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L.I.S.A Inc
LISA... is a parent support and lobby group, for parents and families with a family member having an intellectual or multiple disability, and living in a supported accommodation group home in the State of Victoria, Australia.
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Responding Effectively to Complaints
“When there should be none!”

The Disability Services Commissioner is running a series of workshops for service providers on how to best respond when someone makes a complaint.

Using the Four A’s of successful complaints resolution, these workshops will provide participants with a model for responding to  complaints that will be of value to staff who are likely to be the first point of contact and managers who are responsible for dealing with complaints that have been escalated within their organisation.

Using an interactive practice based approach, the workshops will cover:

complaints and you

  • the Four A’s of successful complaints resolution
  • practice based case studies
  • complaints in the context of person centred supports

LISA Comment: Whilst service provision is captive market or pseudo captive market, service providers in the disability field have little reason to be concerned about complaints from consumers.

Since time immemorial, services in Victoria have been block funded, very scarce, despotically controlled the DSR Team of the Department of Human Services (the department) and provided by resultant captive market service providers with, therefore, little reason to consider the consumer as without whom they would have no business or job.

The NDIS, ISP funding process, is intended to place the consumer in the driver’s seat. This, in theory, should put service providers in the marketplace.  In practice, this is unlikely to occur in many instances, as changing service providers for many people with intellectual or multiple disabilities is not like changing supermarkets to get the best deal.

Most service providers in the general marketplace do all they can to avoid consumers having a reason to go the Consumer Affairs or ACCC, as staying in business is dependent on passing-trade.  If customers don’t like the service or product, they go elsewhere.

Most consumers within disability services do not have this luxury.  With a mostly ‘take it or leave it’ captive market culture, there is little reason for service providers, especially the department, to put the ODSC out of business by having a zero-tolerance towards service dissatisfaction.

JacksonRyan Findings:  The Disability Services Commissioner’s (DSC) tendency to try to resolve all complaints accepted by him through a ‘talk-fest approach’ is failing people with disabilities and their families. 

“With at least 20 per cent of complaints since 2010 not being fully resolved, it is obvious that the softly-softly approach of talk-talk is inadequate,” say Max Jackson and Margaret Ryan of JacksonRyan Partners.  Mr Jackson and Ms Ryan are the authors of An Analysis of Complaints Management & Resolution Undertaken by Victoria’s Disability Service Commissioner, A Snapshot from the Annual Reports  2008 – 2013...
Read the full finding   

Extra 1:  Australian Law Reform Commission - Submissions

Extra 2:  Blocked from the NDIS – SA Advertiser – 27 July 2014


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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.

LISA Inc   ~   Phone: 03 9434 3810   ~   Email:   ~   Address: 73 Nepean Street Watsonia VIC 3087

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