Telepractice and NDIS: remote service delivery as a valid intervention option

Tracey McCann1

1 Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children, Private Bag 29, Parramatta, NSW,  2124, tracey.mccann@ridbc.org.au

 

With the National Disability Insurance Scheme rolling out across Australia, and families and adults now having access to funds to pay for services and therapies, there has never been a more important time to ensure that the service and health providers have the necessary specialist and expert skills in order to deliver a high quality service that families and adults can access, regardless of where they live.

Families in rural and remote areas of Australia very often do not have local access to experts in the fields of disability and often are forced to use local providers whose knowledge and skills may be limited.

Likewise, specialist services in isolated areas find it challenging to improve their knowledge and skills in order to deliver high quality therapy and intervention.

The Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) has been delivering expert specialist services to families of children with a hearing loss or vision impairment in these rural and remote locations across Australia since 2002.

As NDIS has rolled out in regional areas of Australia, RIDBC has continued to be a leading provider of services for hearing and vision support, as well as supporting regional and local service providers in developing and increasing their knowledge and skills in providing intervention services for these low incidence disabilities.

This presentation will outline how RIDBC has traditionally provided this support to families through telepractice and how it has adjusted its programs and ways of support to meet the needs of families and local service providers in an NDIS world.

The presentation will also look at ways a remote service provider using a telepractice model can remain a valid option in a regional context and how local providers can be engaged in developing their understanding of disability and enhancing their skills in supporting  families and adults.

The provision of assessments and early intervention therapy services delivered remotely through telepractice will also be outlined as well as ways in which  a specialist service such as RIDBC is able to pass on knowledge and skills to local service providers using videoconferencing.

Families across Australia now have access to funds to procure the services they require for their child regardless of their geographical location and this can be achieved through both local providers and experts in the field though the use of videoconferencing.