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We’re Still Open to Serve You

Our Doors May Be Closed, but We’re Still Open to Serve You.

The current COVID19 situation is tough for everyone. Like most not-for-profits and businesses, it has had a big impact on how we can go about looking after our clients. Naturally, your safety and the well wellbeing of our staff are the highest priority.

That has meant closing the doors of our offices and only being able to see you in person if we have established there is low risk and you have made an appointment.

However, we are still able to provide the services you need by using readily available technology. This may be by telephone, or apps such as FaceTime, Zoom or Skype on your computer, mobile phone or tablet.

Even if you’re not familiar with some of these newer gadgets, our Adaptive Technology team can help you to set it up and use it with confidence. And as you will read below, the NDIA has just made it easier for you to purchase these devices while we are affected by the impact of the Carona Virus.

The RSB is still here for you and together we can safely navigate these challenging times. 

Call us on 1300 944 306 to chat about how we can assist with your current needs.

 

NDIA Announce Change to Purchase of Smart Devices for Online Services

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic response, we are hearing about innovative ways providers including Allied Health professionals are continuing to deliver services to participants – some of these are online.

To help participants continue to receive their NDIS funded supports and services during this period, the NDIA has temporarily broadened the flexible approach to purchasing low cost AT items.

This allows participants to access low cost AT items, such as smart devices and fitness equipment, in consultation with their existing support providers. 

The RSB advises you to read the NDIA's advice carefully to understand the parameters of this new, temporary, flexibility.

We encourage you to contact you RSB Key Therapist to discuss this opportunity and liaise back with the NDIA to ensure you are correctly using your NDIS funding.

For more information please visit: https://www.ndis.gov.au/participants/home-equipment-and-supports/assistive-technology-explained or call 1300 944 306. 

 

Health and Wellness Support

During this time of physical distancing, it is more important than ever to still feel connected with those around you. The RSB’s Health and Wellness team can help you to learn new things, make new friends or simply stay in touch with your current ones.

An RSB Exercise Physiologist can help you to stay active by using common household items as your exercise equipment. 

Or perhaps just a friendly chat while enjoying a virtual cuppa’ with someone is more your style.

Health and wellness mean different things to different people. The RSB is committed to supporting you with the services you decide will benefit you most.

To chat with the RSB Health and Wellness team about your current needs, call 1300 944 306

 

Adaptive Technology Support

Whether you’re working, studying, or looking at better ways to be independent at home, the RSB can still support you to access electronic and printed information.  

We can do this through remote training and online demonstrations using Skype, FaceTime or Zoom. And if you have no idea what Skype FaceTime or Zoom are, we can show you how easy it actually is and help you get started.

The RSB Adaptive Technology team can support you with:

  • demonstrations and trials of electronic magnification for your desktop and more portable devices that can easily increase print size, contrast and lighting
  • recommend the most suitable mobile devices for your specific needs and support with training and using apps
  • offering the latest options in computer software that can enlarge and enhance text and read your emails and documents to you
  • introduce various types of scanning and reading equipment that read materials to you
  • Braille options via correspondence.

All low vision products are still available to purchase through the online retail store rsb.org.au/shop and we have also extended our returns policy from 21 days to 90 days, to make sure you’re getting the products that meet your requirements

Call 1300 944 306 for assistance and talk to one of our low vision experts.

 

 

Counselling Support

The RSB has a 136-year history of assisting children, adults and their families, who are blind or have a vision impairment, to reach their full potential.

Counselling can address the emotional impact of issues that are causing concern, in a safe and supportive environment. Our experienced and trained professionals can help you to work through everyday stress and issues associated with the impact of COVID19.

  • You can request a support call, which can be funded through your NDIS Plan. One of our counsellors will contact you by phone, Face Time, Zoom or Skype to discuss your concerns.
  • You can continue to access your regular counselling services by phone, Face Time, Zoom or Skype
  • You can request support that can include:
    • a range of stress relief strategies
    • relaxation techniques
    • sleep disturbance issues
    • mindfulness.

To find out more about the RSB’s specialist Counselling Support, call 1300 944 306

 

Support Coordination

The NDIS released a new price guide on the 25th of March. It includes a new Line Items for Support Coordination – COVID-19 pricing update.

The NDIA recently announced that Participants can now claim Support Coordination from their Core support budgets. This is a temporary COVID19 innovation. It opens the door for people to supplement their Support Coordination budgets, and for people who don’t have Support Coordination funding to access this much-needed support to engage services and find the right providers. You can now make the most of your Plan with the help of our support coordinators.

