Leanne Healey – FINALIST – Occupational Therapist of the year

October 10, 2018

Leanne Healey – FINALIST – Occupational Therapist of the year
We are very excited to announce that Leanne Healey, Director of Everyday Independence, is a finalist in the 2018 Australian Allied Health Awards in the category - Occupational Therapist of the Year.

Leanne Healey is an exceptional Occupational Therapist with over 32 years’ experience. She is passionate about bringing a social model of disability to Allied Health, disability and the private sector that never existed before. Leanne supports therapists at all stages of their careers to integrate theory and best practice into everyday routines whilst delivering service excellence and outcomes to people within a funding envelope. She uses metrics and evidence from her practice and the organisation’s practice to inform the NDIS about reasonable and necessary so people get the resources they need to live a life where they can participate civically and economically. Leanne firmly believes it is up to the whole sector to influence, build and shape the scheme and she leads by example every day.

Some of Leanne Healey's recent achievements are:

• Managing Director of Australia’s largest private Allied Health Organisation • Successfully transitioned organisation to NDIS with growing and achieving positive and impactful outcomes for participants and their families. • Industry influencer and subject matter expert - OTA, NDIS, SWEP and Universities. • Keynote and invited speaker on many occasions. • Successful implementation of coaching, self-managed teams, person centred tools • Industry leader in AT, Positive Behaviour and Disability accommodation. • Successful implementation of Early career training programme to promote workforce sustainability.

Leanne widely promotes the social model of disability. She leads and inspires people in the sector to adopt a social model citing it as the “most empowering model for people with a disability because it makes a distinction between impairment and disability and looks at the barriers that restrict life choices”. In many circles she is known as a disruptor. She is brave and a strong advocate for the success of the NDIS. She supports many therapists to transition from medical models of practice to a social model which in turn supports the participants of the NDIS to live their best life.

Under Leanne’s leadership, Everyday Independence has more than doubled in size in the last 12 months. This means supporting over 13 000 people and their families with a disability. The workforce is greater than 100 and growing. The organisation is financially sustainable and can demonstrate outcomes for service users through validated and reliable outcome measures.

Leanne has recently introduced SMAF (Functional Autonomy Measurement System) to Australia. Everyday Independence is the only organisation to be trained and using SMAF. Early data suggests that a SMAF score will be able to predict a person’s SDA and SIL requirements which is hoped to have a significant impact for participants of the scheme.

Leanne is the Chair of Clinical Excellence Impact Team that promotes and ensures best practice in the following areas: Core OT, Physiotherapy, Speech Pathology, Positive Behaviour Supports, Assistive Tech, Functional Assessments (SDA/SIL), Home Modifications, Coaching, Mentoring, Psychosocial Disability, Using technology to enhance therapist learning, Reporting and report review and Early Childhood Intervention.

Despite the incredible growth of Everyday Independence, Leanne remains foremost a clinician dedicated to evidence-based practice, the ability to scale the organisation through the clinical excellence and best practice. Leanne practices what she preaches. This comes across in the way she supports participants and therapists in a way that empowers, challenges and supports people to be their best.

Our rapidly growing organisation is a testament to Leanne’s success as a clinician. Leanne’s dedication to excellence, combined with her boundless energy and attention to detail make her contribution to those around her, and within the area of disability support invaluable.

We look forward to the 2018 Australian Allied Health Awards that will take place in Brisbane on November 17 and wish Leanne every success.

Speech Pathologist supports travel dream for family

September 27, 2018

Speech Pathologist supports travel dream for family
A family holiday can feel out of reach for many people with children who have complex sensory and communication needs.  Vicki Cox, Speech Pathologist with Everyday Independence, understands how difficult it can be to support young children and teens who struggle with the challenges of a major change in routine experienced on an overseas holiday.

“A teenager with ASD may have trouble processing the sensory challenges of a long plane trip as well as the change in her environment and everyday routines in a foreign country. The key is in the preparation,” said Vicki.

Vicki supported one family in Sydney to achieve their goals of a well deserved trip to Greece. Together, she and Emily, a young teen with ASD, created a physical “social story”, a pictorial map of what she could expect when she would check in at the airport, get on the plane, sit in the seat for a long time, when she would get her meals, how she could access her iPad or the in-flight entertainment system and what she may see when she arrives. The family used this map to walk through her upcoming experiences until they were confident Emily would anticipate the major events.

At the same time, Vicki supported Emily to anticipate and communicate her needs in the context of a long-haul flight – how to speak with a flight attendant, how she can express what she wants. 

The family had a successful practice run to Melbourne, putting her map to the test and Emily anticipated the environment in the airport and the plane.    

