Smita and Athy’s Story
Some families with deaf children have significant additional challenges and complex circumstances. These include families from Indigenous and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds, families with migration issues, homelessness, and experiencing poor mental health.
2018 to 2019 DCA transitioned clients and families who have been supported by the Victorian State Government through Complex Case Management to NDIS Support Coordination. DCA’s NDIS Support Coordination continues to provide quality coordination of the important supports for our NDIS participants and their families.
Smita credits the support she and her family received through DCA’s Support Coordination Services team with turning their lives around!
She and her husband were at their wits’ end when they first contacted DCA, completely unsupported in their efforts to source and provide all the necessary services required for the health and wellbeing of their son Atharv, also known as Athy.
Athy is profoundly deaf, 100% non-verbal and has Downs Syndrome. He is 11 years old and currently in Grade 5 at the Victorian College of the Deaf (VCD) at our St Kilda Road site. He has been a student at VCD since starting Prep in 2013.
When Smita first reached out to DCA Support Coordinator Tamara, she says she was completely overwhelmed. Athy’s complex needs were not being met. The NDIS Plan and subsequent funding has been “absolutely stunning!” says Smita. Tamara has helped put together a plan that provides “all the relevant people matching with Athy’s and the family’s needs.”
Initially Tamara played an advocacy role for the family – successfully advocating and negotiating with VCD to ensure that Athy could remain a student there. Subsequently Tamara assisted the family in setting up, and then transitioning them into Athy’s NDIS Plan – helping Smita collect all the required documentation and attending all the NDIS meetings with Smita, her husband and Athy.
Auslan Support workers provide Auslan classes in the home for the whole family. Athy now has Speech Therapy, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy as part of his NDIS plan. The plan also provides funding for Auslan interpreters as needed and extra support from a Teacher of the Deaf at VCD. Smita is relieved and happy as Athy now gets all his complex needs met and so the whole family can get on with life!
Athy loves the Arts! At VCD his favourite classes are Drama and Music. Recently he performed with a group of dancers in a Bollywood Dance spectacular at Federation Square
Supporting You with Support Coordination
We provide individual support to assist children and adults with maximising your NDIS package, resolving problems and achieving your goals. Our team have skills in a variety of communication methods including Auslan.
We will work with you to:
Understand and maximise your NDIS plan
Be more informed about available options
Link you with local community supports
Link you with appropriate service providers of your choice
Our Support Coordinators are able to assist clients of all ages and disabilities.