Check out our upcoming events and read about new developments in disability services and at our Solutions Centre…
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Today, social media is more than a communication channel; it is an integral part of people’s daily lives. Social media is the first place where new information and ideas are shared, and also where public opinion is formed and shaped. Through social media, we are able to explore different cultures, share our achievements, and connect with friends around the world. It has also made its way into our professional lives. By using social media in a professional way to get a job, to gather information or to network with other professionals.
Iago Freitas
Allied health professionals can use social media to stay up-to-date on the latest health industry trends, to discuss developments in great detail with peers in order to come up with new ideas, share new products and services, and help support each other or solve issues experienced in daily practice.  If there is a question about a particular product, treatment or service that needs to be answered or if a second opinion or more detailed interpretation on a topic is needed, social media has become a quick resource to support practice. Students can also gain a better understanding of what it means to be an allied health professional, and vice versa.

People living with disabilities are also using social media to connect with peers who understand their experiences and can share their own insights about living with a disability. Consumers use social media to facilitate new possibilities, to take ownership over their own healthcare, and to reinforce their expectations. They can learn about and share new technologies that contribute to providing a better quality of life, as well as reducing the distance between our communities to work in collaboration for a better future.

At the @SolutionsCentre, we aim to provide a safe environment for everyone to better communicate and support each other to move towards a future of inclusion and independence. The centre has been designed to improve collaboration and communication between key stakeholders - including therapists, suppliers, consumers and students. So, that’s why the @SolutionsCentre now has its very own Facebook Pageclick here to follow us and be the first to know about upcoming events or to join the conversation around developments in disability products and services.
Solutions Centre Facebook Page
Last month at the centre was all been about putting the finishing touches our new Mobility Pit Stop! So we asked visitors to the @SoltuionsCentre and our social media followers for their thoughts and experiences about maintaining mobility aids. We managed to poll 117 opinions and there were some surprises!
·  9.3% of pollers felt that mobility aids didn’t need maintaining or servicing

· 18.7% reporting that their current wheelchair was overdue or in need of maintenance at the time polled

·  And only 72% were aware of the need for an annual service
So.. how often should you check over your wheelchair or mobility aid?
Well the answer is not easy, as each model and type of mobility aid requires a different type of maintenance or service. Type and amount of use will also impact, with some components of the mobility aid wearing and tearing more than others. Generally speaking though, an annual service with the supplier is recommended unless otherwise specified. In addition, ongoing maintenance should occur throughout the year to extend the lifespan of your mobility aid and ensure safety.
Last month we introduced a new service at the
@SolutionsCentre to support the on-going maintenance and provide therapists with more resources and assessment tools. 
So, why not pop into the @SolutionsCentre where we have all the tools that you need to keep your wheels working in-between services, and someone on hand to help out! We will..

✔ Check and adjust tyre pressure
✔  Check the general condition of your brakes
✔  Check and tighten any loose parts
✔  Adjust your backrest, armrests or footplates if they have shifted
✔  Check your anti-tip mechanism, upholstery and identify any need for repairs
✔  Clean the frame and check for spots of rust
✔  Oil any moving parts that are stuck or squeaky
We even have available wheelchair accessible scales (calibrated to standard and up to 300KG) to weigh yourself, your assistive technology or anything else to help with ongoing weight maintenance or those lengthy AT Applications that are requiring more and more specific details…!
Our Mobility Pit Stop is designed to support optimal operation in-between repairs and services. We also recommend that at least every year or as advised, you should contact your authorised supplier and request a full service!..
This  month we got the opportunity to catch up with Tony & Shirley, the Founders & Managers of @National Trade Supplier - NTS, to ask a few questions...
How did you get where you are today? "A real passion for what I do." says Tony and Shirley says - "Having a child with a disability and then losing a leg 5 years ago, it just feels like this was my destiny."
What motivates you to get up for work every day? Shirley says "I actually enjoy my job and that in itself is my motivation, plus I work from a home office so that’s just a big bonus."
What is your proudest moment? Tony says straightway "making it to 18" hahaha.. he continues.. "I was a terrible kid!! Haha. But seriously -  Marrying my wife!" 
How do you enjoy your evenings after work? Both agreed, Shirley: "We have an awesome relationship, most of it is spent laughing and having fun together" and Tony completes: "...with a beer and cooking a meal."
What's your favourite hot beverage? Tony replies "Cappuccino, please!!!" and Shirley replies "oh my goodness... it’s a close call between a strong coffee or a cup-a-soup, do I really have to choose one favourite one?!!!" ... Actually, no Shirley. We will make sure to have both of them when we catch up again soon! 
To find out more about National Trade Supplier or NTS, click here.
Do you have any questions or problems you want our team of experts to help solve? We're here to help you! Just reply or send us an email and our experienced therapists, suppliers & engineers will work together to find you a solution!

