Module 11 - Psychological Therapies and Social Interventions

Disability services

One of the principles guiding the development of Disability services has been that of 'normalisation'. The underpinning of this service philosophy is to provide appropriate assistance to persons with an intellectual disability to lead a 'normal' life and that they should have the same choices and opportunities as the normal population. Consequently, people with an intellectual disability have the same rights as the general population and should be able to access the same generic services, such as health services and part of the role of Disability services is assisting people with disabilities to access services rather than directly providing them, with some exceptions such as accommodation, behaviour intervention and supported employment. Disability services also work closely with non-government organisations (NGOs) which are not-for- profit organisations which provide support services in a range of fields including direct care, accommodation, vocational training, activities and other areas. In many cases this direct care partnership enables the provision of services which are embedded in the local community, which may promote greater inclusion. In most states the provision of Disability services is regulated by legislation. This legislation may also include measures to ensure that the rights of people with intellectual disability are protected by providing oversight of restrictive practices such as restraint and seclusion. Specific complaint procedures may also be put in place so that people can complain if they are not happy with the quality of service that they are receiving. Generally, Disability services are moving towards a more self-directed approach where people with a disability have more flexibility and control of the funding so that they can choose the supports they want. The legal framework is that of participation on a voluntary basis and usually requires the consent of the individual for service delivery. This can present some difficulties for people with a disability who lack the cognitive capacity to give informed consent and who present a high degree of risk to either themselves or others. In many states this is addressed using Guardianship legislation which allows for decisions to be made on another person’s behalf. Disability services are also required to adhere to the One DHS Standards, developed by the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards. These standards cover the four main areas of Empowerment (which acknowledges  the importance of promoting and upholding human rights and the commitment to planning and implementing services in a manner that observes these rights), Access and Engagement (which acknowledges the importance of promoting and upholding the rights of people to access the most appropriate service to meet their needs), Wellbeing (which acknowledges the importance of promoting and upholding each person's wellbeing and safety), and Participation (which acknowledges  the importance of promoting and upholding each person's right to exercise choice and participate in decision making and to be supported to actively participate as a valued member of their chosen community). LINK TO ONE DHS STANDARDS INFORMATION In addition, commencing with a 12 month transition period from January 2014, Disability services across Australia will also be bound by the revised National Standards for Disability Services. These arise from the Standing Council on Disability Reform and are intended as a transitional reform enabling nationally consistent quality standards to apply across the disability services sector. They have a greater focus on person centred approaches and promote choice and control by people with disability. They are considered critical under the National Disability Insurance Scheme. LINK TO NATIONAL STANDARDS FOR DISABILITY SERVICES
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