Source Kids Sydney Disability Expo

Over 2700 amazing people turned up to experience the inclusive, welcoming environment and our LiveBig team members Camila, Janelle and Maria participated in many engaging and informative conversations with clients, families and support coordinators. Everyone was so excited to learn about the LiveBig therapy services with particular interest in our Occupational Therapy and Speech Pathology.

Held at the International Convention Centre, there was a great energy with so much engagement and fun. The LiveBig team would like to thank all the amazing people who came along to make the weekend so special, and we loved the opportunity to connect with some new and familiar faces. The Source Kids Disability Expo provided a great opportunity for us to come together and share our knowledge and expertise in order to make a difference to so many young people.

Thank you to Source Kids for running such an incredible Sydney Expo, we’re looking forward to the next one in Melbourne in June. We’d love to meet you so make sure you come and say hello if you’re around!

You can register for free: https://sourcekids.com.au/disability-expo/melbourne-2022/

Melbourne 2022 – Source Kids

When: 18-19 June 2022 – 10am to 4pm both days

Where: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre

Cost: FREE to attend

LiveBig Customer Experience Survey – Results

We also love feedback as it helps us learn about what we do well so we can continue doing it and help us adjust how we operate our services to provide a better service to our clients.

Recently, we sent out a survey to our clients, their carers and referrers to gain an understanding of their experiences with LiveBig and we’d like to share the results.

We asked people to rate LiveBig in responsiveness and quality and we are pleased to say that overall, we are doing well.   

Highlights

  • 85% of respondents would recommend LiveBig services to others
  • 84% rated us as being very responsive
  • 86% were satisfied with our service quality

Some of the positive responses we received from clients and carers were:

  • “LiveBig providers are very flexible and responsive to disability needs.”
  • “I was so impressed with how efficient and thorough the OT was that handled my request.”
  • “You are the only provider that got back to me.”
  • “Clear, concise and immediate.”
  • “LiveBig’s service quality is very satisfying, the workers are very skilled, they have many good qualities.”

We also received feedback on areas for improvement, which we always welcome, as it helps us to service our clients better. We will work through the suggestions and bring more information to you in the future on what we have done to improve our service and processes.

Thank you to everyone who responded to the survey as we know how busy you are! Please know that you do not have to wait until the next survey to tell us what you think about our services. Simply drop us feedback via our website, send us an email [email protected] or call 1300 390 222.

NDIS Release Discussion Paper on Support Coordination and Call for Feedback

This paper forms the basis of a review of the support coordination service model. The purpose of the NDIA conducting this review is to start a process to better understand support service design issues and to shape the future of support coordination services to deliver the best outcomes for participants.

The announcement of this review means that the NDIA seeks to review how NDIS participants receive support coordination services, with several questions being asked to participants to effectively review the services.

The key points from the paper are as follows:

  • Developing a better understanding of the Support Coordinator role
    The role of a support coordinator is not always clear to providers, participants, families, support coordinators and even the NDIA itself. The review looks to improve this by clarifying job roles and functions. While support coordination is a different service to plan management, there could be synergies between the two positions that are yet to be explored. The NDIA is interested in better understanding the benefits and risks of more closely aligning these supports and how that might happen.
  • Focus on participant experience
    The feedback from participants to date is that the NDIA must encourage the development of apps, tools and marketplaces that help participants connect and interact with relevant providers. NDIA must also ensure that participants receive support in critical areas such as achieving employment goals, identifying and location-relevant accommodation options and supporting the participant during key life stages.
  • Value for money: Quality of support coordination
    The NDIA is considering how to better align the price of support coordination with participant outcomes and the price of other scheme supports, which implies that the NDIA is exploring a reduction in the price of support coordination. For example, support coordination pricing could be determined (at least in part) based on the progression and achievement of a participant’s specific goals, such as sourcing appropriate accommodation or employment opportunities. 

Here are the current numbers for funding across different age groups and disabilities.

Support coordination by Age Group, as at 30 June 2020

support-coordination-graph-1

 

Support coordination by disability type, as at 30 June 2020

support-coordination-graph-2

The data in shows the highest proportion of participants by disability type that receive funding for support coordination are psychosocial disability (84%), Acquired Brain Injury (76%), other neurological (63%) and stroke (63%). Participants with global developmental delay (10%) and developmental delay (7%) proportionally receive less support coordination funding.

This discussion paper provided a unique insight into the inconsistencies in support coordination services participants are receiving, focusing on the areas that need improvement.

For more information, including how to respond to the paper follow this link: https://www.ndis.gov.au/community/have-your-say/support-coordination.

LiveBig Success at Virtual Disability Expo

The Virtual Disability Expo was a fantastic opportunity for people with disability, their families and carers to connect with a variety of disability service providers and obtain helpful information from the comfort and safety of their own home. 

LiveBig was thrilled to participate as a silver sponsor, meeting with many booth visitors and having many conversations about our therapy services which include psychology, speech pathology, exercise physiology, occupational therapy and physiotherapy. Our virtual booth had an engaging atmosphere over the two-day event with a range of informative and interactive features. Stephanie, our team member who attended the event, was available for video chats, text, and personal messages in real-time. LiveBig spoke to many people, including clients, families, support coordinators, and NDIS providers regarding the services we provide.  The range of information and interactive features saw us receive 236 booth visits with 29 direct requests for more information. 

