Institutions to Independent Living
Funded Service Providers to
These large steps take time, resources and innovation to achieve. The movement away from institutions has certainly occurred, mainly through the group home concept intended to provide a degree of individualisation within more of a family setting than institutions could achieve.
Group homes are however extremely dependent on the integrity of direct care support staff to provide other than mindercare, and provide a reasonable degree of individualisation, skill development and engagement for and with the residents
There are many residents of group homes who should have long been considered for independent living (SDA – Self Directed Approaches). Conversely, there are many who would need intensive resources, time and innovation to move into any of the various and complex aspects of independent living.
That said, there are many very active lobby groups who promote independent living as the only way for people with disabilities. Those who promote self directed approaches (independent living), say they would not put their dog in specialist disability accommodation (group homes).
They say no matter how good group homes are, the principle is wrong. And, that those who attempt to ensure group home residents have the best possible life, are wrong and should use their energy to have group homes closed and promote independent living.
Whereas the residents of group homes are entitled to the best quality of life possible, pending suitable and better alternatives – and such cannot occur overnight.
Currently, we are moving from service providers having traditional power over the people they are intended to serve, to the reverse through the NDIS process removing the service provider’s cosy-zone block funding, to they being paid for their services by the person with disabilities – their customer.
With the complex NDIS processes taking some considerable to become fully and properly established, group home living needs to be the best it possibly can, pending the consideration of the next stage – possible independent living
It would therefore be interesting to hear the proposals of those who promote independent living for all, to reflect on their considered independent living options in detail for those currently in group homes – especially those with high support needs.
There are those who say, there are multiple choices now. We don't have to wait until better is possible. It is possible, it is called choice and control for the individual. This independent living lobby group call for all group homes to be closed, and replaced with co-tenancy where the individuals choose to live with one another with supports to do so - as group homes are little more than mini institutions.
Parents often call for keeping group homes open because of their own feelings, fears, and concerns. Because you are afraid of something does not mean that fear should be the determining factor in your offspring's life, say the independent living lobby groups.
Just because Article 19, Section A of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities states that all parties to this convention will ensure persons with disabilities have the opportunity to choose their place of residence and where and with whom they live on an equal basis with others and are not obliged to live in a particular living arrangement does not mean this is possible in all circumstances and suitable for everyone.
State, Commonwealth and Territory Disability Services Acts state that funds allocated to persons with disabilities will be used to ensure they have access to the same opportunities and experiences as all other citizens. Again, wherever possible
The National Disability Insurance Scheme guarantees that funds will be used in ways that all participants have the opportunity to experience full social and economic participation. All service providers and State Governments have agreed to this requirement. Again, wherever possible.
All funder and service provider brochures proclaim loudly and in bright colours their commitment to supporting people in ways that are personalised, individualised, innovative, creative and community centred, say the independent living lobby groups.
If these commitments being made by funders and service providers are true then it is reasonable for a person with a disability to believe that the funding they are allocated and the services they receive will be tailored uniquely to their circumstances and requirements. Again, wherever possible.
The independent living lobby group say by what convoluted logic do we still continue to defend and propose the development of residential facilities that co-locate six completely unrelated individuals together in a house that is not theirs, with funds they are not permitted to manage, supported by people they didn’t get to choose, with impoverished daily supports.
The simple answer is that others in the community seek government funding, not just the disability field. So that everyone has a fair share of the available cake, reasonable and necessary must apply to everyone moving into the new era of marketplace consumer funded disability support services within Australian Consumer Law throughout Australia.
Extra 1: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Information 1, Information 2
Extra 2: Change Agents on the birth of the NDIS
Extra 3: Government to Review NDIS IT System
Extra 4: Stop being offensive to people with disabilities by George Taleporos
Extra 5: Scope Pain Awareness Project
Extra 6: Check LISA NDIS Chat Room for more
NOTE: We are seeking contact with those living in group homes under NDIS, and/or their families to ascertain what they feel has improved under the NDIS.
LIFESTYLE IN SUPPORTED ACCOMMODATION (LISA) INC.
Tel: 03-9434-3810: Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Web: www.lisainc.com.au : www.lisa-aus.blogspot.com
NOTE: We are always interested in feedback and information;
general, specific, good or bad. If you wish anonymously:
Our mail address is, 73 Nepean Street, Watsonia, 3087