Innovating in the Disability Sector
The Benevolent Society is the proud major sponsor for My Disability Matters (MDM), an online community founded by vision-impaired entrepreneur Dale Reardon in 2016. MDM gives people who live with disability, their family, friends and carers, and people who work in the disability sector, an innovative way to network socially and access valuable resources.
As well as supporting MDM financially, we have also partnered with them to develop a dedicated, private online community for Benevolent Society clients, their carers, and families. Called 'The Benevolent Hive’, our private online community gives our clients the opportunity to access great information, connect with The Benevolent Society services and staff, and connect with our other clients regardless of where they live or whether they are clients of Ageing, Disability, or Child & Family services. The bonus is that our clients can access both The Benevolent Hive and the wider MDM Club, which doubles their opportunity to meet new people, share and learn from others, and discuss a wide variety of topics — from light-hearted ones to the big issues.
Finding the best supports for people with disability
This thriving online community is just one way that The Benevolent Society ensures that people with disability have access to social connection and the best supports and services available. Great case management and client coordination is core to how we do this.
When The Benevolent Society case manager Jackie first came in contact with Ghaith and his family last year, she helped him write his NDIS Plan. Jackie speaks fluent Arabic, which made it easier for Ghaith and his family to work through the process of identifying Ghaith's goals.
At the time, Ghaith and his family were not linked with any other services, except for a day program he attended three days a week. They desperately needed additional in-home services to assist with daily living, Ghaith’s wheelchair to be fitted with a safety harness, and his broken shower chair to be replaced. Ghaith also needed more days at his day program and to build his connections within the local community.
The Benevolent Society helped Ghaith receive all of the funding he needed to achieve his goals and then said goodbye as he transferred to another organisation to implement the plan.
Eight months later, Ghaith’s speech therapist called Jackie, asking her to assist as translator for Ghaith. When Jackie saw Ghaith again, she noticed that things were worse, not better. His wheelchair was still not fitted with a harness and he was still using the same broken shower chair — held together with duct tape! On top of this, only part of his funding was being used and he had received no in-home care all year.
At risk of losing their original funding, Ghaith’s family asked Jackie if The Benevolent Society would again help them out. After consulting with National Disability Insurance Agency, The Benevolent Society was given the green light to provide Ghaith full-time support coordination.
In very short order, Ghaith was attending his day program five days a week, had commenced some overnight respite over consecutive days to allow the family a break, and started receiving in-home personal care. Now, an occupational therapist has also begun work with him, his wheelchair is being repaired and adjusted, and he has a new shower chair.
The Benevolent Society finds the best ways for people with disability to live their best life. For more information, visit The Benevolent Society website or call our support centre on 1800 236 762.