And finally, the family travelled to Greece. Emily was able to participate fully in the experience of meeting her extended family and visiting the world-famous sites of this ancient land.

Even better, they can now take short holidays that weren’t thought possible before, such as to the Gold Coast theme parks and a trip to Hawaii is on the agenda!   

“Supporting a person with ASD to achieve things they did not know possible requires understanding, preparation and planning in incremental steps,” Vicki said.

If you would like Vicki, or one of our Speech Pathologists, to support your and your child’s goals, call us on 1300 179 131


Albury local to lead a new disability therapy service

July 23, 2018

Albury local to lead a new disability therapy service

Helping people with communication difficulty to have a voice and connect with others is something Jade is really passionate about.

Jade Telfer grew up in Albury Wodonga and after completing a Bachelor of Health Sciences (Speech Pathology) at Charles Sturt University she moved to Melbourne to work as a Speech Pathologist at Everyday Independence.

Having helped hundreds of participants reach their goals and enjoy an everyday life she is returning home to Albury Wodonga to extend Everyday Independence’s regional services to support people in the Albury Wodonga region.

On July 30, 2018 Everyday Independence will open its doors in Dean Street, Albury and Jade will lead the team of occupational therapists and speech pathologists who will work with people with a wide range of physical, social and intellectual disabilities and their families to focus on their specific needs and situation to achieve their goals.

“We support people of all ages to live to their full potential and enjoy an everyday life. Our therapy is focused on what is important to the participant and importantly delivered where they live, work and learn and play,” Jade said.

Everyday Independence is a registered provider under the National Disability Insurance Scheme and has supported thousands of people to achieve their goals since the NDIS’s very beginning in the trial sites in Victoria and New South Wales. “We are pleased to bring over five years of NDIS experience to the Albury Wodonga region just as the scheme starts to roll out here” said Jade. “There is always a steep learning curve with a new initiative like this and we have thorough understanding of the scheme from our experience across many communities and with people of all ages.”

“We have seen the wonderful ways the NDIS has supported people to build skills and capability, so they can participate in the community,” said Jade.

Everyday Independence already operates across nine sites in Victoria and New South Wales delivering evidence-based therapies that achieve results that are meaningful to each participant. Everyday Independence has been providing therapy to people in the Albury Wodonga area for some time with regular visits from therapists from its Bendigo team. “The demand for therapy support is growing and having a team member who was keen to live and work in the Albury region is a perfect opportunity to expand our services” explained Leanne Healey, Everyday Independence Director and occupational therapist.

For Jade it’s an ideal scenario “I am really excited to be back in Albury and to have the opportunity to offer therapy services to my local community.”

“Everyday Independence offers a team based approach providing the right therapy, at the right time to achieve each participants goals which I think is an important component to make a real difference in a person’s life,” she said.

Our new website launches

April 7, 2018

Our new website launches

Today Everyday Independence launches our new website. We are excited about this new site as it better reflects our organisation and provides more comprehensive information to the people we support and work with.  This new site will provide easy to understand information about our therapy services and our approach to supporting people to live to their full potential and enjoy an everyday life.

People living with disabilities and their families will be able to access information about our therapy services and what to expect in their therapy sessions. They will be able to get information about supports for their particular needs and their age group. If you’ve not used occupational therapy, physiotherapy or speech pathology before you can learn more about different therapy types and get some helpful advice about assessing what is and isn’t currently working for you in your life and setting goals that therapy can support you in achieving.
Our referral partners will have access to more detailed information about our therapy services and can use a simple online form to make enquiries or referrals.

This new site will provide the platform for many new innovations that we will be launching in the next twelve months including:

  • A dedicated section for parents and carers of those with a disability and includes information about parents’ role in therapy and helpful links to supports for parents.
  • New videos on topics like ‘What to expect in your first therapy session’ and ‘Getting the most from your therapy’
  • A secure ‘My therapy’ login area where you can view your therapy plan and updates on your progress that you can share with others if you wish

We hope you enjoy exploring our new website and we value your feedback. If you’d like to tell us what you think please email us at mytherapy@everydayind.com.au

We are now registered for Behavioural Supports under the NDIS

April 2, 2018

We are now registered for Behavioural Supports under the NDIS

Everyday Independence now has behaviour supports as part of our NDIS registration. This is under the Improved Relationships funding - specifically working in the areas of Specialist Behavioural Intervention Support and Implementation of behavioural management strategies.

We understand that challenging behaviours are a result of a complex interaction between the individual and their environment. Using a person centred approach and assessing the person and their environment holistically we can uncover the underlying contributors to challenging behaviours. This then underpins the development of a positive behavioural support plan, which builds the capacity of the person, their families and support people to make changes.

