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Canberra Today 14°/21° | Friday, February 23, 2024 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

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Services that support people with disabilities

“CityNews” has found the Canberra businesses who are here to offer support and guidance.

LIVING with a disability, ageing or recovering from an injury can be a challenge.

There are many passionate experts based in the ACT region who offer services that can make daily life a little easier, whether it’s at home, or beyond.

“CityNews” has found the Canberra businesses who are here to offer support and guidance.

Arthritis ACT CEO Rebecca Davey.

Services lead to healthier, happier lives

ARTHRITIS ACT can help people with physical and mental disabilities find the pathways they need to lead happier and healthier lives, says CEO Rebecca Davey.

“We are an NDIS provider,” she says.

“We are more than happy to assist people in getting into the NDIS.

“We specialise in helping people with invisible disabilities.”

Rebecca says Arthritis ACT has an occupational therapist who can assist people particularly with their assistive technology needs.

“That includes wheelchairs, scooters, home modification and he can also do private driving assessments for people with disabilities who need them,” she says.

Rebecca says it’s incredibly rewarding to see the difference Arthritis ACT’s services can provide.

Arthritis ACT also helps people access important services such as the NDIS and the disability support pension.

“These kinds of services make such a big difference in people’s lives, and help open up doors,” says Rebecca.

“We want to provide them the support they need so they can participate fully in the community. ”

Arthritis ACT, 170 Haydon Drive, Bruce. Call 1800 011041, or visit

Hartley Lifecare CEO Eric Thauvette.

Care that makes a difference

HARTLEY Lifecare is a Canberra-based organisation that makes a difference in people’s lives, says CEO Eric Thauvette.

“I’ve been here for 17 years now, and Hartley started in Canberra in 1962. It’s grown a lot through the years but it’s still retained its wonderful atmosphere,” he says.

“There’s a willingness to work, and we’re like a family – real people who look out for each other.

“International Day of People with Disability on December 3, is a day to understand and respect people with disability. There are 4.4 million people with disability living in Australia.”

When Hartley first started, Eric says, it was a group of parents of people with disabilities that came together and supported each other.

“They realised the need was there and they created support groups, and respite care, which gave the parents a chance to have a break and recharge their batteries so that they could continue to provide the proper support,” he says.

“We invest a lot in our employees in training and support, so that they feel they’ve got all the tools to be able to do their job properly, and we can strive to do our best.

“We have 24-hour care in 35 homes across Canberra. That’s 85 people in supported accommodation, and we support another 20 to 25 people through our respite care.”

Hartley currently has vacancies for group homes for people with disability. 

Hartley Lifecare, 6 Hodgson Place, Pearce. Call 6282 4411, or visit

Capability Support managing director Mark Marlor. Photo: Ben Appleton

Helping people with a disability to live the way they choose

CAPABILITY Support helps people living with disabilities and provides support for young people needing assistance engaging with their families when they are unable to remain in their family home.

“We offer personalised, flexible and professional services to people living with disability to assist them to live the way they choose,” says managing director Mark Marlor.

“This may vary from intense one-to-one support in someone’s home to accessing the community and group-based home supports.”

For Capability Support, which has been in operation since July, Mark says its vision is simple.

“More support, less admin,” he says. 

“By leveraging our professional experiences and the experience that we have in the community sector, we are able to create easy-to-access services which require less administration.” 

Mark says this allows them to provide higher-quality support to those living with disability. There is a range of services offered by Capability Support that operate under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

“Our team are community service and industry professionals who genuinely care about making a difference. Our management and staff members are dedicated to doing better for people living with disability,” says Mark. 

Capability Support, Unit 2, National Surveyors House, 27 Napier Close, Deakin. Call 5117 4155 or visit

DTC Care’s Yamuna Karki, left, Prakash Bhattari and baby.

Cultivating a sense of wellbeing

DTC Care stands for “Dignity, Thankful and Calm”, says director Prakash Bhattarai, which is what he strives to achieve.

“DTC Care stands as an NDIS disability service provider dedicated to bringing forth a unique blend of care and compassion,” he says.

“I, along with my wife Yamuna Karki, who is an integral part of our organisation, extend our roots from the breathtaking landscapes of Nepal, the land of Mount Everest.