Stephanie said: “ This expo has been a huge success. I am really excited by the turnout, the number of people that I have spoken with and the relationships I have formed with clients, families and support coordinators. The expo functions, which included chats and zoom meetings, was beneficial to all as we had so many questions about our telehealth services, especially from people in the Victoria region”.

At LiveBig, we will always adapt our service delivery processes to overcome any challenges that may arise during Coronavirus. Our number one priority is to continue to safely meet the needs of our clients, no matter the circumstances. We are grateful that events like these enable us to connect and help people from the safety of their homes. 

When learning is fun, what more could you ask for?

Unfortunately, Lidija lost one of the twins at just ten weeks’ gestation, leaving the family devastated. But she tried to stay positive and focus on keeping healthy for the remaining twin, and the pregnancy progressed as normal until 18 weeks when the family suffered another blow. Lidija was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, admitted to hospital and put on bed rest for the remainder of her pregnancy.

Although Lidija was on bed rest, the remaining twin was born prematurely at 26 weeks and five days’ gestation. The family decided to name their new addition Hannah. Hannah weighed only 584 grams. She was so small and fragile that the nurses were unable to even measure her height. Her skin was see-through like a water bottle. You could also see the details inside her tiny little ears. But Hannah showed her fighting spirit and made it through, despite the odds. Now six years old, she has proven to be a fighter ever since.

From there, the family’s lives changed completely. Hannah progressed well through her toddler years with the help of the outpatients’ program from the hospital she was born at, but as she approached the three-year mark, the support that the family was receiving from the hospital suddenly dropped off.

Hannah had never been diagnosed with a disability, she wasn’t as able to perform certain tasks at the level of peers of the same age. She was high functioning in front of outsiders and specialists, performing tests and tasks with ease. But it became apparent to Lidija in their quiet moments together and when things became too much that Hannah would often crumble. Lidija suspected that Hannah had been trying so hard to over-perform during sessions with specialists that she would burn out, leading her to come home and fall apart. With help, Hannah had been progressing so well. But without it, she was regressing, and Lidija became concerned about her ability to keep up with her peers, her social skills and her ability to cope psychologically and in everyday life.

The family were going through a stressful time, and it got to a point where things started to affect Lidija and Ben’s marriage and their finances. Lidija knew then that she needed to take action.

She started to investigate how they could obtain NDIS funding support and made an application through Hannah’s pediatrician. Eighteen months later, having not heard anything, Lidija followed up with the service provider and was advised that they had accidentally disposed of the application as it had been filed through her pediatrician rather than directly by herself. So she applied again, but after the application was misplaced for a second time, Lidija decided on a new course of action.

For six months, Lidija searched for another provider, using all resources provided to her by the NDIS, with no luck. Until she received a recommendation to contact LiveBig, which she did, and she has never looked back. Lidija feels that LiveBig’s services were a perfect fit for Hannah, making life much easier for the whole family. She is so excited before every appointment she has with LiveBig therapy specialists Jessica Suh (Occupational Therapist) and Cheryl Prasad (Speech Pathologist). After each appointment, she happily gives her mother a comprehensive rundown of everything she learned with Jessica and Cheryl.

According to Lidija, “Hannah responds so well because Jessica and Cheryl are gifted specialists who have the resources, knowledge and passion for helping clients. They know how to communicate with her properly. When learning is fun, you can’t ask for more. LiveBig, well done and thank you. I am delighted that we have connected and can see the differences in Hannah. Parents value you, appreciate your hard work and understand that it takes a team.”

A chat with Cheryl: LiveBig’s Speech Pathologist

At LiveBig, we are also still learning. At first, we were still navigating the “new normal”. We were unsure of the future and how this would affect our valued clients. But surprisingly, we have realised that meeting virtually has had many benefits for all.

LiveBig’s speech pathologist Cheryl has found the following benefits:

  • Not commuting = more time to service clients: Cheryl always loved visiting clients’ homes, but saving time on the commute means that Cheryl can serve more people. Previously, LiveBig had a waiting list for speech pathology services and we still do, but this means that our waiting list has reduced.
  • Flexibility with appointments: As Coronavirus lockdown restrictions ease and with students physically returning to school, Cheryl has found that early morning and late afternoon appointments are popular. And she is better able to accommodate these unusual hours as she doesn’t have to worry about leaving the office at 5:00pm. Cheryl has also been able to better accommodate adult clients who need lunchtime slots during work breaks.
  • Clients more receptive to online learning: Since the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic started, school-aged children have had to adapt to new ways of learning. They are more conscious of hygiene and social distancing, and Cheryl has found that they are more versed in technology and more receptive to telehealth.
  • More relaxed settings for clients (and their families): For clients, meeting virtually has also relieved the stress of having someone visiting their home, being less formal. Both clients and their caregivers feel more comfortable during virtual meetings, allowing Cheryl to focus on what is important – increasing engagement and improving therapy outcomes.
  • Less pressure: When clients feel like they are unable to answer on the spot, telehealth allows them to take their time and respond when they are ready. At LiveBig, we use RMReach telehealth platform, which also allows users to take control of the screen. Meeting virtually, Cheryl finds that some clients are more confident opening up to her, as it feels less threatening than meeting in person.
  • More fun and equally high-quality sessions! When clients are unable to express themselves in words, Cheryl can instruct them to ‘annotate’ via Zoom, enabling them to draw something, and the novel way that the drawings turn out often ends in fits of laughter. This is especially helpful in young children, where Cheryl can ask them to draw something fun, save it on the screen and send it to them later. Traditionally, Cheryl would have clients draw something on paper and then rub it out, but virtually, the task is much easier as they can simply ‘undo’ what they drew. Cheryl has also had a lot of success playing find-a-word games, taking turns with clients.