To find out more about behavioural supports and how Everyday Independence’s therapists can assist with better managing challenging behaviours please contact us.

Therapy in daily life

March 21, 2018

Therapy in daily life

Spot the therapy session in these photos…

The answer is that both children are engaging in therapy but one is more likely to get quicker results. Which one do you think it is?
We aim to empower the people we work with to be in control of their therapy and keep practicing and improving beyond every therapy session. When therapy is integrated into daily life routines we see the fastest and best results
With this in mind we look for opportunities in a person's daily life to practice the skills we are focusing on in therapy sessions. Our occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech pathologists will help each person to identify meaningful activities that can be incorporated into their therapy. For example, practising to walk along a curb or gutter when out walking each day can increase balance and gross motor skills far quicker than a once a week session in a physio clinic.
To find out more about embedding therapy into daily life please contact us.

2018 has well and truly begun

February 15, 2018

2018 has well and truly begun

And we have some news! Everyday Independence is growing to meet the needs of our participants! We are developing our teams and expanding our service delivery and we’re excited to fill you in on our changes and plans for 2018.

New year, growing team! 
We are delighted to welcome six occupational therapists, three physiotherapists and three speech pathologists to our Victorian based teams.
Across Victoria and New South Wales our team is now over 100 people strong, which means we can support more people in more locations. It also allows us to call on the high-level expertise of individual team members for complex or specific needs. We are investing heavily in developing all our team with a comprehensive training, mentoring and coaching.
Our qualified therapists support participants to reach their goals through evidence-based practice and are driven by passion to support people to reach their potential and enjoy an everyday life.

Our service provision has grown
We strive to be the best therapy provider in supporting people to achieve their potential, focusing our attention on the specific needs of each person we work with.
We now operate from seven locations in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria and we are excited to have the opportunity to expand our delivery of services in the new NDIS roll out areas including Hume, Moreland, Eastern, Casey, Bayside and Western regions of Melbourne.

Who we support
We support people at every life stage and during the important transition periods in a person’s life. Our occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech pathologists focus on personalised and meaningful outcomes. We know that therapy outcomes are most effective when skills are practiced where you live, work, learn and play, so our therapists visit the people we support in their homes, workplaces, schools or other locations in the community.
To find out more about we can support you and help you achieve your full potential and enjoy an everyday life please contact us.

Tips to Manage and Enjoy Christmas and the Holiday Season

December 4, 2017

Tips to Manage and Enjoy Christmas and the Holiday Season

The end of year and the festive season can be filled with fun and anticipation but can also bring challenges for everyone, including children living with a disability. As we approach Christmas and the holiday season it can be helpful to have some tips up your sleeve of ways to prepare your child for family occasions, trips away and changes to the regular weekly routine. The team of occupational therapists and speech pathologists at Everyday Independence have contributed some ideas, that may be helpful for your family. The aim is to prepare and support your child so this can be an enjoyable time for the whole family. Remember to chat to your therapists about any concerns you may have so that we can best support your family.

Tip 1: Have a discussion with your child about who will be at your Christmas functions. For example: at Christmas lunch will be Nan, Pa, Aunty Megan, Uncle Tim and cousins Angus and Matilda. A visual story with photos of these people and the place or setting can help too.

Tip 2: Encourage your child to bring along a transition or favourite toy to social events. Something that is familiar can help to calm your child in a new environment or somewhere you go only occasionally.

Tip 3: Create a school holiday visual schedule to help your child understand what is planned for each day. It could be a visit to the park, staying with grandparents, a shopping trip or going to a school holiday program.

Tip 4: Use the holiday time to prepare your child for changes at school in 2018. If starting at a new school take the time to familiarise your child with the new environment without the crowds. Identify where they will arrive each morning, where to find their classroom and toilets. You could pack a school lunchbox and eat as a family in the playground.

Tip 5: Think about toys, games or homemade activities that might be fun for your child whilst also providing a therapeutic benefit. Talk to your therapist about some ideas that could help and be lots of fun for all.

Tip 6: Make a ‘list of things to do when you have nothing to do’. This helps protect parents from the “I am bored” mantra.

We hope you enjoy a safe and happy holiday time together.

