Developing participant-led training videos

Developing participant-led training videos
Organisation: Summer Foundation Ltd
Contact: Julie Robertson

This project prototyped supporting people with disability to create their own training video for their disability support workers. 


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The Context

The Summer Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation working for long-term sustainable changes that stop young people from being forced to live in nursing homes because there is nowhere else for them. Over the past 10 years, the Summer Foundation has supported hundreds of younger people with disability to document their stories as written or digital profiles. This project builds on this experience in order to explore ways in which producing training videos could help people with disability direct support to achieve their goals and increase their independence.

The Problem

As the NDIS implementation gathers momentum, many new disability support workers are needed and some are entering the workforce with limited disability experience or education. This is especially problematic for people with disability and high and complex care needs - many do not have the cognitive or communication capacity ‘in the moment’ to exercise choice and direct services to support them in the way that they want.  

The Solution

This project trialled an approach for NDIS participants with challenges to their cognitive function or communication to lead the production of training videos that inform disability support workers about how they want to be supported. The project worked with people with disability, family members, support workers and allied health professionals to co-design, pilot, evaluate and document the process. Five sample training videos were produced as part of this process. The focus was on using readily available and easy-to-use technology, to maximise the opportunity for others to implement the approach. The project started with a review of the literature on resources for a person with disability to set goals, exercise choice and control and direct support workers. Two co-design workshops were then run with NDIS participants, their families and disability support workers to understand their perspectives on desirable qualities or expectations of their support workers e.g, skills, expertise and access to resources that would enable the person to live a good life. This information set the scene for the participant-led training video production process.

The training video production process had a number of steps:

  • Firstly, a facilitator works with the NDIS participant to understand what he/she considers to be a ‘good life’ and documents one or two measurable goals
  • A facilitator then works with the NDIS participant to identify the steps, strategies, support and resources they need to achieve their goals. Depending on the goals identified, the person and facilitator may also decide to include an allied health professional to consult about specific details of the video
  • Digital recordings are then made and edited to reflect the individualised messages required. They may cover procedures or activities, or reflect aspects of relationship building – depending on the goals of the participant. 

From these experiences, the project developed a toolkit for people with disability and families, including a step-by-step guide for developing goals and scripts. Three of the participants agreed to be filmed during the process so that a ‘how to’ video could be produced as part of the project resources. The project also produced a manual for organisations and professionals such as support coordinators or allied health practitioners who will facilitate the creation of future videos on how to support NDIS participants to train staff using this video methodology.

Once the process was developed, the key question was: how can it be made available more widely? The project prepared an actuarial estimate of the potential impact of these videos on life-time costs of NDIS participants and the liability of the scheme, to support inclusion in NDIS packages.

Expected Impact

This project set out to achieve the following:

  • Increase the capacity of NDIS participants to exercise choice and control and direct their lives and support services
  • Provide NDIS participants with more individualised, flexible support that is responsive to their changing abilities, needs and priorities over time
  • Provide a cost effective and scalable way to increase the quality and effectiveness of disability supports provided to NDIS participants
  • Enable NDIS participants to make measurable progress towards their goals and reduce the long-term liability of the NDIS.

A report to outline a range of potential strategies and make recommendations to replicate and scale this work nationally regarding:

  • Potential partner organisations including consumer led organisations and organisations with expertise in supporting marginalised people to produce videos
  • The reasonable cost and appropriate items for funding videos in the NDIS Price Guide
  • The reasonable cost and timeframes for funding the review and updating of videos in the NDIS price guide to reflect the changing abilities, needs and priorities of NDIS participants
  • A cost effective and sustainable strategy to training and maintaining a network of effective facilitators across Australia

Stage and Spread

Filming has been completed and research around the actuarial component has been conducted, with briefing and interaction with three service organisations.

Lessons and Insights

The process has been very powerful for the participants and indications are that this will build their own capacities (as well as those of the support workers for whom the videos are produced).

Roadblocks and Risks

It is really important to ensure the technology is very simple to use. Help is being provided by Apple to explore this, and long-term assistance may be available.