Welcome to this year’s summary of the 2017 Annual Forum for the NDCO program. This is my fifth year with the program and it was great to once again catch up with colleagues from all over the country side, many of which are new to the program. When you add in some of the program managers and special guests the room was full to capacity for two days of learning and sharing, some of which I have highlighted below.
Morning session day one:
Update from the department of education:
Special mention here regarding the upcoming re-introduction of the higher education reform package due for tabling in Parliament this week. (Higher Education Reform Package). A lot of the NDCO program and its future direction may be governed by the direction of this Bill. One thing to note here is the personnel change that has occurred within the management of the NDCO program with all but one of the staff fresh to this department. All in all a positive message regarding the program and its likely continuance into the future.
The second part of this session was an address from ACIL Allen who recently undertook an extensive review of the program. The message in this instance captured the following points:
- It is naturally aligned with the National Disability Strategy 2010-2020
- It is unique in its objectives and method of delivery.
- There is a recommendation for the program to become more strategically focused.
- More recently there has been an overlap of NDCO and NDIS ILC objectives. Although it is very hard to clarify where the intersecting points exist moving forward due to the early rollout phase of the NDIS.
- The program has been deemed overall, effective. This included how the program sits as a contracted program to various different hosts around the countryside.
- One observation form me was the tendency of the discussion to focus on targeting more educational transition as opposed employment transition. This has importance around a number of factors including, differentiation of the program, who and how the program is hosted internally/externally and more importantly what does this mean when we talk about the program having a more strategic based approach.
- Value for money could be the lead headline for this report.
- There is an expectation that the full report will be published sooner rather than later.
Morning Session Day One continued…
Julie Anne Lambourne
Julie Anne Lambourne from enVizion Group Inc. First thing to note here was Julie’s acknowledgement of country where she used the phrase when referring to ‘Elders past present and emerging’. I thought this was a really great addition to the acknowledgement that I will use in the future. This was a fantastic overview of some exceptionally engaging digital programs that envision are delivering across the top end of Australia. What I really appreciated about her message was although intending to reach the Aboriginal communities the programs and activities, in practice, reach across all cultural boundaries and are not restrictive. Some of the key takeaways for me in t his session was;
- Environmental healing, and healing through culture.
- Learning literacy and numeracy through culture and the country.
- Capturing stories through technology.
- The technology device allows engagement.
- Healing through expression of their story, and the opportunity to share their story, in a safe and authentic environment.
Julie went onto discuss the specific use of virtual reality devices for engagement with the younger cohort.
- Immersive environments create aspirational triggers, imprinting change. Think about the illustration impact versus an auditory talk as this is or versus the impact of virtual reality.
- In regards career advice options the devices provide real time data streams which can indicate the engagement level of the each message to compare each category as a driver of the conversation that comes next.
What’s new and what’s old is a regular feature of the annual forum with representatives from key departments presenting updates from those relevant departments.
Department of Employment, Labour market overview. Nothing particularly new here. Please refer to my previous labour data articles around demographics and industry data. (Click here) I also note that there was a direct reference to the ‘Willing to Work’ inquiry findings which I have also posted previously. (Click here)
Key takeaways re what’s new or emerging include:
- Stronger participation requirements
- New compliance framework
- National work experience expansion
- One final note here is the division of job active as an employment portfolio versus DES as a social services department. I mention this in direct response to graph showing that Job Active actually has a greater percentage of people with disability using that service compared to the DES service.
Speaking of the Department of social services they were next to present. Please note a lot of background information supplied here can be best accessed via their dedicated webpage – in particular I note the Annual report now available for reading. Click here.
DSP fast facts as of March 2017:
- No significant changes over the past 5 years.
- The most recent significant change is the removal of table 6, alcohol and other drug substance use) from the impairment table.
- Mention of the carer field test – The field test form will be used to check how well the field test questions work for people – click here
- Disability services employment Commencing 1 July 2018.
- Question of eligibility and those not in the program. Large number of those not in the program but could be accessing the program.
Department of Education, schools division, gave a quick explanation of Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD).
From 2018 NCCD will guide funding for SwD. Please note the link to quality schools reform web information. Key points regarding the NCCD:
- Consistency of disability definitions including a broader definition. In short means more students should attract additional funding.
- Challenge faced around the teacher based submission of data. These are evidence based judgements.
- Focus on level of adjustment required rather than disability type.
- Captures all students receiving an adjustment due to a disability just not those under previous medical definition driven.
- Quality assurance process are a focus. National approach given the differing state and territory regimes.
- Potentials, NDIS and school sector interface, chance for cultural change for learning and support needs within schools, including enhanced links re transition from school to further education or work.
Message is that it is still early days for the potentials of the NCCD and how this data is applied in a practical sense.
Employment and the NDIS. A presentation from the NDIA regarding some of the impacts of NDIS in the schooling sector. Nothing of particular note from this presentation. Note NDIS updates via eDIN news.
Day one Afternoon session:
Manisha Amin and Jack Tyrell—Media Access Australia— (see above) also noting new name: Centre for Inclusive Design. Well delivered session around the importance of accessible media and content.
Accessibility and inclusion. Tips and tricks. There was several references to videos during this presentation which I have endeavoured to include via links.
This session started with a roll call exercise of everyone present. Establishing the mindset of change and incorporating simple acts to cater for all possible disabilities.
Four key areas,
- Mindset – the value of inclusion. K9 on line video.
- Method – the end of average. Todd rose, Ted talk.
- Inclusive design dimensions: recognise diversity and uniqueness / inclusive processes and tools / wider benefits to all. Multiple ways or options to access.
- Toolkit – what do you need to succeed? Content needs to be -robust / perceivable / operable / understandable. Affordable access for free.
Day one afternoon continued: The day finished with a couple of NDCO specific engagement sessions. The first was our more experienced NDCO’s making themselves available for a series of questions from our more recently appointed officers.
Experienced NDCO’s Q and A panel
The last session of the day involved splitting the NDCO’s and managers in to two distinct groups based on regional or rural and our metro based guys. Interesting to see where some of these guys landed considering some areas encompass city centres and regional/rural.
Dinner – networking and guest speaker.
From left to right: Alex WA, me in the middle, Kris western NSW
Jason Clarke—Mindworker, Minds at Work. Jason joined us for dinner and gave a very well received presentation around the process and implementation of ideas. I highly recommend his content and delivery for any individual or organisation looking for inspiration in this area. I don’t have a lot of notes re this session due to who wants to take notes when you’re having such a great time.
Day 2 Morning Session
Jeder institute, Dee Brooks delivered a session on collective impact/community engagement.
Dee Brooks presents
- Inform, consult, involve, collaboration, empower. The spectrum of community development.
- Appreciative inquiry – appreciating what we have but how can we have more of the good stuff.
- When and what is an example of the community at its best.
- ABCD: Asset / Based / Community / Driven.
- Six types of assets to connect: Individual / associations / institutions / physical / economic / stories and heritage.
- Gifts I can give my community are prefaced by the headings of; head, hand, heart, heel, human connection.
The afternoon featured a series of presentations by NDCO’s around some of the great initiatives and innovations taking place across all regions. I look forward to highlighting as many of these as possible through upcoming versions of the eDIN newsletter.
Big thanks to everyone involved in the organising, running and the post forum follow up activities. If you would like some more direct information around any of the sessions mentioned above please contact me directly.