Historically there has been a disconnect between Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples and the Disability Service System. Synapse developed our Yarn Up Cards resource which are designed to start conversations about the NDIS and provide examples of some of the types of supports and services available. The program has so far reached over 10,000 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people in urban, rural and remote communities. This program is an important step in providing culturally relevant information about disability support and the NDIS.


Development of the Yarn Up Cards

Synapse recognised that engagement must be done in a different way to connect Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples with the services which all Australians with a disability are entitled. Synapse was contracted by the State and Federal Government under a Bilateral Agreement to provide an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander NDIS Participant Readiness Initiatives (PRI) program.

Synapse worked in partnership with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities, local organisations, groups and services to establish relationships and build a level of trust and familiarity with the community. The method of delivery was determined by the local organisations and in many cases included NDIS information workshops, yarning circles and agency meetings.

The program was designed to:

  • Educate individuals about disability and that they may have a disability that affects their functioning in everyday life.
  • Inform people that there are services available via the NDIS and that these services are available to anyone who is eligible.
  • Inform people that they will not be negatively impacted after engaging with the NDIS.
  • Provide support to navigate the NDIS Access Request process.
Yarn Up Cards displayed on table

Future Development – Yarn Up Employment

We have been funded to develop the Yarn Up concept further, expanding into a digital platform which will initially facilitate conversations about employment services for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Yarn Up Employment project will involve local communities and employment service providers in a collaborative, codesign process resulting in a dynamic, user friendly digital platform.  Once completed, the platform will allow for the development of additional resources that cater to a wide range of audiences and sectors.

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Community Living Initiative

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