Want to know what to expect from this year’s DSW? Look no further! Written by JW on December 13, 2017

By now I’m sure you’ve heard all about the Disability Support Workers Conference but you might still be wondering if it’s right for you. What’s in it for me?

There will be plenty to keep you busy during the two day event. Here is a snapshot:

1. Insights from Industry leaders
• What do we know about Good Practice in Intervention for People with Autism? – Professor Jacqueline Roberts, Autism Centre of Excellence Griffith University
• Recognising Restrictive Practices – A Zero Tolerance Initiative – Liz Collier, National Disability Services

2. Cutting-edge techniques
• Enabling Technologies – Zoe du Cann, LifeTec Australia
• Ethical Decision Making – Restrictive Practices – Sharon Paley, Director of Clinical Innovation and Governance at The Centre of Excellence for Clinical Innovation and Behaviour Support

3. Panel Discussions
• The Individual Experience of Transitioning to NDIS

4. Practical Workshops

5. Networking opportunities

6. Hear firsthand experiences from people with disabilities in the NDIS environment

Allied Health Manager, Rebecca Daniloff, took some time out to tell us a little bit more about the importance of the DSW conference for support workers and what you can expect to hear from her on the day:

Q. I understand that your presentation is on Assistive Technology – what are the main things you will cover?

A. Yes, I’ll be presenting on Assistive Tech and Communications. Through my presentation the main thing I’m aiming to achieve is for DSWs to understand what’s important for successful communication for someone with a communication impairment.
The main point I really want people to leave understanding is, it’s not just about the tools you use – the latest communications device or app – they form a small part, but it’s more about what’s motivating and important to the individual. These are the factors that most determine if someone is successful.

Communication is from when we wake up in the morning until we go to sleep at night. We communicate about what we like, what we need, why we do things, how we do them etc. It’s how we can translate this to someone with a communications impairment which makes the difference, not just about turning on a device. I will talk about how people can support people to be successful communicators – this includes the environment, the people and mutual understanding.
I will discuss the latest assistive technology as it’s important to be aware of what’s out there and where you can get it. These tools are great but they won’t be successful if the environment or people aren’t supportive. Without this they will just end up in the cupboard collecting dust or be turned off.

Q. What do you want DSW’s to take away from your presentation?

A. The Basic goal for me is to highlight the importance of their role in promoting communications and incorporating different strategies. It’s vital for them, the family and the person they are supporting to be on board. Communication is as important in daily life as physical needs, like getting up, getting showered and dressed.
I want DSW’s to leave knowing that they don’t need be scared of technology. You can use basic strategies to communicate and I hope that when they get back to their service locations they will promote the importance of communication and become communication champions.

Q. Why do you think the conference important for DSWs?
A. I think like any conference for any professional it’s a great opportunity to take a break and reflect on your skills, as well as develop your abilities and learn new things. It’s also gives support workers the chance to listen to others and network with different people in the industry. Conferences can be very motivating – the key thing is implementation into your daily role afterwards.

Q. Is there anything else like this on the market?
A. There are a lot for allied health professionals but nothing specific for DSWs that I’m aware of. It’s a great opportunity.

Q. If someone has previously attended, why should they come again?
A. It’s important to broaden and develop your skills. We live in an ever changing environment so you can never reach the ceiling in terms of knowledge. There are always new ways of doing things and different funding – learning is lifelong.

Buy your early-bird ticket online today at www.dsw.org.au.

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