NEWSLETTER SEPTEMBER 2017
Welcome to the September 2017 MOD.A newsletter, where our focus is on the very successful MOD.A2017 Conference at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, and the future of MOD.A following our recent AGM.
Firstly, thank you to those members and others who participated as delegates, speakers and chairs at the Going for Gold conference on 14 and 15 August 2017. By all accounts it was a great success, all sessions well attended and participated in by our very engaged and enthusiastic delegates. In the newsletter I provide an overview of the highlights and the main points that MOD.A will be taking from the conference and pursuing on behalf of members in the future, and we will be gradually uploading presentations on the MOD.A website as they arrive.
The conference brought home to those present how important it is to have a national voice for the home modifications industry in Australia. Just as our cousins in Canada are developing an association dedicated to promoting expertise in home modifications, under the governance of the Canadian Home Builders Association, so MOD.A is preparing to dismantle its secretariat and to revert to a Board-operated endeavour. I will step out of the role of CEO on Friday 29 September 2017, one which I can say without qualification has been the most enjoyable of my career, and I would like to thank members for their support and engagement over the past 3+ years and to wish them every success in the future. Like all home modifications providers across Australia I share a strong belief that eventually the Australian Government will understand the potential benefit of home modifications to positively impact on its progressive policies of supporting people to remain at home, and put resources into an independent organisation, like MOD.A, which can help navigate the complex funding and procurement environment which currently limits progress in our sector. This is only a temporary hiatus, and I address how MOD.A will function in the interim in the newsletter.
As this will be the last opportunity I have to communicate directly with members in my capacity of CEO I would like to thank the contribution of all past staff members of MOD.A, but most particularly the Business Development Manager, Ray Dooley, who has been with us since June 2014 and has been central to the progress we have made in promoting home modifications to business interests within and beyond our sector. I can honestly say that the sector has no stronger advocate than Ray, and as a CEO I have relied upon and benefited from his integrity and capability.
So, in closing, I would just say that it has been a privilege, and I look forward to being touch with most if not all of you in the future.
Michael Bleasdale, CEO
In aged care the most significant recent development has been the release of the Aged Care Legislated Review on 14 September. A comprehensive review completed by David Tune totalling just shy or 200 pages has very little on home modifications, both in terms of its current application in the aged care sector, and what issues may confront its delivery in future aged care reform. MOD.A is obviously disappointed to see such limited reference to the work our sector does for older people, and it increases our resolve to lobby harder to ensure that home modifications are a major strategy in the push toward greater provision of aged care services in the home.
There has been relatively little activity within the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) with regard to home modifications since the release of guidelines about assessments for complex home modifications were released at the end of February this year. There was a good deal of discussion at the MOD.A 2017 conference about current difficulties for providers working with the processes that have been set up within the NDIS for home modifications, and MOD.A was able to announce at the closing session that we had been asked to attend a meeting with the National Disability Insurance Agency, which is scheduled to take place in Geelong on Wednesday 11 September. A significant delegation of providers will be represented at the meeting, where we intend to present a succinct description of the various problems, and emphasises that there is a marked lack of consistency in the application of whatever guidelines currently are in operation. We will also make the case for ongoing involvement between the NDIA and MOD.A to address and find solutions to these problems across all NDIS regions.
MOD.A members should be aware that the NDIA is moving slowly toward a new quality and safeguarding framework which will be applied to all registered providers who undertake work for NDIS participants. The timetable for completion of this work is July 2018, at which point the new NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Commission will be established, which will initially have jurisdiction over NSW and South Australia before eventually taking on all states and territories covered by the NDIS by 2020. A pilot workshop was run for the Department of Social Services by the Attendant Care Industry Association in early August this year, which was attended by three MOD.A member representing three states, and also had present a number of allied health professionals who work in home modifications. These participants did raise concerns throughout about some of lack of fit between what constitutes quality in a home modification and the expectations of the framework. It is hoped these comments have been taken on board and MOD.A will continue to engage with the process through these members and directly with the DSS if and when the opportunity arises.
New NDIS Rollout Areas
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is being rolled out from September to November 2017 in the following areas.
More information, including factsheets to support the rollout of the NDIS and potential impacts for aged care providers, can be found on the Department of Health website or the NDIS website.
A list of Local Government Areas (LGA) in each area can also be found on the NDIS website. All other enquiries relating to NDIS rollout areas can be directed to the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) by calling 1800 800 110 between 8am to 11pm, Monday to Friday.
Members and stakeholders are aware that we are closing the office on 29 September, and both the CEO Michael Bleasdale and the Business Development Manager Ray Dooley will be leaving on that day.
The Board has resolved to continue trading and to seek opportunities for funding of finding other ways to operate in the future. The Board has recently bolstered its resources and now has four member providers on it, and represents six states. The small operating budget which MOD.A has available to it will fund activities related to:
The Board will continue to meet on a quarterly basis and will communicate important messages to members either through the website or newsletter, or via direct mail.
