NAIDOC Week 2016
NAIDOC week celebrates the Survival of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander culture and the contributions to Modern Australia. NAIDOC stands for the National Aboriginal & Islander Day of Celebration also known as National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee.
This year’s theme for NAIDOC is Songlines.
The NDIS rollout is an exciting time which will see you and your family empowered with true choice and we will be there with you every step of the way.
Taxi Subsidy in NSW will double in value from 1 July 2016
For 16 years, the state government subsidy for taxi fares has remained unchanged at $30, failing to keep up with the rising cost of taxi journeys in Sydney's congested traffic.
But from July 1, the NSW government will double the subsidy to $60.
Thank You to our Volunteers
We thank the many volunteers who have assisted us in the past year and who have collectively provided more than 9,000 hours of their time and talent.
Our volunteers bring unique talents and skills that help us broaden opportunities for the people who use our services to experience choice, inclusion and achievement in their daily lives.
Read all more about the positive difference our volunteers make to the lives of people with a disability, their families and carers
Louise is making her own choices
Louise was not even a day old when her parents were told that the new baby sister for their three older children had Down Syndrome. “I didn’t have a problem with that,” says Kim. “We just went on every day from there.”
Louise was doing amazingly, and reading and handwriting at age six. But she had begun having strange “turns”. “She would not be able to walk for 48 hours or her arm wouldn’t work,” remembers Kim. It took until Louise was 14 for her turns to be diagnosed as a rare brain disorder. “She is classified as ‘critical terminal’,” says Kim. “She has strokes and bleeds in her brain. There is no cure. It is a case of never knowing if she will be here tomorrow.”
Now Louise is starting to discover her confidence and independence as a young woman.
More than just a job!
Working in DSA’s Seven Hills Australian Disability Enterprise, Matthew has the opportunity to experience the satisfaction of working and contributing that everyone deserves and he has realised that when you work at DSA, you have much more than just a job..
You wouldn’t believe how much Matthew’s confidence has grown! “He has something he can look forward to every day, says his mum, and his dad and I are just so proud of what he’s been able to achieve.”
Learning skills for independent living
Bunnings Warehouse and Transition to Work at DSA have established an ongoing training schedule to assist young jobseekers with disability to learn aspects of independent living.
Underpinning the ability to get and keep a job is the ability to be independent in their home
life. The Bunnings team at Bankstown Airport is providing young people with the opportunity
to develop their skills and learn how to undertake home DIY projects.
The first workshop the TTW Bankstown jobseekers attended focused on repairing Gyprock and patching up holes in walls. They learned how to hold a drill and a Stanley knife and the correct way of manual handling and safely using tools. Jobseekers were shown an instructional video, received expert advice and were given a practical opportunity to master their new skills. This was a great opportunity for some of the jobseeers who are considering work in the construction and trade fields to try their hand at practical activities and see if the work is something they would like to try. Since that first workshop the young jobseekers have had sessions on tiling, lawn mowers, hoses and reels, woodworking, clamping, hammers and screws.
There are 12 sessions planned for 2016 with intentions to expand and include other TTW groups.
The program has helped one jobseeker from Bankstown to decide that a job in tiling is
definitely what he wants to pursue. He has now had a number of work placements and is currently doing work experience as a general assistant working with a tiler
A huge thank you to Bunnings and their amazing staff Rochelle (activities co-ordinator) and
Taniela nominated for Outstanding Youth Leader in the 2016 ZEST Awards
Working in our Employment Services Team across Bankstown, Mt Druitt and Blacktown region, Taniela (known as Nela) is making huge inroads with young people with disability in the Mt Druitt region through his innovative approach to disability and youth support.
Moss Vale pool hoist makes a splash!
Swimmers with a disability can now also enjoy the water at the Moss Vale War Memorial Aquatic Centre thanks to the purchase of a specialist pool hoist.
Donated by Disability Services Australia the $3000 hoist allows swimmers with a disability to safely enter and exit the pool.
“Swimming is a fantastic year round sport that everyone should have access to,” said Disability Services Australia Coordinator, Kylie Joselin.
“This hoist allows all patrons of the Aquatic Centre the opportunity to experience the freedom and therapeutic benefits of swimming and enjoy the wonderful facilities on offer at the centre.”
Swimmers requiring the aid of the mobile hoist need only bring along their own sling and on arrival at the Moss Vale War Memorial Aquatic Centre ask one of the staff members for assistance. Pre-bookings are not required as all Life Guards have been trained in the use of the hoist.
“Remaining independent is vitally important for our disabled residents,” said Council’s Ageing and Disability Officer, Nicola Robson. “This hoist is a fabulous addition to the Aquatic Centre and Disability Services Australia are to be congratulated for the initiative.”
The Moss Vale War Memorial Aquatic Centre is located at 8 Kirkham Street, Moss Vale.
For more information contact the Centre on phone 4868 1967.
Caring for the Carers
We were delighted to receive funding for the Macarthur Credit Union recently for a series fo events to be held over the next 12 months that will prvide opprotunities for carers in the Macarthur region to have some time-out and pampering.
These events will encourage carers to consider the importance of their own personal health & wellbeing. They will promote the value of engagement, connection and support and provide opportunities for carers yo meet others with similar life experiences and forge ingoing informal social support networks.
Contact the Community Connections team for details of upcoming events. Call 1300 372 121 or email
Minister rewards Disability Services Australia’s Transition To Work program for leading the way in engaging young people with disability in employment
Katrina Barber, an employment consultant for Disability Services Australia in Redfern, noticed that many of the young job-seekers she supports had great employment skills but found communicating and interacting with others challenging. “I set about researching, creating activities and developing a program that spanned why we communicate, how it impacts others and why communicating with people can benefit us” Katrina says. The result of her work, the ‘Social, occupational Communication Skills’ program (SoCS) includes practical activities that enables jobseekers to practice and increase their skills in communication.
The program was last night celebrated for excellence in promoting community engagement and employment opportunities. Katrina Barber and her team were also thrilled to receive the Minister’s Award for excellence in organisational development.
“Communication is at the heart of all things and having a fundamental program that assists people to develop their ability to communicate has enabled such growth and achievement” Katrina says of her program, which is being implemented across several TTW program sites. SoCS is leading to very positive employment outcomes for young people with disability.
The Minister for Disability Services John Ajaka MLC congratulated the Disability Services Australia along with other finalists and winners of the NSW Disability Industry Innovation Awards at a ceremony in Sydney. One hundred and eighty representatives from the NSW disability sector gathered to recognise and celebrate with the successful nominees.
“I am deeply encouraged by the quality of the nominations that have been received this year. It is heartening to see the continued dedication and innovative solutions showcased by both individuals and organisations that work tirelessly to provide high quality services for people with disability” Minister Ajaka said of the winners and finalists.
The NSW Disability Industry Innovation Awards program recognises and rewards those individuals and organisations that are advancing choice and control through reinvention in the delivery of services for people with a disability, their families and carers.
"It is great to see such a diverse range of service providers and individuals coming up with a whole host of new ways to support people with disability to live the life they choose" Scott Holz, NSW State Manager, National Disability Services, said.
Putting such innovations into practice like Disability Services Australia is imperative for the disability service sector to ready itself for the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme over the next four years.
Charles wins METS Student of the Year
DSA Support Worker, Charles Appiah recently won two awards, the 2012 METS ‘Outstanding Student of the Year’ and the Disability Trainee Award. Read more.