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Our CHSP Team provides AT to Remote Aboriginal Communities

24 August 2022

Technology and dedication were the key to Indigo’s CHSP Allied Health team members Anthea and Lisa connecting with and completing 20 assessments for assistive equipment and devices for remote Aboriginal communities in the Ngaanyatjarra (NG) Lands of the Western Desert.

The NG lands are made up of 12 communities located in the far east of WA, close to the Northern Territory and South Australian borders. Their remote location can often mean access to services is very difficult for community members.

Integral to this process was the local knowledge and expertise provided by Community Care Support Coordinator Anthony, who arranged and assisted with the assessments via TEAMS video chats and mobile phone.

Male in shorts and polo standing next to a chair with a measuring tapeOur team had to significantly adapt the assessment process to ensure customers’ understanding and Anthea and Lisa greatly relied on Anthony and his team to help to use language the customers would understand, along with measuring height and hip width.

In addition, if a customer preferred to be assessed on their front porch instead of the community centre, Anthony would pick up a chair and a tape measure and take it to the customer’s porch.

Anthony’s dedication and respect for those he is supporting highlights the vital importance of community centres and staff to the health and wellbeing of the Aboriginal peoples in the area.

Anthea and Lisa thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of assessing customers remotely, as well as the opportunity to learn a little about these wonderful communities. They learnt a few words of Ngaanyatjarra including “pika” which means pain and, that ‘sugar disease’ if often used to describe diabetes and hand signals can sometimes be used in conversations.

What really stood for our allied health professionals during the whole experience was the need to be flexible and adaptable to ensure the best outcomes for each person.