Southern Stay Disability Services to open new support accommodation

Southern Stay Disability Services has thrown its support behind International Day of People with Disability.

Each year the day aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability and celebrate their achievements and contributions.

This year the theme is based around promoting the participation of people with disabilities.

Southern Stay CEO Paul Lougheed says the agency has been supporting the day since it started in Australia in 1996.

"The theme for this year aligns strongly with our agency's purpose, which is to provide accommodation and support services through South West Victoria for people with disabilities; encourage participation of people with disabilities in the community; and promote the ability of people with disabilities to live successfully and actively in the community," Mr Lougheed said.

"Every day our team of 200 caring and professional staff provide support to people with a disability.

"Every day staff are focused on supporting people to achieve their goals in the areas of personal care, education, daily living, relationships, health and community participation. The impact of these supports cannot be underestimated."

The introduction of the NDIS in 2017 has made a significant difference to the lives of the people supported by Southern Stay.

"The many positive aspects of the NDIS are becoming increasingly clear, with new and innovative ways of working being developed to ensure people's goals are met," Mr Lougheed said.

"We are also seeing many examples of people engaging more with their community through sport, employment, community events and activities."

The NDIS has also resulted in new ways of thinking about accommodation support. As an example, in February Southern Stay will open south-west Victoria's first high physical support needs disability accommodation house built under the NDIS.

The $2.6 million house in Ryot Street will provide housing for eight young adults with disabilities and create more than 20 new jobs. Its location, close to the CBD, has been selected to ensure residents are able to access and participate in the many community activities and events available in Warrnambool.

"It's a very exciting time to be working in this sector," Mr Lougheed said. "Southern Stay would encourage anyone with an interest in being part of this workforce to register their interest with us."

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