Occupational therapy is one of the most important aspects of any disability management plan. The goal of occupational therapy is to gain a comprehensive understanding of how a person’s disability impacts their day to day life, and then to work with them to build autonomy and reach their full potential. Occupational therapists work with people of all ages and disabilities.
The skill set of an occupational therapist is broad and includes expertise in a number of areas. For example, he or she can assist with rehabilitation, self-care, pain management, meal preparation, physical exercise, household tasks, driving assessments, and community participation. Those are just a few of many examples.
Occupational therapists are an essential resource for NDIS participants, as well as people who are interested in becoming participants. In the latter case, an occupational therapist will meet with an individual and conduct an assessment. Based on this assessment they will produce a report detailing the individual’s circumstances, identifying their goals, and prescribing the necessary supports. The report is then included in the individual’s application to the NDIS.
For individuals who already have NDIS plans, occupational therapists help them develop customised strategies and monitor their progress. They do this in numerous ways using various methods and resources. Below is a list of examples:
- Vehicle modifications
- Assistive technology (including training in its use)
- Education and training for family members and care providers
- Orientation and mobility training
- Home modifications (including assessments for Specialist Disability Accommodation)
- Transport assistance
- Employment assistance
- Interventions for early childhood (e.g full participation in school)
- Evaluation of outcomes