PEOPLE living with disabilities in the Dubbo region will have access to more support and services than ever before under a new initiative designed to bridge the city-country service gap.
The disability service provider Northcott has started rolling out a new program, which uses video conferencing technology to quickly link people in western NSW to specialist support services they previously had to travel hours to access.
Northcott's western NSW area manager Christine Leddy said the new program, known as Teletherapy, will also mean many people with disabilities will not have to wait as long to access services like speech and occupational therapy.
"There is a growing demand for therapy services but at the same time, there is also a shortage of therapists in western NSW," she said.
"In response to this, and to ensure our clients in regional areas get the services they need and deserve, we are using Teletherapy so they can talk face-to-face with their case managers and qualified speech and occupational therapists more often."
Ms Leddy said Teletherapy would also mean people with disabilities living in remote areas could attend appointments and access a wider variety of services from the comfort of their own home.
"Teletherapy is vital to Northcott because it gives us the chance to reach more clients and reduce the isolation experienced by people with disabilities living in remote areas, while also better equipping us to meet clients' needs.
"The program means therapists can now train Northcott's Dubbo staff from wherever are they are, instead of travelling, and that frees up more money to spend on frontline services."
The rollout of the National Broadband Network and even more improvements in technology will mean initiatives like Teletherapy will further transform the way disability services are delivered into the future, Ms Leddy said.
To find out more information about Northcott's new Teletherapy initiative phone 6882 1099.