Here’s what happened in 2017

Here’s what happened in 2017
Posted on 3 months ago

Cerebral Palsy Alliance CEO Rob White outlines some of the highlights and successes of 2017. They include new programs for clients and improvements to the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

I look back at 2017 thankful for the clients, volunteers, fundraisers, sponsors and benefactors who continue to support us and with a great deal of pride in the dedication of the CPA staff.

Advocating for improvements to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), refining and improving the supports we offer clients and expanding our services are just some of the exciting developments we’ve seen this year.

Improved services and supports

We have continued to improve the services and supports we offer to clients and their families, especially because by the end of 2017 more than 75 per cent of CPA clients will have transitioned to the NDIS.

The NDIS has challenged us to redesign the way we deliver our services – we have made improvements so that our clients have better access to therapists across our metropolitan and regional sites and we are offering a wider range of services, so most people can now get the support they require, where and when they want them.

During 2017 we introduced some new programs, for example a suite of ‘life labs’ that coach teens and young adults in areas such as career, independent living and life skills. We also added new Health and Wellbeing programs ranging from healthy kids gym groups to Teen Strength and Conditioning and Fit and Fun.

We launched intensive motor learning programs such as Habit-ile and Treasure Island based on maximising neuroplasticity in children and rolled-out PEERS, an evidence-based social skills intervention program that assists teens and young adults to make and maintain friendships. The feedback has been positive and we will continue to launch the latest services that utilise neuroplasticity to improve lives.

NDIS changes

We took notice of your feedback on the stumbling blocks within the NDIS and have advocated for improvements. Go here to read more. 

I’m pleased to say the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has already responded favourably to some concerns. It announced the NDIS price limits for short-term accommodation would increase from 30 October, 2017. This will assist providers of short-term accommodation services to remain financially sustainable. Information about the updated price guides is available here.

The NDIA also released details of a new NDIS ‘pathway’ designed to improve the experience people and organisations have from their first interaction to their ongoing engagement with the NDIS. The new pathway will be progressively piloted and tested and the NDIA says it will continue to engage with stakeholders on the testing and implementation of the new pathway.

If you are encountering any major difficulties with the NDIS and are willing to share your personal stories, contact your local Cerebral Palsy Alliance team. I also encourage you to contact your local Federal Member of Parliament to ensure that they are across the issues effecting people with a disability in their community.  

Accommodation update

In early August 2017 it was announced that Cerebral Palsy Alliance was successful as the service provider to support people with disabilities who currently live in NSW government-run group and respite homes in the Northern Sydney and Northern Beaches regions.

This announcement means that the NSW Government will transfer to Cerebral Palsy Alliance:

  •  50 group homes 
  •   7 centred-based respite homes
  •   Over 200 clients in Group Homes and Respite
  •   Around 600 staff

These additional homes form part of our overarching growth strategy for the organisation, enabling us to support more people living with disabilities. Once the transfer is complete, CPA will become the new service provider to the clients accessing these services and also the new employer for the staff who support these clients.

The scheduled completion date for the transfer is 8 March 2018. We look forward to welcoming the transferring Ageing, Disability and Home Care staff and clients to our Cerebral Palsy Alliance community next year.

World CP Day grows

You may be aware that in 2012, CPA launched World CP Day in 28 countries. This year we are pleased to announce that more than 60 countries celebrated World CP Day on 6 October.

We’re very proud of this growing social movement aimed at creating real change in the lives of people with cerebral palsy. World CP Day brings together people with cerebral palsy, parents and caregivers, researchers, clinicians, disability services, schools, universities, health services and government agencies – all wanting to connect and be part of this global community. For more information go here.

Steptember success

I want to thank everyone involved in Steptember this year. This is our major annual fundraiser and it has been our most successful Steptember ever. We raised $6.2 million thanks to the more than 60,000 Australians who accepted the challenge to raise funds or walk 10,000 steps a day, and our generous corporate sponsors.

Much of the money goes to funding the best research into cerebral palsy around the world. I’m delighted to say CPA is an international leader in this event and during 2017 we launched Steptember in the United States. The event was also held in Canada, the Netherlands, Turkey, Singapore and New Zealand, raising an additional $2.6 million. These funds will go towards financing leading researchers to continue their work in finding a cure and improving therapies.

Holiday closure

CPA offices will be closed for two weeks from the close of business on Friday 22 December until Monday 8 January. During this time, CPA staff will take a well-deserved break and return ready for a challenging and exciting 2018.

On behalf of the CPA team, I wish you and your family an enjoyable and relaxing holiday season and a happy and healthy 2018.

Rob White,

CEO, Cerebral Palsy Alliance

Katie Booth joined the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Junior Triathlon Squad in 2017 and her mother, Melissa North, says the benefits “have been truly amazing”.

Teens and young adults up to the age of 25 can learn to increase their independent living skills with two camps organised for the 2018 April School holidays.

Related Services

Cerebral Palsy Alliance has been supporting people with a range of complex disabilities in accommodation for more than 60 years.