Sara Murphy, a Senior Training Associate for TransCen spent two weeks in Australia (Melbourne and Canberra) spreading the word about meaningful work and community inclusion! A cohort of six Australian service providers funded the visit.
She worked with a variety of organizations and government officials concerned with disability services and policy in Australia. She provided five days of training on TransCen’s Building Meaningful Lives model and Customized Employment methods to 110 participants in Melbourne and 38 participants in Canberra.
In addition, Sara also presented several webinars, attended events with other organizations, and met with government officials and policymakers. She presented a three-hour webinar on service transformation with the National Disability Services (NDS), a service provider association that provides policy advising and training, for 98 participants. Another webinar focusing on the “demand-side” Employer Engagement methods was recorded to be aired in May as part of Career Week, a national conference hosted by ACCE for Transition teachers and Career educators. She also spent a day with the Brotherhood of St. Laurence (BSL) working with their Research, Policy, and Practice team to discuss employment for marginalized populations (including youth and individuals with disabilities). In addition to this meeting, BSL also hosted two webinars.
The cohort also organized two evening sessions focused on families (Imagine the Possibilities) to encourage the idea of raising expectations to include integrated employment and community inclusion. Approximately 25 families attended these events.
The response to the training and webinars was overwhelmingly positive. Australia’s NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme), a market-driven scheme that provides personal budgets for people with disabilities to purchase services is under review to improve funding methods and outcomes.
Australia’s disability services are changing fast. They are very interested in learning more about service transformation efforts in the US and emerging policies and practices. There may be a lot more work to do “down under” and TransCen is happy to be a part of this change!