As the NDIS rolls-out in northern Queensland, people with disability will be able to decide where and how they want to invest the funding support they receive from the Federal Government.
This type of person-centred care has been designed to encourage people to make their own choices about the support they need to live to their potential.
LifeTec is a social enterprise which shares the same goals.
Established in Brisbane since 1981 and in Townsville from 2008, LifeTec specialises in the provision of assistive technologies - the devices or systems that help provide practical solutions so people can remain safe and independent in their homes, move around their communities more easily and participate in day-to-day activities.
"LifeTec's clients are all ages, from babies through to the elderly, and have all kinds of abilities and conditions," says Stephen Pether, LifeTec Manager, Townsville.
"Yet the one thing they have in common is that they come to us for expert, informed and objective advice on the sorts of equipment or items they need to make them more functional, more independent and more empowered."
LifeTec doesn't sell any products so clients are able to rely on them as a trusted advisor.
Father and son team Reg and Jake Garth from Garbutt have been LifeTec service users since Reg got his new mobility scooter and trailer two years ago.
"LifeTec were great," says Reg. "They sat with me to work out exactly what we wanted and they have performed well."
Thirteen year old Jake has Down Syndrome.
"Jake is real social butterfly," says Reg. "He loves his new tricycle and when we go camping, he's off! Plus, we can now get around together."
LifeTec works with consumers, like the Garths, assessing their needs and goals then determining the best way to make it happen.
They then source the best available assistive technologies - innovation is key.
Finally, they help with any modification, fit-out or training a consumer may need to get going.
Along the way, LifeTec's trained and caring health professionals - occupational therapists, speech language pathologists and physiotherapists - have the expert clinical knowledge to guide client choice.
And, to keep the broader healthcare community up to date, LifeTec provides a professional learning and development program.
"The NDIS will be a game changer for both people with disability and the sector," says Stephen Pether.
“Even before they met an NDIS planner we’d encourage them to talk to us about our free NDIS pre-plan session. As acquisition of equipment will be covered by the NDIS, it’s a great opportunity to truly understand what you can achieve with the correct assistive technology prescription”.
"We are a great resource for those with disabilities and look forward to helping them on their journey."
For more information on how LifeTec helps people with disability, family, carers and health workers, visit lifetec.org.au or call 4759 5600.