Whether you or someone you care for has a physical or mental handicap, you’ll likely need some help along the way. Hiring disability services, whether out of their own pocket or via government funding through programs like the NDIS, it is a big step both for the handicapped person, their families and anyone else involved with them.
Because of how delicate and sensitive some handicaps can be, there is a wide spectrum of different kinds of disability services that are appropriate for different care demands. It is as much of the responsibility of the handicapped person and their carers to find a good provider as well as the provider to deliver high quality disability services.
Finding a good provider of disability services is an important step for those with handicaps and gives them an opportunity to grow as well as develop greater levels of interdependence. Let’s take a look at the following questions you should be asking before engaging professional disability services.
Do you know what you want and need?
The first step to finding the right choice of provider is to identify what it is you want out of them. Do you primarily want advice or someone who will be much more hands-on? Are you looking for someone to help reach specific goals or someone more grounded in daily care?
These questions need to be answered in order to filter out providers of disability services that may not be most appropriate for you. There are a huge range of different disability care providers with different approaches and philosophies, so it’s not hard to browse between several worthy options.
Are they flexible? Can you work with them logistically?
It’s great to have a provider that ticks all the theoretic boxes, but is working with them actually practical? Think about the distance you or they may need to travel, figure out if there are extra costs for re-scheduling or cancelling of engagements.
There’s no point finding the perfect provider only to realise you need to drive over an hour to see them. Remember, getting disability services is meant to make life more convenient for the handicapped person, not less so.
Are they personable? Do you get along with them?
Just like any job interview, you will need to assess if the candidate is right for you based on a lot of initial takeaways. You should be able to tell in your gut straight away if you don’t feel you can work with someone or they’re approach is questionable to you.
They should be able to speak your language so that there are no communications issues when they work with you. They should be good listeners who offer realistic suggestions based on training and scientific evidence.
Above all, they should be respectful and helpful at all times. They don’t patronise handicapped people but instead motivate and support them to achieve their goals.
This is why the disability services provider needs to build a meaningful rapport with their charge and be ready to meet them on their level. Every step of improvement and learning needs to be agreed with by the handicapped person and/or their carer.
Do they recognise your goals and want to help you reach them?
The provider of disability services is meant to be in an advisory and supportive role, not commander-in-chief. They should only make decisions when they are prompted for their expertise because they are being trusted to act as professionals.
At no point should they make decisions on behalf of a handicapped person in order to save time or because they think they know better. Disability services are designed to give handicapped people great freedom and choice, not to overtly dictate their lives for them.