Throughout October, Settlement Services International (SSI), as an NDIS Local Area Coordination (LAC) Partner in the Community, trialled a proactive outreach program to support participants to receive the COVID-19 vaccine if they chose.
An operator on SSI's LAC multilingual intake line.
LAC services include linking people to the NDIS and to mainstream and community supports in their area.
SSI delivers services to 16,000 participants across 14 local government areas in the South West Sydney and Sydney areas. The communities SSI supports include First Nations, Vietnamese, Arabic and Chinese participants.
Over the course of the three-week trial, SSI staff made over 3,400 calls to NDIS participants. Staff reported that the proactive contact was appreciated by participants and, overall, the activity was a heart-warming experience.
One participant’s carer discussed uncertainties around where they could access the Covid-19 vaccination locally. The SSI Local Area Coordinator (LAC) Team Leader provided support by researching GPs in the local area and was able to locate some nearby locations that had appointments available on the following day. The carer was provided with the phone number for the medical centre and planned to call and make an appointment for the participant immediately.
The carer was very appreciative of the information and assistance from the SSI LAC program.
SSI’s incredible effort was made all the more worthwhile as the majority of calls confirmed the participants contacted were already vaccinated or had booked in for their vaccination.
SSI produced five videos in language to inform community that the NDIS LAC program is here to support participants who would like further information on access to vaccinations. The videos, produced in English, Vietnamese, Arabic, Mandarin and Cantonese, are captioned. In the first week (October 22-27) total views since posting on social media were 300. See the video here.
Learnings from the trial will be used to inform other initiatives to connect with and support NDIS participants as we move towards “COVID normal”.