Throughout 2013, National Disability Services (NDS) hosted a series of workshops across Queensland to support people in preparation for support under Your Life Your Choice.

The workshops were designed to provide information, start the conversation and shape the training and skill development opportunities to be offered as part of the Sector Readiness and Workforce Capacity initiative.

Based on the feedback and outcomes from these workshops, 15 key topics were identified for the next stage of the non-accredited training.

These key topics were delivered utilising a range of formats including workshops, web based tutorials, online tools, workbooks and factsheets. Below you will find the resources that supported each topic.

Topic 1: An introduction to customer focus

Customer Focus - What is it? How does it differ from Customer Service? 

Participants will understand the importance of customer focus, and how it differs from customer service.  They will gain an appreciation of how it is relevant to disability support service organisations under the new funding model.

Topic 2: Customer focus self-assessment

Participants will learn how to conduct a Customer Focus Self-Assessment utilising 12 key attributes that define a customer-focused organisation. They will also learn how to interpret the self-assessment and determine priorities for action.

This self-assessment will form the basis of future strategy and action planning within the ‘Understanding and Improving Customer Focus Program’.

Topic 3: Understanding and engaging customers

This topic is designed to support disability service providers to develop a deeper understanding of current and target customers. Having completed a self-assessment in Topic 2 - Customer Focus, you will have developed a sense of which customers you have an opportunity to get to know better.

This topic will equip you with techniques for getting to know your customers better and plan how to make your organisation more customer-focused.

    Topic 4: Customer focused business planning

    This topic provides organisations with a framework to create a plan of action based on the insights and learnings they have developed over the course of customer focus topics 1 to 3.  The topic offers a series of critical questions for organisations to ask themselves which will inform the development of relevant strategies to build and strengthen customer focus within the organisation.

    Topic 5: Being an empowered customer

    Empowered customers of the NDIS will be able to decide where, when and how they purchase quality services and supports that meet their needs.

    This topic will cover consumer rights and responsibilities, and how they fit within the legislative and policy contexts. It will also build capacity to allow participants to advocate for themselves or on behalf of another person to get the best outcomes and the services that are required.

    Topic 6: Purchasing supports

    A key emphasis of the NDIS is giving individuals greater choice and control on what services they receive. Individuals will be able to choose services to provide the supports identified in their plan and choose how the support will be provided.

    Being skilled and confident in communication and negotiation is essential to getting the right support for you. This workshop will help you to:

      1. understand your values, your preferred communication and negotiation style
      2. prepare for and conduct a meeting
      3. tackle tough conversations

        Topic 7: Finding and choosing supports and services

        This guide and worksheet are designed to support people with disability and families / carers to develop confidence in making choices about services and supports under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.  The Guide provides support in  the steps involved in selecting a service provider for the first time and talking with existing service providers about preferred services and supports.  The Guide discusses how people can participate in each stage of the process of connecting and communicating with a service provider to ensure people have maximum choice and control over the their own services. The content is practical, empowering, engaging, strengths based and respectful of the experience people with disability and/or families may already have in this area.

        Topic 8: Asset based community development

        The NDIS invites us to see how we can do better in the successful connecting of people with people that in turn, will benefit not just the individual with a disability (and their families/carers) but also the wider community. This series of videos discusses shifting to capacity-focussed thinking and practice, or Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) approaches, and explores the Why, What, How of ABCD in relation to its application to building inclusive communities.  ABCD approaches are internally focussed and relationship driven and ask that we identify the assets of people and their communities and connect these assets as a way to unleash the potential of individuals and communities and realise better outcomes for all.

        Topic 9: Strategic foresight

        Leading Through Futures Thinking, is a strategic foresight resource designed for disability service providers to engage in challenging current thinking and practice and create alternatives to how services and supports are currently offered.  This resource provides a foundational introduction to futures thinking and strategic foresight approaches, concepts and methods and as a tool to support people to undertake facilitation of strategic foresight sessions. In addition, it provides Facilitator Notes to guide planning and facilitation of the Seven Foundational Futures Questions as an introduction to strategic foresight practice. This guideline is designed to complement the strategic foresight film resource, Creating Preferred Futures with Strategic Foresight, which includes an interview with leading futurist Professor Sohail Inayatullah on the six pillars approach to futures thinking, concepts and methods.