OT Week – Celebrating the great work of Occupational Therapists

October 27, 2017

OT Week – Celebrating the great work of Occupational Therapists

Reach your pOTential 

This week we celebrate OT week so it is a great opportunity to talk about the many ways our Occupational Therapists (OT’s) can help people of all stages of life reach their full potential.
At Everyday Independence our OT’s work with people across the lifespan, focusing on the occupations that bring meaning to their lives. 
The diverse work ranges from handwriting and sensory integration programs for children through to stroke rehabilitation and care needs assessments for adults and seniors.
Lilly, an OT who is based in our Barwon team said it’s incredible being able to make a genuine difference in someone’s life. 
“I love personalising a client’s journey and making sure they can live their life their way”, she said.  OT’s find ways for you or a family member to do tasks more easily in all parts of your lives. OT’s do this through asking about and seeing what you can do. 
When they know about your movement and strength in any particular activity, OT’s can give you advice about how best to do something more easily and safely. 
“Most clients I see often don’t realise their true potential and my favourite part of my job is being able to open a person’s eyes to the endless possibilities they have”, Lilly said. 
Over the school holidays, Lilly facilitated a program - Looking Good, Feeling Great which is a self-care and grooming group developed and led by occupational therapists for girls aged 10 -17 run through Everyday Independence.  The aim of the program is to learn about healthy hygiene habits and practice a range of beauty and self care skills and techniques. 
As an OT, Lilly was able to adapt the program to ensure all the participants were able to thrive in the group and participate in the activities. 
“At the end of the program, it was great to see the girls forming friendships with each other and their confidence and self-esteem developed in a really positive way”, she said. 
Problem solving and thinking outside the box in a variety of situations were key elements in making sure the program ran smoothly. 
“I believe that we are all capable of anything as long as we have someone to believe in us. If you can think it, you can do it and its my role as an OT to come up with a way so they can”, Lilly said.
OT week helps promote the many ways occupational therapy can help people at all stages of life to reach their full potential. 
Celebrate Occupational Therapy during OT Week 22-28 October 2017 and join the conversation #OTWEEK2017


Carers Week

October 19, 2017

Carers Week

Thank you Carers
This week is Carer’s Week (15-21 October 2017). Carers come in all shapes and sizes from a variety of backgrounds, with a variety of tasks and jobs.
Carers are an integral part of the Australia’s health system and are the foundation of our aged, disability, palliative and community care systems. Australia has over 2.7 million unpaid carers which is 12% of the population.  “At Everyday Independence, carers are a huge part of a person's therapy journey. We work directly with carers to assist them to support the people we work with at home, at work or in the community”, said Ingrid Cole, Director at Everyday Independence.

  Carers provide care and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness or who is an older person with care needs.
Being a carer does not define a person, but it can shape a person. National Carers Week is about recognising and celebrating the outstanding contribution unpaid carers make to our nation. 
It’s a great opportunity this week take the time to show support and recognise each Carer’s dedication to their families and friends and say thank you. Together we can build a carer friendly Australia. National Carers Week 2017 provides you with a chance to learn about carers and caring in Australia
Follow the conversation #CARERS2017

It’s Speech Pathology Week

August 22, 2017

It’s Speech Pathology Week

This week is Speech Pathology week, and we’re celebrating the wonderful work speech pathologists do in the community. This year’s theme is “Communication access. Everyone gets the message”.  

At Everyday Independence we value our Speech Pathologists and the work they do with people who have communication or swallowing disorders that impact on their daily life.  

Talking to Julia, one of our Speech Pathologists, she said she sees first-hand how much of a barrier communication difficulties can be in accessing the community.  Julia said it is really important for our community to be accessible for everyone, including people with communication difficulties, physical difficulties and intellectual disabilities.  “We need to have a greater awareness and understanding of communication disabilities within our community, and for all of us to learn how to interact with people with communication disabilities”, she said. 

Speech Pathology Australia estimates that over 1.1 million Australians, around 5% of our population, have a communication disorder. 

Just recently, Julia worked intensively with a man in his 40’s who struggled everyday to communicate with people in his local community. Going into the bank, walking along the main street and buying his groceries would be a stressful experience for him as he struggled to communicate what his needs and requirements were. He would feel quite anxious and hide from interaction with other members of the community. He avoided getting his items at the supermarket or getting his jobs done at the bank because he didn’t have the confidence to speak to anyone. 

Over a four month period, Julia worked with him to slowly increase his speech, increasing his words and sentences which enabled him to respond to the bank staff when they welcomed him into the building. He now says hello to the bus driver and happily walks into the supermarket responding to staff when he purchases his weekly shopping. 
This is just one of many stories we see everyday that demonstrate how important communication is in our everyday life. 

Communication is a basic human right and Speech Pathology Week seeks to promote this fact.

During Speech Pathology Week 2017 join the conversations about communication accessibility and help make sure “everyone gets the message” by participating on social media by using #SPWeek.

Stretching to Independence

The concept of 'just enough support' is something we really focus on with all the people we work with. You can build independence when you are stretched and challenge yourself. There are so many ways our occupational therapists, physios and speech pathologists help people see and meet their potential. It excites us and motivates us everyday!
Listen to Temple Grandin explain this concept.

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