals with varied experiences who are eager to provide individualised and tailored support to you or your loved ones – so, please reach out to us and we would be more than happy to chat further!

National Stress Down Day: Work-Related Stress

Stress Down Day, is an initiative designed to raise awareness around stress in the workplace, and an opportunity to raise vital funds for Lifeline Australia. The day was also created to promote happiness, encourages help-seeking and raises awareness of suicide prevention.

There are lots of ways you can laugh, get involved and raise funds all at once. This Stress Down day your workplace can help by encouraging people to take some time on July 24, or after, donating and feeling good about supporting all the work Lifeline does nationwide.

At LiveBig we wanted to use this day to recognise work-related stress. Work-related stress is a growing problem around the world that affects not only the health and well-being of employees, but also the productivity of organisations. Arising where work demands of various types and combinations exceed the person’s capacity and capability to cope.

Other sources of work-related stress include conflict with co-workers or bosses, constant change, and threats to job security, for example a potential redundancy. Work-related stress is recognised globally as a major occupational health and safety (OHS) hazard and can be challenging for employers to prevent and manage.

When looking to prevent work-related stress ‘Rehab Management’ have a guide on how to identify and symptoms in the workplace. Read the article here

To find out more, organise an event or donate visit Lifeline’s website.

 

National Diabetes Week 2022 (10th – 16th July)

This National Diabetes Week let’s have a conversation about the real impact diabetes stigma can have on a person’s mental and emotional wellbeing.

Research conducted by the Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes (ACBRD), found that four out of five people living with diabetes have experienced stigma at some point. People living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes both reported feeling this way.

It can lead to people not sharing their diagnosis with others, getting the help and support they need, being interested to learn more about their diabetes or doing what they need to do each day to manage their diabetes and stay well.

There are many reasons someone might feel stigma. Mentally this can be a lot to deal with and can impact how someone manages their diabetes having a flow on effect to their physical and emotional health.

Did you know diabetes…

  • Is the leading cause of blindness in working age adults?
  • Is a leading cause of kidney failure?
  • Is the leading cause of preventable limb amputations?
  • Increase a person’s risk of heart attacks and stroke by up to four times?

To learn more about National Diabetes Week and register for events taking place during this week visit the Australian Diabetes Educators Association (ADEA) website.

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