Parliament: Questions Kelly's Asked

Disability Services on the APY Lands – Response

The Hon. K.L. VINCENT (27 July 2011).

Can the Minister for Disability advise—

1.(a)What specific disability support services the government delivers on the APY Lands;

(b)In which communities are these services provided; and
(c)How many people receive each service?

2.(a)How many people on the APY Lands are waiting for a Disability SA service; and

(b)When will their specific service needs be met?

3.(a)What proportion of public housing built in South Australia’s remote Aboriginal communities over the last two years has been purpose-built to accommodate people with disabilities; and

(b)What specific design features have been incorporated into these properties?

4.(a)How many people from the APY Lands have had to relocate to urban or regional centres, including Alice Springs, because they have not been able to access appropriate disability support services in their home community; and

(b)What support, if any, does the government provide these people to enable them to undertake return-to-community visits?

5.(a)How much funding did the Department of Families and Communities expend in the last financial year delivering disability support services to people on the APY Lands; and

(b)How much funding has been allocated to continue this work in the current financial year?

Answered (4 September 2012)

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Communities and Social Inclusion, Minister for Social Housing, Minister for Disabilities, Minister for Youth, Minister for Volunteers): I have been advised:

  1. Disability Support Program
    The Disability Support Program supports people with disability in the APY Lands to integrate into community life and live independently in their communities. The services provided include day activities, support for clients and their families/carers, intensive support for people with complex needs and a carer service for a person with high support needs.

The Disability Support Program functions in Amata, Fregon, Kalka, Mimili, Indulkana and Pipalyatjara.

In 2010-11 services were provided through the Disability Support Program to 40 clients.

Home and Community Care Program:

The Home and Community Care (HACC) program provides support for people with a disability to assist them to live independently in their homes and their community of choice. The services provided under the program include daily meals Monday to Friday, blanket laundering and local transport.

HACC services are provided in all the main communities: Amata, Mimili, Pukatja, Fregon, Indulkana, Pipalyatjara and Kalka.

In 2010-11 approximately 40 people with disability were provided with a service through the HACC program.

APY Lands Allied Health Service:

The APY Lands Allied Health Service provides visiting physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy services to people with disability, and those who are aged. The service provides assessment, intervention, training, and practical advice and support, supporting clients to maintain functional independence in their own environment in the areas of communication, mobility, mealtimes and activities of daily living. The service also supports families/carers as they assist the person to live as independently as possible.
Services are provided to all communities including Amata, Fregon, Indulkana, Kalka, Kanpi, Kenmore Park, Mimili, Nyapari, Pipalyatjara, Umuwa, Wallattina and Watarru.

Allied Health Service clinicians visited the APY Lands seven times in 2010-11 and saw 90 clients. The available records do not designate whether the service was provided because the client was aged or had a disability.

Case management support for people with disability:

The NPY Women’s Council is funded to provide case management to people with a disability to maximise their independence and participation in the community through working with the individual, family and/or carers in care planning and/or facilitating access to appropriate services; and family support and respite services for families caring for a person with disability, enabling them to continue in their caring responsibilities.

The program is provided in all of the main communities: Amata, Mimili, Pukatja, Fregon, Indulkana, Pipalyatjara and Kalka.

The program provided support to 30 clients in 2010-11.

Supported accommodation in Alice Springs:

The Northern Territory Government is funded to provide supported accommodation to Aboriginal clients from the APY Lands.

Five clients were provided with supported accommodation in 2010-11.

2. At 31 July 2011, eight individuals were waiting for services from the APY Lands Allied Health Service.

The expected wait for services was three to six months. In most cases the ‘wait’ is due to an appointment cancellation or because a referral has only been received recently. Once a consultation with the therapist occurred the appropriate action/follow-up would generally have occurred immediately.

3. New public housing is built so that it can be easily adapted for disability modifications if required. Over the two years prior to July 2011, there were no requests to provide purpose built public housing to accommodate people with disability in South Australia’s remote Aboriginal communities.

The new housing construction program delivers houses and designs which comply with the National Building Code of Australia. This ensures that properties are adaptable and easily modified for people with disability. New dwellings are constructed with wide hallways and doors (wheelchair accessible), accessible showers, provision for handrails, and tap-ware which is easily turned on and off. Upgraded properties are also retro-fitted with accessible fixtures and fittings.
Where existing residents require modifications to their homes, requests are managed as in all public housing, with disability modifications completed as far as practicable. In regional and remote areas, this is undertaken in partnership with Country Community Health providers who assess and advise on modifications required.

4. As at September 2011, the APY Lands Community Programs Disability Support Coordinator was aware of one disability client for whom residential care in Alice Springs was arranged following a case conference, responding to the decision of the Public Advocate. Under the Intergovernmental Agreement with the Northern Territory and Western Australian Governments, the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI) funds the NPY Women’s Council for case management services. The Council also supports clients to undertake return to community visits.

5. During 2010-11, the former Department for Families and Communities (DFC), now the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI) expended $1,673,008 delivering disability support services to people with a disability on the APY Lands. A further $145,562 was expended on the provision of Allied Health Services—a proportion of this for people with a disability.

In 2011-12, $1,897,507 was allocated to the delivery of disability support services to people with a disability on the APY Lands. A further $157,000 was allocated to the provision of Allied Health Services—a proportion of this for people with disability.’