Our Policies - Royal Institute for Deaf & Blind Children

Our Policies

Our mission is to provide quality and innovative services to achieve the best outcomes for current and future generations of Australians with vision impairment or hearing loss. We have a range of policies in place to support us to achieve our mission.

Henry with his mum, Sarah

Purpose
This policy explains how we provide a service that promotes our clients’ legal and human rights and enables them to exercise choice and control according to their individual and cultural needs and preferences.

Scope
This policy applies to all RIDBC employees, contractors and volunteers.

Policy
As part of their legal and human rights, RIDBC clients have the right to:

Person centred service

  • Our clients’ needs come first: we ask what they need from our services and develop individual service plans with them.
  • We treat our clients with respect, dignity and courtesy. This includes respecting and supporting their culture, diversity, values, beliefs and decisions without discrimination.

Informed choice, decision making and control

  • We give information and support to clients to understand and exercise their rights to be in control and make independent, informed choices about their services. This includes respecting the ‘dignity of risk’ that might come with client choice.
  • We work with each client to develop and implement an individual plan that identifies and builds on their strengths, aspirations and goals.

Receive quality services

  • Our services must be relevant, evidence-based and deliver best practice.
  • We promote, uphold and respect clients’ legal and human rights in our services.

Receive timely information in their preferred formats and mode of communication

  • This includes offering interpreting services and providing materials in accessible formats.

Privacy and confidentiality

  • Our services respect and protect our clients’ dignity, confidentiality and right to privacy.
  • We only collect the personal information we need to provide services and meet legal requirements.
  • We protect clients’ personal information in line with relevant legislation and ask for their consent to use their information as needed.

Feel safe

  • Our services are free of violence, abuse, neglect, exploitation or discrimination.
  • We screen potential team members for their suitability to work with vulnerable people before they start work with us.
  • Team members must identify and respond to indicators that children and vulnerable people are experiencing harm or are at risk of experiencing harm.

An advocate

  • We encourage and help our clients to engage another person to speak or act on their behalf to support their choice and control.

Have their feedback valued and acted on

  • We encourage our clients to give us feedback, whether complaints, compliments or suggestions so we can improve our services.
  • We provide a supportive environment for giving and receiving feedback and we make sure there are no negative consequences for people who give us feedback.

Be supported through their journey with us

  • We deliver quality services and link clients to appropriate RIDBC services and to our partners to help clients fulfil their potential.
  • We give our clients time to consult, consider and review their options at each stage of their journey with us.
    We help clients engage with family, friends and community as directed by them.

Definitions

Term

Definition

Client
Includes the client’s support team, such as family, guardians or advocates.
Dignity of riskEach person’s right to make the choice to take risks.

To download a copy of the Clients’ Rights policy click here.

Purpose

We want the RIDBC experience to be great for everyone – for our clients as well as people who work for us. This policy explains clients’ responsibilities to help make their own and others’ experience as good as it can be.

Scope

This policy applies to all employees and all clients.

Policy

These are the things we ask you, our clients, to do:

  • Stick to the program. Nothing is better than seeing our clients meet their goals. You have a huge role in that by coming to each appointment, actively participating and following our recommendations. If you can’t keep an appointment, please let us know as soon as possible.
  • Treat everyone at RIDBC with respect and consideration. This includes other clients as well as our employees. Any kind of disrespect is never acceptable. If we aren’t meeting your needs or you have a problem with our service, please let us know about it. We welcome your feedback in person or you can use our feedback system.
  • Help keep yourself, our employees and other clients safe. We do everything we can to make our services safe, but if you spot a problem please tell one of our employees or email info@ridbc.org.au. If we are providing services in your home it is your responsibility to make sure our staff are safe. Please keep pets away and do not smoke while we are there.
  • Keep us up to date. We need information about you so we can provide services that meet your needs. If your needs or details change, please let us know.
  • If we send you an invoice please pay us on time. We are a not-for-profit organisation with limited resources, so we depend on your prompt payment to keep our doors open.

Definitions and abbreviations

Term

Definition

Client

People who receive our services and may include their families, carers and other people who support them.

Employees

Salaried staff, casuals, contractors, volunteers and students of RIDBC.

To download a copy of the Client Responsibilities policy click here.

