Dear Friends and Supporters of CRU,
As well as keeping you updated with CRU events, from time to time we like to share information about other events that are happening that we think might be of interest to you. Please see below for information on the New Worker Screening for Self and Plan managed NDIS participants, details of the Down Syndrome QLD Conference and find out more and have your say about proposed changes to the NDIS.
Webinar: New worker screening for self-managed & plan managed NDIS participants
From 1 February 2021, a new National Worker Screening system began in Queensland. New workers for registered NDIS service providers, working in risk assessed roles, will need to obtain a worker screening clearance. But what will the new system mean for people who are not using registered providers?
Join CRU, QDN, ADA, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Disability Network of Queensland (ATSIDNQ) for a free webinar to find out what the changes mean for self-managed and plan managed participants and their families.
- Webinar for NDIS self and plan managed participants on new worker screening process
10am Thursday 18 February
Endless Possibilities Practical Inclusion Conference
Down Syndrome Queensland
Members of CRU’s Families for Inclusive Education Project team are excited to be presenting at Down Syndrome Queensland’s Endless Possibilities Conference being held in Brisbane – and live streamed – in early March. For families and teachers, the conference will provide practical ideas, strategies and tips to achieve Inclusive Education.
8am – 4:30pm (Qld) March 4, 2021
Victoria Park Golf Club, Herston, Brisbane (and live streamed). Separate Parent and Teacher streams are being run.
Click here for the program and full list of topics/speakers, and to find out how to register.
Have your say on proposed changes to the NDIS
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is proposing a number of significant changes to the way the NDIS works, and is asking for feedback about these changes. We encourage you to take some time to understand what is being proposed and think about what these changes might mean for you or your family. There is more information, including discussion papers and FAQs on the NDIS website.
- Access and eligibility policy with independent assessments
- Planning policy for personalised budgets and plan flexibility (including using independent assessment in determining plan budgets)
- Supporting young children and their families early (changes to Early Childhood Early Intervention, including increasing the age from under 7 to under 9 years of age)
You can provide feedback on any of the proposed changes, in written, audio or video format. Consultations close at 10am ADST Tuesday 23rd February.
CYDA information sessions on upcoming NDIS Changes
Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA) is holding online information sessions on the proposed NDIS changes, and seeking feedback on the changes through surveys. There will be a session and survey for parents and caregivers, and a session and survey for young people with disability who have hand experience with the NDIS.
- NDIS Survey – Young People with Disability
This survey is aimed at young people with disability who have experience with the NDIS. If you would prefer to talk to someone instead, please email or call 1800 222 660 (outside metropolitan Melbourne) to express your interest in participating in an interview. CYDA will organise a time to talk to you about your NDIS experiences.
- NDIS Survey – Families and Caregivers
This survey is aimed at family members and caregivers of children and young people with disability who have experience with the NDIS. CYDA encourage you to consult with your child or young person while completing the survey.
- NDIS Changes Information session for family members and caregivers
Tuesday 9th February at 1 PM AEDT on Zoom.
- NDIS Changes Information session for young people with disability
Thursday 11th February at 7 PM AEDT on Zoom.
This information was shared via a CRU email on Thursday 21st May 2020.
If you would like to join the CRU Mailing List, please complete your details here
In January the Everyday Practice website was launched. This initiative is conducted by Amergin and QDN, and CRU is a member of the steering group. This week, Everyday Practice added content on: Complaints and Incident Management, Privacy, Consent and Record Keeping, What a Best Practice Provider Looks Like. Click on each link, or go to the Everyday Practice website by clicking on this text.
A recording of the FFIE webinar ‘Communication with School – Building a Foundation for Partnerships ‘ on Monday 11th May, is available on CRU’s YouTube Channel by clicking on this text. A copy of the slides used during the webinar are available by contacting CRU.
CRU FFIE consultants are available for individual consultations to assist people to take the ideas in the webinar or any aspect of Inclusive Education for their child further. Contact the CRU office to connect with a Consultant.
Last week, the NDIA updated their COVID-19 FAQs to say from May 9 it is allowing greater flexibility in Core for people who are Agency managed or plan managed, meaning you can use all four funding categories flexibly (Assistance with Daily Life, Assistance with Social & Community Participation, Transport and Consumables which includes low cost assistive technology) without needing a plan review.
For participants who do not receive a period transport payment, you are able to using funding flexibly across all Core support categories, including transport. If you receive a period transport payment, the NDIA says this will continue and this funding is not flexible. The NDIA says this change to flexibility is planned to roll out for self-managed participants in June.
The NDIA has released some new COVID-19 related Information Packs available on their website. Click on this text to link to the Information Packs. They bring together NDIA information around particular themes, including Early Childhood & Early Intervention, Fraud, Privacy & Cyber Security, Self-Management, Low Cost Assistive Technology and applying for the NDIS during the pandemic.
DISABILITY ROYAL COMMISSION NEWSLETTER
Edition 3 of Connect, the newsletter from the Disability Royal Commission has now been released. Access the newsletter by clicking this text to link to the website.
