Lifestart recently completed its Connect Through Tech project, designed to give families access to the equipment they need for their children to receive support online. The project was supported by a generous donation from Steggles and the Sydney Roosters.
Online Support and Therapy is a great way for children, young people and families to have access to services and support when they are not able to attend in person. This can happen for all sorts of reasons including COVID-19, family circumstances or living in areas with limited services. For many types of supports, Online Support and Therapy has been shown to deliver outcomes equal to or better than face to face sessions. Lifestart staff are experienced in using best practice approaches online to help children, young people and families in achieving their goals.
However, some families do not have access to the equipment or internet services they need for their child or young person to receive this support online.
The Connect Through Tech project provided 17 families with IT packages to support them to achieve their goals. The packages consisted of a new iPad, a data pack if needed and time with a Lifestart staff member to get the technology set up and get familiar with using online platforms.
We have already heard stories of success from the families involved. Some families have used the technology to access therapy online by connecting with Lifestart staff and filming their progress working on therapy goals at home. In other cases, children and young people have been able to access specific apps that support them to be more independent.
Twelve-year-old Cora, who lives with her grandmother in Sydney, was excited to be given her iPad. She had recently received funding through her NDIS plan to purchase a communication app called ProLoQuo2Go, however the app was not available on the family’s existing Android device. This limited Cora’s ability to communicate effectively at home and school. Connection Tech has enabled Cora to use the app on her new iPad. She takes it to school and uses it to communicate with her teacher and friends, as well as with her grandmother at home.
Six iPads were also provided to families living in regional NSW. As access to some services is limited in these areas, Connect Through Tech has now provided these families with a way to connect with therapy supports online.
Four-year-old Danica who lives in Bathurst was provided with an IT Package via courier. Long waiting lists in her area meant that accessing face to face therapy services locally was not an option. Now she can use her device to access online supports from Lifestart therapists in Sydney.
Thank you to Steggles and the Sydney Roosters for their ongoing support which has allowed so many children and families to achieve positive outcomes.