Life Without Barriers partners with La Trobe University in disability

29 November 2021

Life Without Barriers is pleased to announce a partnership with La Trobe University’s, Living with Disability Research Centre, to embed person-centered Active Support across its disability services.

Three men playing music together.''

Staff use of Active Support has been demonstrated to improve engagement of people with intellectual disabilities in meaningful activity and social relationships and improve their overall quality of life. It is also a foundational component of Positive Behaviour Support.

Person-centred Active Support is essentially an enabling relationship between staff and the people they support, that offers both principles and skills to guide staff practice. It recognises that every moment holds potential to support the participation of people with disabilities in activities, both in their own home and their communities.

Practice based on Active Support furthers the rights of people with disabilities to exercise choice and control over their own lives and receive just the right amount of support to successfully participate. Central to embedding Active Support is Frontline Practice Leadership. It builds the capacity of staff to deliver quality support through observation, feedback and supervision, and supports staff to work as a team to keep the quality of life of the people they support at the centre of everything they do.

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Professor Christine Bigby, La Trobe, University has an international reputation for her research on the social inclusion of adults with intellectual disability and says, “I am very pleased to partner with Life Without Barriers to support the organisation as it embraces the importance of Active Support for people with disability.

“Service providers have an important responsibility to consistently offer services and support led by the fundamental principle of the NDIS – choice and control.”

“Active Support helps people to be actively, consistently, and meaningfully engaged in their own lives by participating, spending time with others, making decision and making choices. It will enable Life Without Barriers to demonstrate the quality of staff practice through benchmarking against standards for good Active Support and encourage other organisations to consider Active Support also.”

Life Without Barriers Chief Executive Claire Robbs says;

“Active support ensures every moment is recognised for the potential it has to support people to be engaged in their own lives."

"The relationships we have and the trust people place in us is so fundamental to what we do and how we offer support.”

“It is an evidence-based model, underpinned by decades of research, which is why partnering with La Trobe University is so important to us. We support over 5,000 people with disability, all with a very unique experience and personal choices about how they want to be supported by us. We are absolutely committed to embracing this practice through all of our disability services.”

Life Without Barriers and La Trobe University are focusing on Victorian and Tasmania based services first and will continue to embed Active Support and Frontline Practice Leadership through 2022.

Professor Christine Bigby presenting to Life Without Barriers Staff via PPT

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