“Nepal is a country where Sherpas exhibit unparalleled dedication, which serves as the backdrop to our ethos at DTC Care.”

DTC Care tailors an array of services to meet the diverse needs of NDIS participants, Prakash from “personalised care to around-the-clock assistance, community access, shopping support and appointment  assistance”.

“Our commitment is unwavering. We understand the significance of a holistic approach to care,” he says.

“We go beyond the conventional, by hosting free meditation sessions every Sunday at the Axis Youth Centre in Queanbeyan, 5pm to 7pm.

“Join us at DTC Care as we embark on a journey to elevate lives, foster independence and cultivate a sense of wellbeing through our comprehensive and compassionate services.”

DTC Care. Call 0426 803524, or visit

Koomarri staff clockwise from bottom left: Caitlin Milne, Nick Kamarul, Santosh Subedi and Veronica Lovell.

Finding customised opportunities for careers

CAITLIN Milne, a career coach with Koomarri, says her goal is to get people with disabilities into work.

“Our commitment to participants makes us stand out,” she says.

“We take a human-centric approach, and have our participants at the forefront of all our decisions.”

Caitlin says she’s been working with Koomarri since December, but has been working with people with disabilities since 2021.

“I was a learning support assistant at a school in Ireland,” she says.

“Now, I enjoy helping people find something, an opportunity, they might have otherwise missed out on.

“It has, and continues to be, very special to meet people from all walks of life.”

Through Koomarri, Caitlin says she spends 10 weeks getting to know participants.

“We get some background on their interests and skills, to help them find a job where they will thrive,” she says.

“The aim is to get them customised employment, from starting with some work experience and working towards paid employment.

“We as career coaches are available every step of the way, and there is a support person present, too, for as long as needed.”

Caitlin says next year Koomarri is starting a school leavers program.

“It is for participants between the ages of 17 and 22,” she says.

Koomarri, 24 Launceston Street, Phillip. Call 6280 6143, or visit

ACT Deafness Resource Centre communications officer Joe Symons.

Helping people manage hearing loss

FOR more than 35 years, the ACT Deafness Resource Centre has been advising people on how best to manage their hearing loss, says executive officer Joe Symons.

“I’ve been working at the centre for three years now,” he says.

“I have had moderate/severe hearing loss since birth, which allows me to bring lived experience to the centre. There’s no course you can do that will teach you that.”

Joe says the centre offers important education, information, guidance and referrals.

“We’re a not-for-profit so our services are free,” he says.

“One in six Australians has some form of hearing loss, and for people aged over 65 it’s one in four, so it’s important to have the necessary information.”

Joe says the ACT Deafness Resource Centre can help with alert systems in the house, such as fire alarms or notifications when someone is at the door.

“We also offer free talks to retirement homes or independent living villages,” he says.

“My top tip when it comes to communication is get the person to face you, and to speak clearly and concisely, that can make a world of difference to a person with a hearing loss.”

He says the centre is also expanding to Queanbeyan and the regional NSW coast, offering hearing support groups.

ACT Deafness Resource Centre, 1b/27 Mulley Street, Holder. Call 6287 4393, or visit

Some of the WaterWombats team, from left, Savitha Aiyer, Liam Barber, Dianne Walton, Carol Jennings and Lily Delbridge.

Trauma programs work up to the pool

WATERWOMBATS, a charity that runs a small, adapted, learn-to-swim and safety program for neurodiverse children and children living with physical disability, is now offering land-based programs.

Founder Carol Jennings says the land-based program is led by a qualified expressive art therapist and focuses on things such as emotional regulation and the imagination.

“The complementary aspect of those programs is that the therapist can work on things like water trauma and near-drowning experiences so the child can work through some of that before they come to the pool programs,” she says.

Carol says these allied health-led programs are available for children up to the age of 12. 

“Families are able to access the services through their NDIS plan,” she says.

“I understand that waitlists for services can be long, which is why I have introduced these new complementary services.

“If we can help these kids and they can build some skills before they get to the pool then we’re doing them a favour. 

“We’ll be enrolling new participants for the land-based programs in Term 1 next year.”

The programs are on Mondays and Tuesdays at the Scullin Community Hall.

WaterWombats. Call 0413 139018, or visit

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