Purpose
Each client of RIDBC has the right to access supports that respect their culture, diversity, values and beliefs. All clients have the right to equal access to resources and services that are appropriate to them, and to equity in the outcome of the services provided. This applies to clients from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) backgrounds, and any clients from specific populations regarding age, gender, disability, faith and sexual orientation.

Scope
This policy applies to all services at RIDBC. All services are aware of and sensitively respond to client culture, diversity, values and beliefs.

Policy
RIDBC considers the issues of culture and diversity in the delivery of programs and services.

  • RIDBC supports employees in making sure service delivery is flexible and culturally and linguistically sensitive and appropriate.
  • RIDBC identifies and builds networks with multicultural agencies to enhance awareness and improve access to our services.
  • RIDBC identifies specific needs and outreach opportunities, such as the hearing screening program for ATSI communities.
  • Information about RIDBC services is provided in accessible formats.
  • Interpreting services are available to all clients who require them in order to communicate in their preferred languages.
  • RIDBC acknowledges that our cultural backgrounds and experiences may create biases. Employees must seek education wherever possible to address the needs of diverse clients and must eliminate biases, prejudices and discriminatory practices.
  • Employees are provided with ongoing support and professional development to help implement diversity awareness in practice.

To download a copy of the Diversity policy click here.

Purpose
This policy explains how RIDBC services staff help clients be included and participate in community life in ways that are meaningful to them.

Scope
This policy applies to all services staff.

Policy
RIDBC supports and respects the rights of clients to participate and be actively included in the community and support networks in the way they choose. We aim to develop connections with the broader community to promote opportunities and options for clients to engage in community activities and develop social relationships with other members of the community who share their interests.

Staff are encouraged to develop and maintain links with other community service providers and regularly participate in professional and inter-agency associations and community engagement activities.

Staff and volunteers are given training to help them understand, respect and act in the interests of clients. Services staff work with clients and support them to:

  • Develop and maintain skills and attitudes that promote their independence.
  • Make decisions about how they connect with their chosen community and activities.
  • Access appropriate community activities through collaborative planning and coordination of interagency service provision; and if requested, advocate on behalf of clients seeking services.
  • Utilise local community resources and include these resources in individual program objectives to achieve their goals and reduce barriers to participation.
  • Develop links with programs for people from a diverse background, including people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities; and as appropriate adapt service delivery practices to more effectively meet the needs of these communities.

RIDBC requests feedback from clients to understand their needs in accessing and participating in their chosen community and activities.

In early childhood services we recognise that the family has central importance for child development, therefore we:

  • Encourage active involvement of the client’s family and support networks.
  • Provide family-centred supports in a culturally inclusive and responsive way.
  • Build on the strengths of the client and their family and support networks.
  • Provide a natural setting for services where possible.
  • Set functional outcomes which help the client participate in their family and community life in an inclusive and meaningful way, including participation in daily routines.

Definitions and abbreviations

Term

Definition

ClientWhere relevant the term ‘client’ includes the client’s family or carer.

To download a copy of the Participation policy click here.

Purpose
This policy explains RIDBC’s responsibility to support and promote advocacy for clients.

Scope
This policy applies to all services staff.

Policy
RIDBC recognises that our clients are entitled to be represented by an advocate when dealing with us or to act as advocates for themselves. We also advocate with and on behalf of our clients and families and see this as part of our role in supporting our clients. We work towards open and productive working relationships with our clients and recognise there may be times when a client wants to engage an advocate to make sure their view is effectively communicated and their needs are met. We include advocacy information on our website and in our promotional materials to help increase awareness of advocacy resources.

Support and promote advocacy for clients

  • Ensure that the client is given fair and equal treatment and access to RIDBC services and decisions are taken with due consideration for their unique preferences and perspectives.
  • Ensure that the client is given a legitimate voice in issues that affect them.
  • Provide consultation processes, networks and strategies to integrate the client’s needs into services, facilities and decision-making processes.
  • Ensure that the client is empowered and supported to give feedback, including complaints.
  • Provide information to the client about their rights and entitlement to independent advocacy and support if their human rights are infringed.
  • Provide information for families to enable them to advocate, lobby and negotiate with organisations, services or agencies to have their issues heard.

Definitions and abbreviations

Term

Definition

ClientIncludes the client’s family and support network.

