Sarah's Soundbite: December 2020
As we finish this year I want to acknowledge once again all the many efforts across the whole disability sector in responding so effectively to COVID-19. This has ensured that we can have a Christmas and festive season much closer to normal than many, many others in the world.
As a sector, there have been so many new experiences for us all, and amongst the many challenges, there have been some new ways of work that we’ll be carrying forward. Particularly notable has been the levels of collaboration between services. As the virus began spreading in Victoria, organisations have willingly shared their plans and experiences, templates and communications materials. People came together on zoom during the pandemic, identifying issues, and working together to identify and promote effective responses. NDS has seen impressive levels of engagement in our many communities of practice and member meetings. We are currently planning a session in early 2021 to reflect on these experiences, as we plan our way forward.
Disability services are now resetting to operate in 'covid normal' and remain under higher restrictions than the rest of the community. The current developments in NSW remind us all of the need to maintain vigilance and continue to step up our prevention and infection control activities.
In 2021, NDS will continue running face to face infection prevention and control training across Victoria. This uses a champions model, and all providers are encouraged to participate. Also, under our Safer and Stronger Project, we will be offering a range of activities regarding business continuity, with a particular focus on those organisations operating in thin markets or supporting more vulnerable cohorts of participants. Our program of seminars for board members will continue.
At year end, we are also aware of the widespread reports of stress and exhaustion impacting people across the sector. NDS activities in 2021 will include a focus on workforce mental health and well being. Let's hope we can keep the virus at bay over the next while, at least, to enable us all to get some rest.
Season's Greetings and Merry Christmas.