In this edition, Healthcare experts shed light on issues facing refugees, the experiences of people with disability in employment, meeting Ismail, and information about legal advice for people who want to share their story with the Royal Commission.
AN EASY ENGLISH GUIDE TO THE COVIDSAFE APP
The Council for Intellectual Disability has created an easy English guide to the COVIDsafe app.
THE DISABILITY INFORMATION HELPLINE
The Australian Government established the Disability Information Helpline to provide people with disability accessible information, counselling and outreach services if they are concerned about, or affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). It can help families, carers and support workers, too. The Helpline number is 1800 643 787. You can click on this text or visit the website www.dss.gov.au/disabilityhelp to get more information about, and other ways to contact the Helpline.
We hope that you have enjoyed a happy and safe Easter.
As you will now be aware, the government has announced that when school goes back next week, most students will be moving to Learning at Home for the first 5 weeks of Term 2 (to be further reviewed). This will be a big change for families and students and so we thought it would be helpful for us to be in touch with you about CRU’s plans and also to provide you with some important links to resources which can assist you. We know there is a lot of information out there – so we hope to not overwhelm you with too much information.
While we know that schools will also be communicating with you with more specifics and tailored resources – we also know that school responses are likely to vary considerably. While many families will be looking forward to the opportunity to spend more time at home with their family, this won’t be without its challenges and juggling, and could feel quite overwhelming – particularly given loss of other routines and supports, and general anxiety about the impact of COVID-19.
We hope that as with any big transition that you are able to prioritise taking care of each other – including Mum and Dad! – and being led by the bigger long-term vision – even if it is harder to act on many of those dreams right now! Without taking away from the challenges, this provides a time to take stock and even to get to know your child as a learner and therefore to be clearer about their strengths, passions and what supports work for them.
While this is the hope, we know this isn’t straightforward and want to reassure you that CRU will continue to support families though our individual consultation service – phone/email or zoom consults are possible by emailing EducationProject@cru.org.au or by phoning 3844 2211 and a consultant will get back to you.
This will be valuable for families knowing where to start in their transition to home learning! Please remember that while the Families for Inclusive Education Project focuses on issues around inclusive education, CRU generally supports people with disability and their families, so if you have a question relating to other issues (e.g. NDIS or supports during this time), we may be able to assist you by linking you with another CRU team member.
As already announced on our date claimer, we will be hosting a webinar at 10.30am on 11th May on the topic of Communication with the School: Building a Foundation for Partnership. It will include suggestions both for “ordinary” times as well as during this current context. Given the new technical restrictions, we will be offering a recording and zoom session at a different time slot the following week – more details to follow.
Additional resources for families
We will also be:
- Launching web resources for families
- Offering group zoom conversations for families to learn about helpful resources, offer strategies, and support each other
- Offering online learning versions of our workshops – in flexible formats
- Sharing family stories and examples of inclusion in different formats
- Continuing to support family to family peer support connections.
More information will follow, with specific dates and links for the zoom conversation and other online learning.
Department of Education Resources
We also want to draw your attention to the resources being made available by Queensland’s Department of Education:
- Department of Education pages on learning at home – learning resources/links based on the Australian curriculum:
- Learning at Home and Inclusive Education information – specific information for students with disability
- Department of Education Resource on Accessing Support for Families (PDF) – family support information
Australian Coalition for Inclusive Education
CRU is a member of the Australian Coalition for Inclusive Education which has produced a very valuable resource for families leading home learning at this time. It has lots of interesting links for stimulating learning for all ages and interests. There is also great information on how students can be socially connected during these unusual times.
CRU is interested in hearing your feedback about what additional supports would assist you to navigate the current challenges, and the Department of Education is seeking feedback from us on how learning at home is progressing, even in this preparatory phase. Please contact us by phone or email if you would like to provide this input or need assistance.
Children and Young People with Disability (CYDA)
As well, Children and Young People with Disability (CYDA) is collecting national data and you may want to contribute through completing CYDA’s survey of young people with disability and families. This survey will remain open during the COVID-19 crisis.
We hope you are able to enjoy the slower paced school holidays – and look forward to supporting you over the coming months. Hang in there!
Dear Friends and Supporters of CRU,
In response to the declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic, and the resulting escalation of public health measures to slow the spread and impact of this virus, the CRU office will close on Friday 20th March at 5pm.
The CRU team will continue to work remotely and we are available via our usual telephone, email, website and social media contacts. We might be a bit slower to respond but we will get back to you as soon as we can.
If you had booked into a CRU event please note that we have cancelled or postponed all events between now and the end of May. All registration fees will be fully refunded.
That’s as much as we know at this stage – we will let you know more when things become clearer. I wanted to share with you a quote that I saw this morning.
“And the very last thing we need right now, is a mindset of mutual distancing.
We actually need to be thinking in the exact opposite way:
Every hand that we don’t shake must become a phone call that we place.
Every embrace that we avoid must become a verbal expression of warmth and concern.
Every inch and every foot that we physically place between ourselves and another,
must become a thought as to how we might be of help to that other, should the need arise.”
Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky
With warm wishes for your continued good health throughout this time,