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COVID-19 Updates

Information about coronavirus and how this may affect our services

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Last Updated 24/03/2020 at 13:00

We have an ongoing commitment to provide therapy services throughout the current coronavirus situation and the spread of COVID-19. Keeping clients safe and healthy is our top priority.

All VisAbility offices in Western Australia and Tasmania will be closed to the public from Friday 27 March 2020 and all our team members and staff will be working remotely. Further updates on office closures in Tasmania will follow shortly.

We will be providing continuity of care and introducing innovative online therapy services to meet the changing needs of our clients and the community.

Summary of Key Information

  • From Wednesday 25 March face-to-face appointments will no longer be available
  • VisAbility services will continue to be offered via flexible delivery modes
  • Therapy services will be delivered online via phone, Skype, Zoom or Facetime
  • Group programs will go ahead via video link-up or phone
  • While many of our staff and team members are working remotely, we are still here to provide help and support
  • You can still contact us on our main switchboard numbers 1800 847 466 in WA or 1800 484 333 in Tasmania
  • Further updates will be provided as and when services change.

VisAbility Therapy Services

From Wednesday 25 March VisAbility will provide online therapy services rather than face-to-face appointments. Therapy services available include:

  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Speech Pathology
  • Orientation and Mobility
  • Psychology and Social Work
  • Assistive Technology support
  • Dietetics
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Group Therapy

Online therapy services can be by phone, Skype, Zoom or Facetime, which means you can receive services in the comfort of your own home via whatever mode of communication you prefer.

You do not need expensive equipment or technology to use online therapy – all you need is a smart phone.

Benefits of online therapy services include:

  • More frequent contact with your therapist
  • Increased flexibility with scheduling appointments
  • Reduced travel and travel costs for clients
  • Reduced risks to yourself and your family in leaving your home
  • For parents, increased family engagement during sessions, less disruption to the family routine, and increased confidence and empowerment for parents following the sessions.

Our staff are experienced in online therapy services and have been providing these to our regional clients for many years.

In 2015 we pioneered an innovative Remote Orientation and Mobility program using online therapy and in 2018 VisAbility was recognised with a HESTA Community Services sector award for this program.

Your therapist will be in touch to arrange an appointment through this service so you can receive ongoing care and support. If preferred we can liaise with your carer or relative to arrange your appointment.

Online therapy service appointments will be scheduled at a time that suits you. If you do decide to cancel, please provide us with 48-hours notice or a service fee will still apply in line with our policy.

Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology appointments will go ahead as scheduled but will be delivered via phone, Skype or Zoom as preferred by clients. Our team will still be available to offer support and guidance to our assistive technology clients.

Exercise Clinic

Exercise Therapy will still be available, even though clients will not have access to the Exercise Clinic itself.

Each client will receive an accessible home exercise program devised by our Exercise Physiologist specifically for their individual goals. This will be available via email or post and can be delivered in Braille format if desired.

Appointments will not be cancelled unless requested by clients. Clients will be contacted weekly for their scheduled appointments.

As part of our commitment to your health and overall well-being, we will also incorporate a questionnaire into our Exercise Clinic so we can check in your mental health as well. For more information, contact Kane.Perris@visability.com.au

Group Programs

Group programs will go ahead via a video link-up or phone. These group sessions will be introduced as from Monday 30 March and will include:

  • Cooking
  • Pottery
  • Mosaics
  • Men’s interest group
  • Woodwork
  • Playgroup

There are additional activities planned over the coming weeks. We will also offer regular ‘R U OK’ check-in sessions every Friday early afternoon.

All clients who participate in Community Activity Centre (CAC) activities will receive a timetable for these interactive group sessions. For more information contact Felicity.Austin@visability.com.au

Library Service

Clients can still access and order audio books online. Library Services will no longer offer a postal service due to potential contamination issues. We have thousands of online books to choose from to keep you entertained over the coming weeks so please carry on ordering your titles as usual. Our staff are available to guide you on how to download your books online. Contact them on library@visability.com.au

Access Services

Accessibility services and consulting will continue to operate remotely.

Our team can provide a range of alternative materials to standard print such as Braille, audio tactile graphics or large print. For more information email access@visability.com.au

Children and Youth Services

Our Easter camps, which we provide in conjunction with Cahoots, will no longer be going ahead. Our Youth Support Officer Ryan Honschooten is available to speak to any children or young people who need extra support over the coming weeks. His email is Ryan.Honschooten@visability.com.au

Resource Shop

The Resource Shop is currently closed. Aids to daily living and other items can be purchased online through the online shop.

The Perron Centre

From Friday 27 March staff and team members will be working from home but we are still able to answer all of your queries. You can still contact us on the main switchboard numbers for Western Australia and Tasmania.

Outside of appointments you can communicate with our Client Experience team Service Co-ordinators on CETenquiries@visability.com.au

We appreciate your patience and understanding while these changes are put in place.

All our therapists will strictly comply with procedures recommended by the Department of Health.

What you can do

We encourage our clients to continue to stay safe and that includes:

  • Being mindful of social distancing, ideally keeping 1.5 metres apart from anyone else
  • Washing your hands with soap and water (preferable) or sanitiser where not available
  • Contacting your GP if you feel you are developing any symptoms which may be COVID-19 related, and of course letting us know should this arise
  • Limiting any large social gatherings
  • Regularly spraying down hard surfaces and tops
  • Minimising physical contact with the elderly and people at high risk, especially people with suppressed immune systems or ongoing health conditions.

How we will keep you informed

We will be providing updates on our service provision as we move forward on our website as well as through social media, text or email. 

With the introduction of social distancing and self-isolation, it is now more important than ever before to stay in contact with your friends, family and loved ones. If you ever need extra support, reach out to us.

We are always happy to refer you onto one of our Social Workers or Psychologists if you feel you need extra support contact our Client Experience Team Service Co-ordinators on CETenquiries@visability.com.au

Many of you will have extra time and will be looking for ways to keep occupied while you  spend a lot of time indoors. The VisAbility team will be making extra efforts to stay in contact through our social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, so please stay connected.

Further information on COVID-19

The Australian Government’s Department of Health website provides up-to-date information about COVID-19. The National Disability Insurance Agency is also providing information which may be of assistance.

If you have questions regarding continued service provision or the above information, please contact us.