iLA has had an extensive history within the disability and aged care sectors in Western Australia, growing from humble beginnings as the Independent Living Centre WA in 1977.
Founded by Freda Jacob, it was originally a not-for-profit information and advisory service for assistive equipment and technology but the organisation has evolved and expanded over time, becoming more customer-centric in its service delivery and operation.
The organisation has expanded and grown over the past four decades and iLA was established in January 2020 when the Independent Living Centre WA transitioned into two organisations, iLA and Indigo Australasia Incorporated.
Over the four decades since, iLA has evolved into an organisation that fosters a community where everyone is able to make genuine and informed decisions on how to live independently. iLA is also an advocate for the disability and aged care sectors. Its services support people with disability, older people, carers, health professionals and the aged care sector, connecting our community with the tools, guidance and expertise.
iLA's initiatives include AT Chat, LiveUp, KeepAble, Village Hubs, Equipment for Living Grants, Regional Assessment Services, NDIA Participant Engagement Panel, and Sector Support and Development Program.
AT Chat is a peer-led, co-designed community for assistive technology (AT) users to share information and lived experience about AT.
AT Chat’s mission is to deliver a peer-led information and mentoring service that provides our community with the opportunity to build their AT decision-making capability and share their expertise with each other and the broader community.
LiveUp is a national platform designed to help Australians aged 65 and over reimagine, reset and reconnect with living life to its fullest. LiveUp is a healthy ageing guide that can be accessed from the comfort of your own home. Providing all the tools, tips, and technology to help you age your way.
Extensive research, including face-to-face interviews, scientific studies and clinical knowledge, has been used to create an easy-to-use online resource. Providing personalised suggestions for healthy ageing, including tailored activities, assistive products, social connections and more, all in the local area or online, LiveUp aims to help older Australians maintain independence for longer.
KeepAble focuses on supporting and building the capacity of home support service providers to embed wellness and reablement approaches into their service delivery and thus supporting clients back to optimal independence. KeepAble provides easy access to trusted wellness and reablement resources that are based on good practice and aims to drive attitudinal change toward ageing, and practice change in how home support services are delivered nationally.
iLA is the National Grants Manager for the administration of the Village Hubs Grants Fund, an initiative of the Australian Government’s Seniors Connected Program.
The Seniors Connected Program was established to implement the Government’s 2019 election policy: ‘More Support for Older Australians’. The intent of the program is to alleviate loneliness and social isolation experienced by older Australians. The Seniors Connected program will run from 2021-2024 (terminating 30 June 2024).
iLA is one of 28 organisations on the new National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) Participant Engagement Panel. The organisation is helping the NDIA to capture a diverse range of views to inform their policy development and service improvement to help give a voice to participants who in the past may not have been heard.
iLA is seeking expressions of interest from participants, their families, and carers from WA to take part in engagement activities. The activities will range from interviews, workshops, surveys, and focus groups and topics will vary for different groups of participants.
Equipment for Living grants are available to assist eligible people to obtain vital equipment not currently available through the Community Aids and Equipment Program or other support programs.
Through advice, research, projects, resources and service development, iLA supports the aged care sector to deliver on the Australian Government's wellness and reablement agenda.
The organisation’s service over the last five years under the WA Home and Community Care Program and since transitioning to the CHSP in July 2018 has focused on:
The iLA commitment to supporting an individual every step of the way in their aged care journey is reflected in its delivery of exceptional Regional Assessment Services (RAS) in the Perth north metropolitan area.
iLA's RAS supports older Australians wishing to access the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP). The professional and friendly team does this with an authentic, caring and person-centred approach.
The CHSP is Australia’s national funding program to help older people stay independent and in their homes and communities.
To receive CHSP funding, you need to:
Making Choices, Finding Solutions
The Sector Support and Development team developed the Making Choices, Finding Solutions Guide to assist you to find simple assistive equipment, technology and basic home modification solutions available in local stores and online. It contains a range of useful tips and advice to help you better manage everyday tasks and common frustrations.
The next step was to take the theory behind the Making Choices, Finding Solutions Guide and transform it into an online experience that puts the knowledge in your hands.
You can view the Making Choices, Finding Solutions Guide here.
Making Choices, Finding Solutions helps you:
All of this was only possible through the initial vision, passion and hard work done Ms. Jacob and her team.
In 1981, Ms. Jacob was the first occupational therapist in WA to receive the Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition of her service to the occupational therapy profession and community.
She died in 2017 after dedicating her long, productive life to the community and spread her zest for life and championed her causes to reach many people in Western Australia, Australia and internationally.
iLA continues on Ms. Jacob's legacy by helping the community to make genuine and informed decisions through the provision of independent information, navigation, and capacity building initiatives.
The iLA team is dedicated to working together with the community to support people to make choices that lead to enhancing their overall health and wellbeing by providing them with the information, advice and expertise to live life their way.
What an amazing business and history! We can’t wait to find out more at the Perth Disability Connection Expo 2022 , Presented by St. Judes, at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre on May 20 and 21.