Veritable is in the process of developing some tools and resources to provide to those supporting communication with participants in remote communities.
We find that sometimes it is difficult to explain (across language and cultural barriers with limited interpreting and other supports) that respite trips are for short periods only. Taking into account the generational impact of colonisation, and Stolen Generations practices in particular, justifiably there can be a lot of fear and concern for people with disabilities in remote communities when leaving country with service providers. They may be afraid that they are being permanently relocated to a regional centre. Community members know of family members who ‘left and never came back’. It is a cause of great heartache and sorrow in communities. These injustices can and do happen, even today.
One small thing we can do when organising respite trips is to aid in the communication. We have designed this respite tool to help communicate the method of transport, how long the person is travelling for, and how they are coming back. If required, the person can mark off days in the regional centre and get daily reassurance of the plans for their return. These kinds of tools, if used responsibly and with integrity, builds trust and understanding. Visual support can ease underlying stress and anxiety associated with respite trips away from home and country.
Below is the full PDF of the tool including instructions.
Go well, in kindness.