The Guddi is a culturally relevant and appropriate process for identifying brain injury and complex disability (including co-occurring social and emotional wellbeing issues; trauma; alcohol and drug misuse; hearing loss; and social disadvantage) in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The Guddi includes culturally sensitive questions relating to cognition, thinking skills, disability and psychosocial functioning. Thinking and cognitive skills are measured across a number of cognitive domains including orientation, naming, verbal comprehension, verbal fluency, abstraction, recall, and executive function.

Background

The development of the Guddi Way arose out of a need identified by Indigenous community members for better understanding about the prevalence and nature of brain injury amongst marginalised people, and was undertaken with the blessing of Traditional Owners, Elders, and other respected Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Proper Way protocols guided the full development process of the Guddi Way. The Guddi Way is underpinned by a ‘yarning’ method, which has been described as an Indigenous cultural form of conversation (Bessarab & Ng’andu, 2010).

Yarning facilitates trust and relationship building, and represents a culturally safe method of engagement. The Guddi Way is applicable to NDIS access, and has been utilised in multiple contexts including homeless services, Indigenous sentencing courts, and Indigenous community services.

Revising the Guddi Way Screen (2019)

The Guddi Way Screen is a culturally appropriate screening process to identify brain injury and complex disability. Once a brain injury has been identified, it may enable a pathway to appropriate support via the NDIS. For some people, this may the first time in their lives that a brain injury has been identified and that they have the opportunity to receive support.

The screen includes culturally sensitive questions relating to cognition, thinking skills, disability and psychosocial functioning. Synapse evaluated the utility and feasibility of the Guddi Way Screen (2018) during the Brisbane Murri Court Pilot Project.

Based on learnings from the Murri Court project Synapse have revised the screen, culminating in the enhanced and modified Guddi Way Screen (2019). Expert advice and guidance was central to the redevelopment and refinement of the Guddi Way Screen (2019), both its composition and the methodology to support its culturally informed application

Factors Affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Participation in the NDIS