International Day for People with Disability (IDPWD) is a day that promotes equality for people with disabilities in all areas of society.
This day was first announced by the UN in 1992 with the aim of advancing disability rights and protecting the wellbeing of people with disabilities. According to the World Health Organisation, around 15% of the world’s population are considered to have some form of disability.
This year's theme is “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world’. The day aims to raise awareness of disabilities which may not be immediately apparent but can still have an impact on people's lives. These include mental illness, learning differences, chronic pain and sight or hearing impairments among others.
People with disabilities have been particularly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the isolation and diminished services which have happened as a result.
The purpose of the team here at Altius is to enable people and their organisations to realise their health potential, improve lives and elevate wellbeing.
We ensure our NDIS participants engage with their community and build on natural and informal supports such as friendships and community groups. We work with participants on goal setting to assist individuals, families, and carers to consider possibilities, such as how they would like their future life to be, employing evidence-based practice to meet their needs and outcomes.
In July 2021, the WA Altius NDIS team were referred Andrew, a 62-year-old man with a mental health condition and physical limitations, who was housed in accommodation for males experiencing homelessness and mental health challenges.
Andrew’s NDIS goals were to increase mobility within his home, independently manage daily living tasks, connect to his community, and with an ultimate goal of moving into independent supported living.
Initially, Andrew was given a functional capacity test by our Occupational Therapist. The results enabled us to create a framework of activities to help Andrew work towards his goals.
Activities suggested were an exercise program and independent living assessment to better identify the supports he would need in place to succeed in his living goals.
Zac Jefcoate, a senior consultant at Altius and Exercise Physiologist has been working with Andrew on his fitness and over-coming pain in movement. He has seen the enormous changes in Andrew, his increase in mobility and the boost in his self-confidence as Andrew has seen how much more he is now capable of.
‘It was a pleasure working with Andrew, his dedication and positive mindset has allowed him to become independent in completing daily and leisure activities. He is now able to walk up five flights of stairs, when he struggled to complete one set prior to my involvement. He is stronger, more mobile and now includes exercise in his daily routine, which has been so pleasing to see. Andrew, you are a superstar, my brother!’
Andrew is now able to independently implement his daily program of exercises. These gains in mobility and confidence have greatly improved Andrew’s mental health and wellbeing. This has resulted in him being able to better access his community without support.
Andrew now has an increased outlook on life.
We are thrilled to say that these improvements in physical and mental health have been reflected in functional capacity reports, enabling him to apply for his ultimate goal of supported independent living. We look forward to continuing to support Andrew to this end goal which we all feel is insight.
Extended version of video available below: