Accessibility Tools

woman holding stitched heart in her hands

This story is about a mother and her son. The mother had recently and unexpectedly become the carer of her adult child. Her son lost his sight in an accident and now has a permanent and non-correctable disability.  

The first contact the carer made was to Vision Australia for help with solutions to minimise the barriers for her son living at home, and also so he was able to continue at his workplace. Both mother and son had received counselling and after the assessment process, her son was granted an NDIS package.

The carer rang the IDEAS Call Centre because she wanted to build her support network and get help with household tasks. Her son had a friend who assisted him to get to work. 

She wanted to help her son to grow in confidence and get the other things he wanted – to play sports, to go out with his friends and to live at home independently.

The most significant changes the carer and her son made in their lives were they learned there was more support for them than they realised, and they were able to connect with both mainstream and community organisations.  They were better informed and able to make decisions about the help that suited them.    

The carer joined an online community, where they talked nightly about their lives and shared tips and advice on how to build their capability as carers.  The carer felt less isolated as she became an active and resourceful member of a community.

The carer subscribed to receive free, the bi-monthly IDEAS Newsletter and services and consumer updates in the monthly IDEAS e-news. 

The carer achieved her immediate goals of organising help with household tasks and discovered she was able to join a community of carers, parents and individuals who wanted to develop support networks and build capacity within their regional services. Her son was given a choice of activities he was able to participate in and had become more independent with the use of apps supplied by mainstream services and community organisations.

The carer appreciated the convenience of receiving verbal advice and options over the phone and written advice in emails. The carer and her son also had access to texting and been given help to self-guide themselves through the IDEAS database for disability information.

The carer was referred to online information resources from NDIS ‘Understanding the NDIS’ Easy English guide, and mainstream services delivered by Parramatta Community Services Centre, and community programs run by LFE (Lambing Flat Enterprises) Community Supports, and Verto disability employment service. 

The carer was assisted to search the NDIS database for a list of NDIS registered services within the carer’s local area, to organise therapeutic supports and get help with household tasks.

The IDEAS database records were used to help both the carer and her son feel connected and included in their local community.  The young man wanted sporting and social outings appropriate to his age and were referred to inclusive and accessible activities provided by Riding for the Disabled Association NSW; Blind Sports NSW; and Ability Fest. He was also provided with links to apps for public transport.

The customer resides in regional NSW and was able to get support through phone calls and emails from the IDEAS Call Centre located in Tumut.  They were provided with information of services and supports located within their area, as well as online resources, and verified information stored in the IDEAS disability information databases.

In a series of phone calls and emails, information was exchanged between the carer and the IDEAS Call Centre Information Officer over several months until the carer emailed to confirm that she had sufficient advice to achieve her immediate goals.  IDEAS contacted the carer a month later, as part of the follow-up project, and the carer advised she was both pleased and grateful for IDEAS continued support. 

The carer was pleased with the outcome and described her relief that her son was getting out more often, and how this had improved his health and fitness, and he had become more involved in social and recreational activities as well.

This story was developed by the IDEAS Specialist Individual Support and Engagement Officer, using records maintained as part of the IDEAS Call Back Project.

IDEAS provides a follow-up service to assess how we can provide further assistance. We make personal contact seeking feedback so we can continuously improve our service, and share findings and results with stakeholders.