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Able Australia are currently collaborating with Monash University on a new project to provide more online connection, communication and support to people with disability and their families. The project is trialing the use of telepractice by allied health student training with Able Australia clients across Tasmania.

The interdisciplinary team consists of Monash School of Primary and Allied Health Care at Monash University, consumer expert mentors (Emma Gee and Jono Bredin), community-based health professionals (Osborn Sloan and Associates, Applied Communication Skills) and health professional students.

This project, led by Libby Callaway (RAIL Independent Living Stream Lead) with Prue Morgan (Head of Physiotherapy), was originally designed to offer a combination of digital and face-to-face learning for people with disability. However, the rapid escalation of the COVID-19 pandemic has provided an unexpected opportunity for rapid transformation and pilot of a full time telepractice fieldwork placement with our clients and the Able team.

This project has been designed to help people with disability, their families, health professional students and disability support providers to engage with low-cost, mainstream technologies for digital connection, online communication and delivery of participation-focused supports.

The Monash students are working with our clients to develop a range of plain English step-by-step resources to assist people to learn to connect to the internet and use mainstream technologies (e.g. iPads) for video and phone-based connection.

In other exciting related news, in Victoria, we have been using tele-practice with individuals who live in Able supported houses and people who live independently. Creative arts therapist and deafblind consultant, Emily Walters, has been working with clients and their supports to think of programs and activities that can take place at home. Able’s art therapists have been providing therapy sessions via video calls.

We are so excited about these projects and the new technological advancements to come for our clients!

For more information, please contact Libby Callaway on 0421 356 359 or at Libby.Callaway@monash.edu.