Are you interested in our telehealth services for yourself or a family member? We are here to help. Contact us.

The Upside of Teleconsulting – a Practitioner’s Perspective

cheryl-prasad“I can see my clients are often more relaxed”, she said. “Normally I visit them at home, which is great, but it comes with its challenges. Especially when we have to consider the house is a shared space for siblings.”

Cheryl senses that parents don’t feel so much pressure when they know the therapist won’t be knocking at the front door and spending time in their private space.

“A lot of the kids and their parents also really like the fact it feels like an extension of school,” she said.

“With lots of schools having switched to online learning during the lockdown, kids are already at the computer or on the iPad, so we see a relatively easy transition to a therapy session. In some ways, I think it’s contributing to normalising the experience, which is an unexpected bonus.”

Cheryl uses a range of visual tools and games in her speech pathology sessions and is finding that kids respond positively to the aids and props in her digital kit because they’re so vivid and compelling. Interactive PowerPoints have been a big hit too.

“I’m enjoying exploring new and different ways to engage my clients, but the therapy fundamentals remain the same.

“We’re managing and responding to our clients just like we always did – looking for body language that will tell us it’s time for a movement break or recognising when we’ve worn them out because response time has really slowed down.”

For Cheryl, it also means less time on the road and more time with clients, doing what she loves.

“Although I do have to force myself to leave the house every day at lunchtime and go for a walk, just to try and keep things a bit normal,” she said.

Here are some online resources that Cheryl has been using with clients:

The benefits of speech pathology

What is speech pathology?

Speech pathology helps people who have communication and swallowing difficulties. Speech pathology uses a range of techniques to improve a person’s ability to communicate with family and friends, participate in social, academic and workplace settings and be able to enjoy mealtimes if they find this difficult.

LiveBig offers a range of flexible, NDIS funded speech pathology support tailored to our individual clients’ needs.

What does a speech pathologist do?

Speech pathologists diagnose and treat people having trouble communicating their needs, helping them express themselves and be understood. This can be through improving the quality and sound of their words, using hand and body gestures or other forms of assisted communication including picture cards or visual cues.

Speech pathologists also help people who have trouble swallowing food and drink through monitoring food consistency, developing different oral movements of the lips and tongue and using eating and drinking modification devices.

Speech pathologists work with children and adults and help them with their personal communication goals to participate in life and in their relationships.

LiveBig speech pathologists spend a lot of time face to face with clients and are passionate about making a difference for people with disabilities both within the NDIS and privately. They often work alongside other professionals in the allied health industry including occupational therapists, psychologists and physiotherapists.

Did you know?

Speech pathologists are often referred to as “speechies” in the health industry.

What does speech pathology help with?

Speech pathology assists people who are having problems with:

  • Voice
  • Speech (including stuttering)
  • Reading and writing
  • Understanding and using language
  • Difficulty eating, drinking and swallowing

Why do people get speech pathology therapy services?

Speech pathology therapy services can help people achieve their personal communication goals associated with:

  • disabilities (like cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities and developmental delays)
  • diseases (like dementia and stroke)
  • injuries (like brain injuries)
  • and hearing loss

Did you know?

Speech pathology can also assist professional voice users (e.g. teachers and singers) with their vocal tone and range.

Where do speech pathologists work?

Speech pathologists can work in a variety of different settings. These can include schools, hospitals, community health centres and in privately owned practices. LiveBig speech pathologists come to you! They visit their clients at home and in community settings. This has many benefits including helping people feel comfortable in their home environment. It’s also helpful for the speech pathologist who may need to monitor a client at mealtimes who has difficulty eating or swallowing.

Is speech pathology covered under the NDIS?

Yes. The NDIS funds a variety of therapy and allied health services for people living with disability, including speech pathology.

Learn more on the NDIS website.

How does LiveBig provide speech pathology services?

LiveBig provides speech pathology services through the NDIS and privately if required. Click here to learn more about our process.

At LiveBig we’re about transparency and responsiveness. We work with you to achieve your individual goals within your NDIS plan, whether that includes speech pathology or other therapy and assessment services. When you contact us, we will let you know when we can be there for you.

Make an enquiry
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