As of 29 September 2017 the moda.org.au
email addresses will cease to operate. After this date the official email address for MOD.A will
be HomeModsAU@gmail.com ands address for correspondence will
be PO Box 487 Gymea NSW 2227. Key contacts for MOD.A after 29 September will be:
MOD.A Chairperson, Bryan Molan
Email: Bryan.Molan@3bridges.org.au Tel: 0439 498 547
Michael Bleasdale, former CEO
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 0499 900 006
A small but enthusiastic group of members attended this year's MOD.A Annual General Meeting, which was held at the Surry Hills office on Wednesday 27 September 2017. As well as the financial reports, and reflections from both the Chairperson, Bryan Molan, and the CEO, Michael Bleasdale, on the year that has just passed, the members and their proxies voted to confirm the appointment of two new Board members, Janeen Lynch and Steve Pretzel. Bryan Molan and Michael Small were also re-appointed, and a Board meeting will be held shortly to vote in office bearers.
Much of the discussion after the meeting was about the future of MOD.A, and the crucial role that the Board will play in the next twelve months.
The MOD.A 2017 Conference, Going For Gold: the pursuit of best practice in the age of reform at ANZ Stadium was a great success. Thanks to all those speakers, panellists, presenters, session chairs, exhibitors and delegates who all made such a great contribution to the program, and to those people behind the scenes who made sure it all happened on time and without a glitch.
Presentations from the conference are gradually being uploaded to the MOD.A website where you will also find a brief conference summary.
Members will note that MOD.A CEO Michael Bleasdale has had an article published in the latest Spring 2017 edition of the Community Care Review. The article, entitled Ending the Fragmentation, provides a comprehensive overview of the consolidated approach to home modifications that needs to be taken across programs and jurisdictions to address the key challenges facing the sector.
Accessible Housing: Costs and Gains
A recent newsletter from the Centre for Universal Design Australia has an interesting article on research from Sweden and Germany that looks at cost:benefit of accessible housing, providing further evidence for a national policy in Australia that makes universal design features mandatory in new mass market housing. Click here to view the original article and source materials.
Livable Housing Design Guidelines v4
Livable Housing Australia has released an updated version of their Guidelines. The latest version tidies up some inconsistencies and answers some lingering questions from the previous version. Livable Housing Australia states, "We champion the adoption by 2020 of a Silver rating for all new homes".
Information for younger people in aged care and the NDIS
The Department of Health has released information related to young people in aged care and the NDIS, including:
For more information visit the department's website.
QARP Funding Update (NSW Members)
With the MOD.A office closing down we have transferred the remaining QARP funds back to NSW Family and Community Services (FACS). Claims on the QARP will be handled in the interim by FACS, but negotiations are taking place to have another agency within the NSW Government take on the role of handling claims, given that the Ageing, Disability and Home Care Department is scheduled to close at the end of June 2018.
The email address to contact is: NGOAccommodation.ServicesSupport@facs.nsw.gov.au
Home modifications funded by the NSW Government will cease after June 2018, so after this time all work over the value of $20,000 will need to be covered by the Home Building Insurance Fund, regardless of the source of the subsidy for the work. Claims on the QARP are able to be made, in general, for a period of 6 years after qualifying works have been completed. Information for MOD.A members on QARP can be found here.
NuProdx from Astris Lifecare
Nuprodx offer a range of modular commodes, transfer benches and sliding systems to enable potential access solutions to an existing bathroom. Heights can be adjusted on site to meet the environment or further customised options can be scripted if required. To assist with the problem of narrow entries and limited turning spaces in the bathroom, the commode can be wheeled into the bathroom and simply connected to the slider system to enable access to a shower or over bath tub. Features and Options include:
For more information on this range of products or for a demonstration contact a Product Specialist by calling 02 9714 1150 or email email@example.com
Astris Lifecare Nuprodx: Multi Chair 6000 (Tilt) Slider System
MOD.A has partnered with HR Assured to provide members with a complete workplace relations solution specifically designed for small business. All MOD.A members can benefit from the partnership with HR Assured.
Not only will our members be able to access free workplace relations advice with a complimentary call to the Telephone Advisory Service but the already cost effective, subscription based pricing will be discounted by 10% (offer not available to existing subscribers).
If you want to know more about HR Assured and how they can help you to reduce the costs and risks of managing your people simply call Damian Westhoff on 02 9083 0083 or 0404 557 480, email via firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website. Please make sure to mention that you are a MOD.A member and Damian will outline the benefits and provide access to the complimentary advice call.
Australia7th International Carers Conference. Adelaide Convention Centre, 4-6 October 2017.
LASA National Congress: Ahead of the Game: Age Services - Strong, Bold, Brave. Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre, 15-18 October 2017.
17th Alzheimer's Australia Biennial National Dementia Conference. Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, 17-20 October 2017.
Universal Design Forum. Adelaide Convention Centre, 26 October 2017.
AAG Conference - Ageing: The Golden Opportunity. Crown, Perth, 8-10 November 2017.
ITAC2017 - Information Technology in Age Care: Navigating The Future. Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre, 21-22 November 2017.
National Housing Conference 2017 - Building for Better Lives. International Convention Centre, Sydney, 29 November - 1 December 2017.
5th National Elder Abuse Conference. Together Making Change. Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, 19-20 February 2018.
ATSA Independent Living Expo - Melbourne. Melbourne Showgrounds, 16-17 May 2018.
ATSA Independent Living Expo - Perth. Claremont Showground, Perth, 30-31 May 2018.
The Health of Housing: The Design, Planning and Politics of How and Where We Live. University of the West of England, Bristol, UK. 25-26 January 2018.