This month Alex asked us "What standardised tools do you use when completing an assistive technology trial?"

Derek Wang and Simon Cochrane from @OTSG loved the question so much they got excited and wrote over 1000 words.. So we've summarised the key points below! 

Hi Alex, “Assistive Technology” is a broad and wide-ranging term which can often confuse participants as to what falls within this category. NDIS defines “Assistive Technology” as “any device or system that allows individuals to perform tasks they would otherwise be unable to do or increase the ease and safety with which tasks can be performed. Recent structural changes within the NDIS have removed the AT classification system (Goodbye to levels 1-4) and now introduced low, mid, and high-cost AT as well as low and high-risk items.

As AT Assessors, we must adhere to the AT Operational Guidelines set forth by the relevant funding body. In NDIS, all supports must meet the reasonable and necessary criteria, therefore AT trials are essential to identifying whether A) the AT relates to the participants disability, B) if the AT is right for the participant, C) is the identified AT value for money and D) is there another funding body that can fund the identified AT? We must take all this into consideration when starting the AT trial process. When completing Assistive Technology trials, it is important to follow a process. In order to complete an Assistive Technology trial, we must first gather the relevant information. The most pertinent way of gathering all the relevant information would be through the Functional Capacity Assessment as this would guide the practitioner recommendations of the potential Assistive Technology required. We often utilise a variety of standardised assessment tools, too many to list here (but you're welcome to visit our centre and we can walk you through them!), and that help to capture objectively the participants activity and skill based limitations, and identify areas for intervention before completing trials.

In order to then choose the correct AT to trial, it is also important to consider the persons anthropometric specifications, their environment, any formal or informal supports, transport of AT, and any other physical, cognitive or environmental factors that may influence the success of the AT.

Secondly, we must consider how the selected AT is going to work with the participants everyday activities. Whether the AT will improve the participant’s independence, safety or performance in tasks. Often we may complete multiple trials of AT in different environments, such as the home, shopping centres, in the community… to ensure the AT will meet the participants immediate and long-term needs.

Finally, once AT has been decided as the most appropriate, it is important to complete additional education and training to ensure the AT is being correctly used, and to determine whether the goals have been achieved.

A collaborative approach with the participants, formal and informal supports, other allied health practitioners, and family members is also important to ensure we have the best chance of a successful outcome.     

One of our regular artists - Kim - has expanded her microenterprise to now include Custom Pet Portraits! The @SolutionsCentre is now displaying her new Custom Pet Portraits by Kim’s Window Art and one of our very own... Harley, was one of the first to be set into faux glass (shown below)! If you're looking for a gift, why not arrange a Custom Pet Portrait of your furry friend and support Kim! 
>> Kim's World
Walking Frame Carrier is an accessory to fit securely to the under-seat mounting point of the Mobility Scooter and it has been designed so that the driver can safely carry their walking aid with them wherever they go! We also have one designed for a vehicle if you want to come down and test them out!
Myra MacLeod Matthews' is one of our newest Artists, she lives with chronic pain and has found an amazing outlet in creating her beautiful resin art. She creates amazing shoreline scapes inspired by the beaches of WA. 
The 'Wonder Sheet' is an  effective therapeutic tool designed to make bed mobility easier. The satin panel sits under the shoulders, back and hips and allows you to slide your hips over more easily without having to lift them.  
Brett Wyatt's Artwork is another of our new Artists this month, He is one of our rural participants living out in Moora. He uses his fantastic drone skills to take sweeping aerial views of local farmland and the surroundings.
21/07, at 3:30 pm
28/07, at 3:30 pm
19/08, at 5:30 pm
NDIS 101
25/08, at 3:30 pm
30/08, at 3:30 pm
08/09, at 3:30 pm
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