Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples are significantly over-represented in homeless, disability, and prisoner populations (AIHW, 2011a; 2011b; COAG, 2013). From a human rights perspective it is crucial that culturally appropriate supports are available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples engaged with these sectors.

Despite the prevalence of disability in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, historically there has been limited policy focus on the experience of disability within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities (DSS, 2017). Different concepts of disability, and a mistrust of mainstream services by some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples means that many people may not identify as having a disability, and may not have a formal disability diagnosis (Gilroy et al., 2016).

A scarcity of appropriate methods to identify brain injury amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples has been noted, and a need for culturally developed and culturally safe procedures to identify brain injury in this cohort have been called for (Commonwealth of Australia, 2017; Dingwall et al., 2013; Townsend et al., 2018).

Related Projects

The Guddi Way

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.

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Murri Court Pilot Project

In 2018-2019 Synapse partnered with the Brisbane Murri Court to complete a pilot project in response to the need for culturally safe screening for brain injury and complex disability in the Murri Court system.

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Women Exiting the Corrections System

In 2018 Synapse partnered with the NSW Department of Justice and Guthrie House, a not-for-profit transitional service for women exiting the prison system, to support women who may have a brain injury.

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Assessing the Disability Needs of Indigenous Prisoners

Synapse is working with Griffith University to review the processes for assessing the disability needs of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander prisoners.

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Related Services

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Assessment & Planning

Practical assessments to identify how a brain injury is affecting your daily life and planning to ensure appropriate support.

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Housing Options

Information and practical housing support options to help you or someone you support live in the home and community of their choice.

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NDIS Services

Registered NDIS pre-planning, support coordination and specialised services to ensure you, or the person you are caring for, get the most suitable support.

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Indigenous Services

We offer culturally appropriate services for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples, including Specialist Disability Accommodation, Support Coordination and NDIS planning tools.

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