A zero-tolerance approach to build relationships and inclusion and decrease isolation

Ms Anna Simpson1

1Cara, Australia

Background
Isolation is a human rights issue which impacts the lives of people with intellectual disability regardless of COVID-19 (United Nations, 2006). Cara has established new measures to minimise the risks connected with isolation, and to increase the benefits connected with building relationships and inclusion.
Cara has invested in changes to:

  • increase accountability for upholding the rights of people with intellectual disability to have as much freedom and control as possible during a global pandemic
  • safeguard people with intellectual disability who experience or are at risk of experiencing isolation

Method
The pre-recorded presentation will include:

  • accessible graphic symbols, text and description which demonstrate action to ensure the rights of people with intellectual disability are upheld. For example, establishment of an ‘I Am Visible’ campaign, establishment of a Practice Leader team and an Operations Transformation that has a focus on most promising practice
  • reference to evidence-based models of support which underpin Cara’s work

Results
While the work to uphold the rights of people with intellectual disability is ongoing, investing in changes has:

  • increased visibility of risk
  • assisted people with intellectual disability to pursue new opportunities
  • identified gaps in funding
  • educated our workforce and community about our responsibilities.

Implications
Communication of key messages to uphold the rights of people with intellectual disability within the wider community has potential to increase community spirit, inclusion and positive regard of people with intellectual disability (Simmons, 2016). When people understand and role model inclusive practice, they create opportunities for people with intellectual disability to experience new and strengthened meaningful relationships (Williams, 2013).


Biography:

Anna Simpson, Disability Services Practice Leader, works alongside staff teams to increase their capacity to empower people with disabilities to increase their voice, choice and control; empower people with disabilities to accomplish their goals in measurable and meaningful ways; strengthen collaborative team culture; maintain compliance and strive for service excellence.