SERVICES NEEDED: Melissa Dowling, Kaleb Dowling's (far right) Mum, says she is struggling to spend her NDIS budget due to lack of services in Monto.
SERVICES NEEDED: Melissa Dowling, Kaleb Dowling's (far right) Mum, says she is struggling to spend her NDIS budget due to lack of services in Monto. Contributed

Rural specialists 'rare breed': disability service opens up

A BUNDABERG disability services provider has admitted there are no easy solutions to stories like that of Monto Mum Melissa Dowling, who is struggling to spend her NDIS budget through lack of services.

Speaking at the Mount Perry "family fun day” on Saturday, Integrated Disability Support Services' Donna Senescall described specialists in rural towns as a "rare breed.”

She said the first step should always be to get in touch with the NDIA, who deliver the scheme, and the local area coordinator, which for the North Burnett is APM disability employment services in Kingaroy.

APM visit towns in the North Burnett on a fortnightly basis.

Today, IDSS traded their temporary office at Gin Gin for a permanent one, where they will host various specialists periodically.

They have already confirmed weekly visit from an exercise physiologist on Mondays.

The organisation currently service as far as Miriam Vale in the north and Mount Perry in the south on a request basis.

"We are happy to travel to Monto but we haven't been approached,” Mrs Senescall said.

"We're definitely wanting to work with the community and find out where the gaps are.”

Mrs Senescall said a common request of the organisation is for them to attend specialist and GP appointments as a "second set of ears.”

She said it's also common for people with a disability to use family as their support worker, because they have a pre-existing relationship.

This can be accommodated, she said, provided that family member has an ABN, but there are risks involved with a self-managed funding model where this type of arrangement would be possible.

However, she added, with a dearth of other options this may be the best way forward.

IDSS was in Mount Perry last week helping families process their access requests.

The organisation specialises in plan management, support co-ordination, community access, and in-home supports.

APM North Burnett Schedule:

Mundubbera Blue Care: Monday fortnightly, 11am to 4pm, March 4, March 18, etc.

Eidsvold Blue Care: Tuesday fortnightly, 9am to 4pm, March 5, March 19, etc.

Monto CWA Hall and Duck In Cafe: Wednesday fortnightly, 9am to 4pm (CWA Hall), 5.30pm to 8pm (Duck In Cafe), March 6, March 20, etc.

Biggenden Town Hall, Supper Room: 9am to 3.30pm, March 6, March 20, etc.

Gayndah Town Hall, Supper Room: 8.30am to 3.30pm, March 7, March 21, etc.


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