        This strategic foresight film resource, Creating Preferred Futures with Strategic Foresight, includes an interview with leading futurist Professor Sohail Inayatullah and provides a foundational introduction to the six pillars approach to futures thinking and strategic foresight approaches, concepts and methods.  The resource is designed for disability service providers to engage in challenging current thinking and practice and create alternatives for how services and supports will be offered into the future.

        Topic 10: Financial viability and sustainability

        Strategic assessment of your organisational viability and sustainability is critical to your preparedness for the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme to Queensland.  Following on from the online resource Organisational Development Module 1, Costing, Pricing and Budgeting, this online resource on organisational Viability and Sustainability offers pragmatic exercises in applying a viability assessment model to disability service organisations given the changing environment of the NDIS.  This resource also explores:

        1.    The relationship between solvency, viability and sustainability
        2.    Financial versus organisational viability
        3.    The critical factors influencing sustainability of disability services
        4.    Your current viability and sustainability under the Integrated Assessment Model

        Information on accessing community finance providers in Australia can be found through the Foresters Community Finance Portal

        Topic 11: Self-direction for people with intellectual or cognitive disability by people with intellectual disability

        Planning Ahead for the NDIS is a guide designed for organisations and families to provide support to people with intellectual or cognitive disability in their preparations for the introduction of the NDIS.  The guide draws on and builds upon the work of the Plan Ahead Project, offering information about the project resources, tools and processes that can be used by organisations, families or carers to support people with intellectual or cognitive disability in their preparation for the NDIS and the planning conversation.  This guide also explores the why, what and how of peer-facilitation as one approach to empower people with disability to take up the opportunity of peer mentoring, educating and leading as a way to support others in the journey of preparedness for the NDIS.

        Topic 12: Self-direction for individuals and families

        An introduction to the concept of self-direction and aims to help families and individuals in building skills to move to a self-directed model. Service providers and other families share their reflections on self-direction and how it has worked for them. This resource is designed to be practical and provide strategies for families and individuals to begin using now.

        A resource to support service providers in building skills and knowledge in the area of self direction. In this resource participants will see service providers working on the ground with people and management staff giving their reflections on a self directed model of service. More formal concepts and philosophies are provided to assist in understanding how services can move to a model of self direction. 

        Topic 13: Transitioning to the NDIS: organisations in the world of self-direction

        Transitioning to the NDIS, organisations in the World of Self-Direction, is a resource designed for disability service providers to commence preparations for the NDIS environment. The resource offers practical insights from a large disability service provider operating in the NSW Hunter trial region. The resource raises important questions for consideration by key organisational stakeholders and practical ideas for action to assist organisations to prepare.  The following areas are explored in detail:

        • Awareness of the challenges, opportunities and practical implications of working in the NDIS environment
        • Shaping service provision for greater choice and control for customers
        • Ways in which organisations can begin preparations for this new environment
        • Particular areas of service provision that require assessment and planning to prepare organisations for the transition
        • Practical advice and examples of tangible steps that can be taken
        • Workbook: Transitioning to the NDIS (PDF)

        Topic 14: Visioning and planning for a future

        Visioning and planning for your desired future, is a resource designed for people with disability and/or families and carers to prepare for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The NDIS is bringing about significant change for people with disability and their families and carers including offering people with disability greater choice and control in how, when and where they purchase the supports that they need to achieve their goals and dreams.  An important part of being ready for the NDIS will involve thinking about a desired future and creating a vision of what this future looks like.  This resource offers information about the processes being utilised by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) including the role of the NDIA Planner; the development of Participant Statements; and why it is important to begin the visioning and planning work now.  The resources offers a series of thought provoking questions and processes to support people to undertake visioning and planning work.  

        Topic 15: Participatory processes: working together for transformational change

        This workshop will teach a range of inclusive stakeholder engagement strategies including personal practice, dialogue, facilitation and the co-creation of innovative responses to address complex challenges. Specific techniques taught in this workshop will include:

        1. Crafting powerful questions
        2. Appreciative inquiry
        3. Circle & world café
        4. Open space 
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