ILC staff members Iris Burtenshaw, Rachel Everison, Amanda Hudson and Amy Litton were recently awarded the 2017 Independent Living Centre WA (ILC) Scholarships to support the work they do with people with disability and older people.
First introduced in 2007, the ILC Scholarship aims to provide employees with the opportunity to develop in an area that will enable them to further support people with a disability and the frail aged, their carers and families.
Iris Burtenshaw is an Assessor with the ILC Regional Assessment Service. Her scholarship will enable her to further her studies and knowledge around Dementia by completing the University of Tasmania Diploma in Dementia.
Iris has a passion for supporting people living with Dementia and their carers and wants to make a difference to their lives.
“Undertaking these studies will increase my knowledge around best practice support for people with Dementia and my ability to advocate for people living with Dementia and their carers. Sharing this knowledge with my colleagues will then enrich their skills and provide more people living with Dementia with better support and guidance,” she said.
Occupational Therapist Rachel Everison’s scholarship will enable her to further her knowledge and skills in assistive technology for people with hearing impairment.
As part of her role at the ILC Rachel provides assistive equipment and technology assessments for a range of people with disability, with the aim of assisting individuals to be safer, more independent and be able to join in everyday activities.
The scholarship awarded to Rachel will enable her to undertake an educational study tour around Australia to investigate the assistive technology needs of people with hearing impairment, including alerting devices, assistive listening devices and communication devices.
She hopes to generate a better understanding of items already frequently prescribed by therapists in Western Australia as well as emerging technologies, including those available internationally.
“My aim is that by undertaking this course I will have a greater understanding of equipment and technology options for people with hearing impairment, which will enable me to deliver the highest quality services to these individuals,” said Rachel.
Occupational Therapist Amanda Hudson’s scholarship will enable her to undertake studies to increase her knowledge around making environments accessible for people with a disability.
“Having greater knowledge around considerations for accessible environments will help me to improve the services delivered by the ILC and hopefully the accessibility of buildings in the Perth region so that all people are included in the community,” said Amanda.
Amy Litton is a Speech Pathologist with the ILC. Amy will use her scholarship to further her studies in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) assessment, prescription and intervention.
Communicating when you can’t speak can be a big challenge. AAC technologies and communication aids can help people who cannot speak to communicate, develop language skills and increase their socialisation and participation.
Amy is interested in furthering her knowledge around how much AAC intervention is required to achieve positive outcomes for people who have complex communication needs.
The scholarship awarded to Amy will enable her to undertake a Masters of Philosophy at Curtin University titled AAC Assessment, Prescription and Intervention: How many hours does it take?
“I’m particularly interested in conducting research to look at the outcomes achieved through AAC intervention for people with complex communication needs, and the length of time positive outcomes take. Having greater knowledge in this area will help me to improve the quality of the service that I, and other speech pathologists, provide to people,” said Amy.
ILC Chief Executive Officer Gerri Clay congratulated the recipients on being awarded their scholarships.
“The Independent Living Centre is committed to providing employees with ongoing and interactive learning opportunities that will enhance their development.
“The studies the recipients will undertake will not only contribute to their professional development, but will also benefit the ILC and people with a disability and older people which is why they were chosen to receive the scholarship.
“The ILC has a high calibre of health professionals and we are very proud of their endeavours to continually improve the services we offer.”
The total value of the scholarships awarded in 2017 is $15, 300