Address details

Down Syndrome NSW
Level 6/410 Church St, North Parramatta
9am-5pm Monday - Thursday
T: 9841 444

Monday, 12 January 2009

Self-directed funding: an emerging concept for Australians with disabilities

People with Disability is a national peak body representing the interests of people with all kinds of disabilities - particularly in relation to issues that are not specific to a particular kind of disability, often the very "big picture" concerns.

The development of support for self-directed funding for people with disabilities is one such issue in which PWD is well placed to play a leading role. The PWD E-bulletin for December 2008 reports on recent local moves:

Two DS NSW staff members attended the meeting in Sydney on 2nd December referred to, and will continue to keep us informed of developments, and further information as it arises. A brief comment:

One example given by a speaker that really struck us was of a man with multiple disabilities living in the UK who elected to access self-directed funding. He then used it to "purchase" a service that he had previously received as a "service user" - his family carers reported that the dynamics of the relationship between service and now purchaser had changed significantly in the man's favour once he was in control of where and how his funding was used.

A coalition of individuals and organisations with an interest in promoting self-directed funding as an option in Australia has come together as In Control Australia. A draft statement of principles has been drafted, and is being further developed, and a website will be established as a central information point.

We have just received from the UK (a generous gift from two of the contributors), a copy of Learning Disability Today - key issues for providers, practitioners and users, 2nd Ed, edited by Steven Carnaby and published by Pavilion. Karen Slater, a young woman with Down syndrome, her mother, Catherine Slater, and Andrew Carpenter have written Chapter 15: "I choose- I choose my staff, I choose where I go", subtitled, "Living with direct payments". DS NSW members will be able to borrow it from our library from later this week.

What Kind of a Future? A booklet for young people with Down’s syndrome, published by the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities (UK) - Karen Slater was one of the ten adults with Down syndrome who were interviewed this publication, which "provides practical solutions to common problems for young people with Down’s Syndrome such as using money, travelling on buses and living on their own. The booklet includes the positive stories of ten young people with Down’s syndrome who have experienced similar problems and overcome them." It is described as "an easy to read guide for young people with Down’s syndrome ", and is also available to be borrowed from our library by members.

The Foundation for People with Learning Disabiities is an excellent source of information, some of it specifically about people with Down syndrome, and much of it freely available to download.

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