To download a copy of the Advocacy policy click here.

Purpose
This policy describes how client cancellations are managed. RIDBC acknowledges that clients and their families face multiple demands on their time. Appointments may need to be cancelled on occasion. An external version of this policy (refer to references section) is provided to clients to make sure they make the most of their access to RIDBC services in order to meet their goals.

Scope
This policy applies to all client services.

Policy
Clients must provide 24 hours’ notice of cancellation of an appointment or a cancellation fee will apply.

RIDBC sends out reminder texts and/or emails 48 hours before scheduled appointments.

RIDBC has three types of cancellations:

  1. Within the required notice – client requests to cancel an appointment at least 24 hours before it is scheduled.
  2. Outside of the required notice – client requests to cancel an appointment less than 24 hours before it is scheduled.
  3. No notice given (do not show/DNS) – client does not attend the appointment at the scheduled time and location.

Cancellation Fees
Appointments cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice or with no notice given (do not show) will be charged 90% of the value of planned supports, including any travel for the session. RIDBC determines the cancellation fee and policy from the requirements of the NDIS Price Guide. The most recent price guide must be used.

Process
When RIDBC processes the cancellation, the session is charged to the client with a note that it was a cancellation. The system then automatically reduces the rate to 90% of the session value. This is a direct claim against the client’s NDIS funding.

Special circumstances
RIDBC may waive up to 2 cancellation or no-show fees. There may be extenuating circumstances in which cancellation charges may be waived by a service manager. It must be explained to clients that if cancellation fees are waived, the NDIA does not have visibility of the cancelled sessions. Future NDIS planning and funding may be impacted.

If clients regularly miss or reschedule appointments, they must be contacted to determine how RIDBC can best support them or adjust the schedule of appointments. The NDIA must be notified if a client has an unusual number of cancellations.

Cancellations coming from RIDBC
RIDBC will give clients as much notice as possible regarding appointment changes. If an employee is unwell, the client will be contacted as soon as possible with an offer of a different employee (where appropriate) for the appointment. Alternatively, the client may choose to reschedule the appointment with the original employee.

To download a copy of the Cancellation policy click here.

Purpose
This policy explains why feedback is important and how we deal with it at the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC).

Scope
This policy applies to all RIDBC employees, volunteers and contractors. It covers feedback from our clients, employees, volunteers, contractors, stakeholders and members of the public.

Policy
RIDBC welcomes compliments, suggestions and complaints to ensure we continually improve the way we do things.

We address all feedback in a way that ensures access and equity, fairness, accountability and transparency with the goal of achieving a positive outcome for all parties.

We encourage people providing feedback to be supported by their family, carer, advocate and other accessibility supports, such as interpreters.

There may be cases where a complaint cannot be investigated and still be kept confidential. In these cases we will consult with the person making the complaint about if, and how, they would like us to continue with the investigation.

RIDBC will:

  • Treat all people providing feedback with respect, recognising that the issue is important to the person giving the feedback.
  • Cultivate a supportive environment in which feedback can be given and received.
  • Include the person giving feedback in the process.
  • Communicate and promote feedback processes to all clients and stakeholders.
  • Resolve complaints to the satisfaction of the person making the complaint where possible.
  • Support mediation, conciliation or escalation to the appropriate external body if a complaint cannot be resolved within RIDBC
  • Comply with legislative requirements.
  • Use feedback data to review and continuously improve the effectiveness of our operations.
  • Review and evaluate the accessibility and effectiveness of the feedback system and continuously improve the process.

Our feedback process:

  • Allows any person to make a complaint or provide feedback.
  • Is simple, accessible and easy to use.
  • Encourages complaints to be resolved at the point of contact where possible.
  • Ensures complaints or appeals are fairly assessed and responded to promptly.
  • Follows principles of procedural fairness.
  • Maintains the confidentiality of parties involved, only sharing private information with people directly involved in the complaint and its resolution. Information will only be disclosed if required by law, or if otherwise necessary.
  • Balances fairness and confidentiality to safeguard the interests of all parties.

Definitions and abbreviations

Term

Definition

Procedural
fairness
Procedural fairness is a legal principle that ensures fair decision making and requires:
  • decisions to be free from bias or appearance of bias by the decision maker
  • decisions to be based on evidence that supports the facts
  • people likely to be adversely affected by decisions have an opportunity to:
    • present their case and
    • have their response considered before the decision is made.

