Did you know 4.3 million Australians live with disability?
Each year The Benevolent Society joins in celebrating International Day for People with a Disability (IDPWD). Through events including fun runs, art exhibitions and film festivals, we join with the community to recognise the achievements of people with disability and raise awareness of inclusion in our own workplaces and in the services we provide our clients with disability.
Amie Byron is one of our Occupational Therapists who supports people with disability in the Central Coast of NSW. She supports people with disability to do the activities they want or need to do to live their best life. This may be through skill development, adaptive equipment or modifying the environment; and uses her broad set of skills to assist clients pursue their goals.
“Client OT goals are often related to self-care activities, leisure and recreation, sensory processing intervention, environmental modification, equipment and positioning and community access and transport. I enjoy the diversity of my role which keeps me on my toes!”
Amie particularly enjoys equipment prescription due to the challenge of finding a piece of equipment that has the specifications and features for complex body postures and environments, to meet the needs of support and function for the client. This is a challenge she says is: “So worth it when you get it right.”
Amie also likes the creativity that’s involved in providing therapy interventions aimed at skill building. She says matching the client’s skill with activities that provides the right level of challenge so they can develop without getting disheartened is key. Amie notes when working with children, therapy sessions looks like play and is a lot of fun, but they are learning and developing underneath it all.
Amie helps people live their best lives
Currently, the youngest client Amie helps is four and the eldest is 65, with all of her client participants of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. She says, “The rewards of supporting people with disability are immense.”
“The most rewarding part of my job is feeling that I’ve made positive improvements to a person’s life, even small ones. I love when the intervention I’ve provided gives clients more independence and increases their ability to engage with others meaningfully.”
Amie says persistence is also key when managing clients as part of a service provider team within and across organisations. Amie identifies collaboration and sharing skills with other professionals essential in providing quality and effective services.
“A recent success for me, was having a long-term client approved for a powered wheelchair through the NDIS after being rejected twice across the disability and health systems. His Support Coordinator and I had to persist with ongoing applications and justifications for him to have a powered wheelchair, so that he could access the community and live his life the way he wanted to.”
“The wheelchair he was using was not supportive and was placing him at risk of pressure injury and social isolation. His new wheelchair is being delivered this month. He’s so excited!”