IDEAS marks 40 years

Business consultant to IDEAS Diana Palmer and NSW Shadow Minister for Regional NSW Mick Veitch at the Riverside Cafe on Saturday.

Tumut disability information service IDEAS vowed it would continue despite the effects of funding cutbacks at a 40-year anniversary celebration at the Riverside Café on Saturday.

“IDEAS has been undergoing considerable change over the last few years, but particularly in the last 12 months, due to changes in our revenue streams and the diminishing government funding available to us,” business consultant to IDEAS Diana Palmer said. 

IDEAS have been working on developing new streams of income over the last two to three years. Some have worked, others haven’t and some are yet to come to fruition.

“The Board and team at IDEAS believe there is still work to do as people with disability, now more than ever need access to high quality independent and accurate information and IDEAS wants to be here in two years’ time, when our mid-term strategies will begin delivering a secure revenue stream for us,” Mrs Palmer said. 

Martin Heng, IDEAS Chair, spoke to a gathering in Tumut on Saturday to celebrate the work IDEAS has done over many years and to talk about the future. 

“We have adjusted our service delivery model over the last three months to support our sustainability into the future as we continue to develop up our new business streams,” he said.

“In January 2021 we closed the Disabilty Infoline due to the cessation of funding to support the line. 

“In April 2022 we closed all office locations for IDEAS and moved to a working-from-home model.

“In July 2022 we will no longer have any staff employed by IDEAS.

From July 2022 IDEAS will go into a “Skeleton with Skin” model, where a small team of contractors will deliver a number of online services. delivering disability rights–based information and resources for people with disability to make informed decisions, thereby empowering them to live better lives. delivering an extensive directory of services and supports available for people with disability to access freely to assist them to make informed decisions about their daily living, thereby relieving distress and poverty. delivering an eCommerce site to assist people with disability and frail aged to buy, swap or sell second-hand disability equipment, thereby providing benevolent relief by freeing up resources and equipment while also relieving poverty and distress by making these resources available at lower cost than new items

“We will do this while we work with a partner to build additional business streams, including a quality auditing business that will focus on guaranteeing the quality of services delivered to people with disability,” he said.

“Aspire Auditing Australia is set to become an Approved Quality Auditor (AQA) under the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission. Some current IDEAS staff will establish the new business, utilising their experience, insights and recently acquired quality auditing qualifications to enhance the quality of services and systems in the disability sector.

“IDEAS has always punched above its weight to ensure people with disability have access to free independent information that supports informed decision-making. Ensuring that the services being delivered to people with disability are of a high standard takes our mission one step further.”   

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