Tailored Information and Advocacy Services for People with a Disability

2 February 2017 | Posted In: #131 Summer 2017, Disability – National Disability Insurance Scheme, Disability Services, Human Service Delivery, | Author: Diana Palmer

With a myriad of information available, there is often the assumption that the information supplied is free, accurate and independent. Diana Palmer argues this belief often does not reflect reality.

Currently one in five Australians live with some form of disability1.  The added spectrum of diversity created by individual, socioeconomic, racial and cultural differences, is made even more complex by the unique capabilities and limitations associated with individuals’ disability.

There has also been a growth in a ‘one size fits all’ approach to information provision, not taking into account that the delivery doesn’t always suit the individual’s specific wants or needs. Worse it can come from a place of not assuming that people living with disabilities are contributing citizens to the communities where they live.

Is it possible for a person with a disability to access the information they require on an individual level?

Information that is independent not only promotes choice, it maximises control and ultimately creates better inclusion. Listening to their needs and tailoring information supports an individual’s choice in making decisions that matter to them, at that time and for that particular enquiry.

The introduction of the NDIS has opened up opportunities for disability service providers to compete with one another, heightening the need for them to connect to people with a disability in a very personal, tailored way. This approach is resource-heavy and could appear to be limiting for businesses, especially when the consumer-centred approach to communications demands multiple channels for interaction.

IDEAS, a specialist information service provider, takes this approach when speaking with their customers. This information service involves a call centre with specially trained Information Officers, a text-to-chat and live chat service, an extensively updated community events calendar, plus their social media channels.

As an independently verified source of information, there is no question about the accuracy of the information that IDEAS disseminates. Individuals with a disability are guaranteed they are provided the right information, tailored to their personal needs and which will answer their requirements at that time.

IDEAS is of the firm belief that the provision of accessible, quality information will lead to better inclusion for persons with disabilities, enabling them to lead the life that they choose.

Looking for information but unsure where to start? Contact us at IDEAS.

Speak to one of our team on 1800 029 904 or click on the Live Chat button to chat with them. You can also SMS your question to 0458 296 602. It is FREE.

You can also contact us via our social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Diana Palmer is the Executive Officer at IDEAS – Information on Disability and Education Awareness Services www.ideas.org.au

Our top three tips for getting the best information

1: Check in with your family and friends as to their trusted sources

2: Check in with your best community choices for information. It might be your doctor, or pharmacist or neighbourhood centre or library

3: Always ask when receiving the information “Do you have a financial interest in giving me this information”. And your supplementary question is, “Is this information INDEPENDENT?”

1 Australian Bureau of Statistics. Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2012 (cat. no. 4430.0)