New line items for Support Coordination:

Three new support coordination items have been introduced to the support catalogue under Core Supports, Assistance with Daily Life, effective 25 March 2020:

  • 01_790_0106_8_3 - Level 1: Support Connection
  • 01_791_0106_8_3 - Level 2: Coordination of Supports
  • 01_794_0132_8_3 - Level 3: Specialist Support Coordination

The new line items duplicate items already claimable under Capacity Building Supports. The new item numbers allow participants to use their funds more flexibly to access these supports from either their Core or Capacity budgets.

The RSB can provide you with:

  • Support Connection at $60.16 per hour
  • Support Coordination at $98.16 per hour

The hourly rate will depend on the complexity of the supports you require. The appropriate rate will be negotiated when we discuss your needs and request for service.

To find out more about how the RSB can assist you with support coordination, call 1300 944 306

 

Employment Services

The RSB Employment Services team are continuing to provide support to clients within the Disability Employment Services program, regularly providing updates from the Department of Social Services. All programs continue to be provided, but in a modified version consistent with government advice. For current clients, more information can be obtained from your RSB Employment Consultant 

If you would like to speak to an Employment Consultant about any issue around employment, call 1300 944 306

 

Industrial Services

By quickly reacting to the situation and closing doors to all non-essential visitors, RSB Industrial Services has managed to avoid many of the issues created by COVID19. If anything, RSB Industrial Services is the one positive story to emerge from this period, with our factory securing increased food packaging work and a large contract to quickly produce safety masks for our front-line medical personnel.

To find out how RSB Industrial Services may be able to assist your business, call 1300 944 306

 

RSB Guide and Assistance Dog Services

In light of Corona Virus, RSB Guide Dog services are continuing, however some aspects are limited. Some training, including routine aftercare programs, have been postponed. Naturally training in the airport, on public transport and areas of high population are limited.

Dog food and medication:

Thank you for assisting in ensuring all our guide dogs have a large supply of dog food and medication. If you need any help in this area, please ring the GD office on 841 756 56.

Transport in RSB vehicles: When traveling with an RSB staff member, we will ask you sit in the back seat, diagonally opposite from the driver, to allow adequate social distancing.

Veterinary clinics: Vets remain open; however, you will normally not be allowed to enter. Most clinics have organised a good system where they will come out and collect the dog for the appointment.

Dogs and Corona Virus: Dogs are not susceptible to COVID19. Dogs do have their own form of corona virus, however, this is not of concern to our population of dogs.

Taxi & Ride share: In March government regulations were introduced, in relation to where Guide Dog handlers will be located within the vehicle. Below is the RSB Facebook post regarding this announcement. Please note sometimes a protective material (e.g. plastic) maybe used within the vehicle in the area you and/or your dog are sitting. This is to assist reduction in the spread of Corona virus.

Social Distancing Guidelines for Guide Dog Handlers Using Taxis and Ride Share Services.

Due to risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, usual procedures for Guide Dog Handlers using taxis, Uber and similar services, have undergone important changes

The Federal Government, Taxi Industry and Ride Share Services sector, advise that all Guide Dog Handlers should travel in the back seat of the vehicle with their dog sitting at their feet in the foot-well.

Under this new arrangement, Guide Dog Handlers should ask taxi and ride share services’ drivers to move the front passenger’s seat as far forward as possible to provide room for their dog.

Exiting the vehicle retains the same procedure as undertaken previously

The new recommended steps for Guide Dog Handlers entering and exiting a taxi or ride share vehicle are:

1. Approach the vehicle as you would normally, by locating the front passenger door. Once in position, move one metre to your right and locate the rear passenger door.

2. Ask the driver to move the front passenger seat as far forward as possible.

3. Remove your Guide Dog’s harness to ensure it doesn’t get caught under the front seat.

4. Have your dog wait while you position yourself on the back seat.

5. Your dog should sit at your feet in the back foot-well. Ensure your dog’s tail is inside the vehicle before closing the back door.

6. Exit the vehicle with your dog as per the procedure previously used from the front seat.

7. Reattach your dog’s harness and complete your journey.

Remember, it is essential to keep a safe distance from others to minimise the risk of coming into contact with potential COVID-19 carriers.

To find out more about the RSB Guide and Assistance Dog program, call 1300 944 306                                                                                          

The aim of RSB services is to support people who are blind or vision impaired to remain independent and an integral part of the community. The RSB achieves this through the provision of a person centred approach, supported by specialist assessment and services that meet the diverse needs of people with a vision impairment.