To download a copy of the Feedback policy click here.

Purpose
RIDBC services support clients to make service choices based on their individual needs and goals. Services are designed collaboratively with the client/family/carer.

Scope
This policy applies to all RIDBC services departments.

Policy

  • Clients, along with their families and carers, are at the centre of planning and decision making. Clients are encouraged to exercise choice and control in the services and supports they receive.
  • RIDBC is sensitive to the client’s age and gender, as well as to their cultural, linguistic, and religious background.
  • Services are skill/outcome focused with clear objectives and procedures for achieving those objectives. Clients are supported in building their independence and skills.
  • RIDBC offers flexible and responsive supports and services that meet the client’s individual needs and expectations.
  • RIDBC supports each client to develop, review, assess, and adjust their plan as their circumstances or goals change.
  • RIDBC provides appropriate information to assist the client in making decisions.
  • Clients may use an advocate to assist in making decisions.
  • RIDBC respects decisions not to participate.
  • RIDBC works, where possible, with other organisations and community groups to expand the range of service options.
  • Individual plans take into consideration the client’s involvement with other agencies. Collaborative planning is conducted when possible.
  • RIDBC assists the client in comparing the benefits and risks of each option before any approach is adopted.
  • Each client is encouraged and supported in evaluating the service they receive.

To download a copy of the Individual Outcomes policy click here.

Purpose
To outline how we make it easy for clients to enter and exit our services.

Scope
This policy applies to all services except schools and pre-schools.

Policy statement
We provide services for clients who are deaf/hard of hearing and/or blind or have low vision. All services provided are fair and non-discriminatory. Information is communicated to clients using the language, mode of communication and terms that they are most likely to understand.

Clients accessing RIDBC services have one point of entry through the client care team who respond to and triage all enquiries and distribute them to relevant services for action.

Services are planned and delivered around client needs.

We help clients use their NDIS and other funding effectively. As a charity we work with clients who do not have access to funding to provide services. There is also the option to access our services as fee paying clients.

We have a duty of care to provide clinical services and therapy that meet Australian standards for healthcare, safety and disabilities services.

Each client and/or their family/carer work with us to develop their own plan that meets their needs, goals and preferences. This is outlined in a service agreement between RIDBC and the client. All costs are clearly defined in the agreement.

We are committed to providing relevant, high quality services to clients of all ages and cultural backgrounds who are deaf/hard of hearing and/or blind or have low vision. We are not-for-profit and as such are committed to supporting the community by giving access, delivering services and linking with partners to enable clients to fulfil their potential.

If we are not the most appropriate service to support a client, we will help clients access other services that better meet their needs. We will also support clients by providing the information they need when leaving our services.

To download a copy of the Service Access policy click here.

Purpose
This policy describes why RIDBC staff sometimes travel to provide supports and how we set and update the charges for provider travel.

Scope
This policy applies to all employees travelling to provide supports to clients funded by the NDIS, and to all clients receiving supports funded by the NDIS where RIDBC employees travel to provide the support. It also applies to fee-paying clients.

Policy
RIDBC provides supports in convenient locations across Australia or through videoconferencing technology. We recognise the best practice in early intervention is to deliver supports in the natural environment. Clients may also choose to receive supports in a place that best suits them. As a result, we may agree with the client to provide some supports in their home or local community. This involves the RIDBC consultant travelling from their usual place of work to deliver the support.

Charges for Travel

  • If we travel to provide supports to our clients in their community or home, the client will be charged for our travel. The NDIS calls this Provider Travel and it is the time spent travelling by a worker to deliver a support. The NDIS Price Guide outlines when providers can charge for travel. The support items that providers can claim travel costs for are listed in the support catalogue. It is important to note that the NDIS does not provide participants with a separate budget for provider travel in their plan, it is deducted from the total budget for the support category. We will discuss and agree with the client how we charge them for travel.
  • We will charge for actual travel time up to the maximum limit as listed in the NDIS Price Guide.

Changes to the way we charge for travel

We may make changes to the amount we charge for travel if the NDIS Price Guide and NDIS Support Catalogue change. We will inform clients of any changes before we start charging the new amount.

To download a copy of the Provider Travel policy click here.