Community access programs are a great way to explore your interests, learn new skills and make friends along the way.
As someone living with an intellectual disability, it gives you the opportunity to try new things and discover what you like to do in a comfortable and supportive environment.
It can also give you the confidence to complete certain tasks on your own, helping you to progress further in your independence journey.
How to get involved in community access services
Your first step will be to obtain funding through the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply on the NDIS website here.
Once your application is approved and you receive your access decision letter, you’ll be asked to sit down with a support coordinator to create your NDIS plan.
The purpose of your plan is to identify your goals and how to best use your funding. Community access programs are funded under the ‘Core – Assistance with Social & Community Participation’ and ‘Capacity Building – Increased Social & Community Participation’ NDIS support categories.
During your planning meeting, you can let them know the goals you want to achieve in community access programs and work with your coordinator to include this into your plan.
From there, you’ll be able to trial a program to see what you like, and if you find you don’t enjoy a particular activity, you can always try something else!
Types of community access programs
You may already know what you’re passionate about, or you may need some guidance to find out what might suit you. Community access programs vary greatly and it really depends on what goals you want to achieve, what interests you and the support you need. You may decide to get more involved in your local community with the support of a single support worker or take part in group community activities.
Here are some of the activities you can undertake when you participate in disability community services.
From quietly completing an arts and craft project to stepping out into the spotlight in a theatrical production, there are a wide range of creative pursuits that you can explore.
Music lovers can learn how to play a musical instrument or even learn a style of dance. If you prefer to work with your hands, you can express yourself through painting, sketching and more.
Sports and recreation
Improve your fitness, burn off energy and have some fun by getting active. You can choose to participate in team sports, go to the gym or even do a group fitness class.
Reach out to your NDIS provider and they will be able to connect you with suitable sporting and recreation clubs near you.
Independent living skills
Have you always wanted to bake your own treats or plant your own garden?
Would you like to drive a car or put a budget into place to save up for something special?
No matter what life skill you would like to learn, you can use your NDIS funding to help make it happen.
The world is becoming more and more digital each day.
If you have an interest in technology, but want to know more, you can arrange to undertake computer training sessions.
Find out how to surf the web, use online banking, connect with your friends by creating a social media account and more.
If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, or just need to relax and unwind, you may enjoy a sensory experience.
This involves entering a safe and calm environment where you can interact with each of your five senses – sight, sound, taste, smell and touch.
Tactile objects, colourful lights and gentle, soothing music can all be used to help you take some time out.
While you may have a specific interest that isn’t offered in a community access program, this certainly doesn’t mean you can’t pursue it.
Your NDIS service provider can connect you to other social groups and clubs where you can explore your hobbies and try new experiences.
Until you build up your confidence, you can opt to have a support worker come with you to your activity.
If you would like to donate your time to a charity, or even gain some work experience, have a chat with your NDIS service provider to see what they can arrange for you. Volunteering is often done individually with your support worker.
Are you interested in learning and developing new skills? You could potentially use your new skills to help find a career you love.
You can use your NDIS plan to help you build up your qualifications and take the first step in your career journey. This could include enrolling in a TAFE or online course.
Why participate in a community access program?
One of the greatest benefits of participating in a community access program is being able to build your own social life and help you to become more independent.
When you spend time with others who have similar interests, you’ll be able to make friends with people you otherwise may have never met.
Plus, you’ll never know what you like to do until you try it. In a community access program, you can find out what you’re good at and what you enjoy.
How Activ can help
As one of the largest NDIS service providers in WA, we can help you get more involved in your community. We provide community services throughout the Perth metro and much of regional WA.
If you’re interested in learning more about how we can support you, you can contact us to arrange a trial and visit one of our community centres.
You’ll have the chance to get to know our team and meet some of the people who will be taking part in the various programs with you.
Get in touch with us today to find out more about what we can do for you or arrange to come in for a trial.