Indigo’s innovative Schools Team is already making a positive impact with its Country Kids Communicate project.
Awarded in December last year, Telethon’s Giving ceremony, held 26 March formally announced the team had been awarded a Channel 7 Telethon Trust grant for their innovative Country Kids Communicate project.
Indigo has run several successful projects in Perth metropolitan schools supporting children and young people with a disability and complex communication needs to use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). The Country Kids Communicate project aims to reach further and develop a model of school based AAC interventions in regional areas.
Indigo’s Schools Team is pleased to partner with O’Connor Education Support Centre in Kalgoorlie to implement the project, which will trial a model of service including site visits to the region and telehealth delivery. School staff will be supported through in-class demonstration, training, coaching, consultation, and regular goal setting to develop skills in supporting students’ communication and participation.
Non-electronic (paper-based boards and communication books) and electronic (e.g., communication apps) AAC systems will be used to enhance students’ communication in collaboration with school staff and other key stakeholders, including families and community therapists where appropriate.
Indigo’s Allied Health Manager, Lynda Quigley said she is hopeful the project will greatly develop both student and staff skills and confidence in using and implementing AAC systems in an educational environment and support greater student inclusion and self-advocacy in regional Western Australia:
“We are so pleased to take our skills to regional schools where we can tailor the training to each school’s needs. We are working with the latest assistive technology and communication aids to help students communicate, participate and learn.
“The Schools team works together with metropolitan schools to help students access the curriculum, promoting independence and assisting students to reach their full potential, so being able to expand this work is a real win for us.”