Assessment of acquired brain injury in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians: guidance for DisabilityCare Australia

Public health Disability Mental health Aboriginal Australians Indigenous health Australia
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In early 2013, Brain Injury Australia was funded by the National Disability Insurance Scheme's (NDIS) Practical Design Fund to develop a culturally appropriate NDIS assessment process for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons living with an acquired brain injury (ABI).

This project was co-managed by Brain Injury Australia and Synapse (Brain Injury Association of Queensland, Inc.). The research was undertaken by researchers from James Cook University.

The key results of this research were:

  • guidelines for appropriate protocols for engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in the assessment process;
  • a four-stage Planning and Assessment framework that describes the appropriate actions that DisabilityCare Australia Planners and/or Local Area Coordinators need to take during the assessment process when determining eligibility to DisabilityCare Australia;
  • a prototype instrument toolkit (requiring scientific validation before use), containing cognitive and functional assessments that are culturally acceptable for assessment of acquired brain injury in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians; and
  • the identification of necessary training components for the professional development of DisabilityCare staff, including cultural awareness, competency and ABI training programmes and coursework.

Authored by India Bohanna, Anne Stephens, Rachael Wargent, Juliette Catherall, Carolyn Timms, Deborah Graham and Alan Clough.

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