Category: Functionality

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Communiteer

Recently our CEO Gary Allen, attended an excellent launch and information talk about Communiteer. It is an incredibly impressive platform facilitating the engagement with volunteers, building a constructive volunteer community and contributing to the goals of social enterprises. It is a free platform for Australian not-for-profit enterprises.

Our platform has commenced the process of setting up in Communiteer, as we see it as a valuable tool to fuel our journey into a constructive future.  We are excited to incorporate their great functionality into our operations.

Kudos to the Communiteer team for setting up this great service for free for NFP bodies like us.

A cartoon of a female carer rolling a woman in a wheelchair how long a windowed corridor in a city airport.

Reviewing the free and discounted stuff we are eligible for

The listing of the platform with Connecting Up means that we are eligible for a number of software, services and hardware.  We are currently reviewing the exciting list to determine what items would be helpful for the establishment and the immediate operation of the national not-for-profit service r the Australian disabled community.

Registration with Connecting Up was part of the process for the Google sponsorship.  We are incredibly grateful for this opportunity and the global technology industry should be congratulated for their support for the not-for-profit sector.  It wasn’t an easy or straightforward process there was great online support and this scheme was incredibly encouraging and supportive.

Our sincere thanks to the platform’s volunteer, John Blandford for the idea and helping us for the process.

Brain from wooden puzzles. Mental Health and problems with memory.

Reflecting on setting up and operating your endeavour and using your NIDS plan

Not every member of the platform will have an NDIS plan, but for those that do, we thought it would be useful to share a few tips.

The NDIS can’t be used for any setup or operating expenses that the general public might face.  So you cannot put power, phone or internet bills on your NDIS plan; you cannot put the expense of an employee on your plan; and you cannot put something like a purchase of a device (such as an iPad on your plan).
There may be some flexibility if you mention your endeavour or maintaining work on your plan (something to think about when your plan is next reviewed) but you can claim matters relating to your disability (e.g. it’s fine to have something like a social support worker billed to your plan who is also helping you do some work – such as typing, which is what Gary is doing right now; it’s also fine if you will be using an iPad to help you communicate).
You need to get into the habit of describing what you want to do, or what you’ve done in terms of support to help you engage and produce, despite your disability.  It is a semantic dance, but words matter.
Think about whether there are core supports that would free up your time and make it easier to focus on your money-generating endeavours – such as assistance with cooking, laundry, cleaning, yard tasks and maintenance.
If a lot of what you’re doing is on the computer or online, try to engage with a support worker who has good computing skills.
A service coordinator and plan manager can help you operate and plan within the constraints of the scheme.
Choosing to have a self-managed plan might seem a way to avoid these limitations but it is flirting with disaster and might end with a lot stricter limitations on your plan.

If you have a mentor from the platform, they can also be a useful source of ideas and tips.

Amputee with legs crossed, detail

Measures of success: Anticipated benefits of membership

The primary objective of the platform is that after six months of membership an individual will have made substantial progress toward establishing their money-generating endeavour. The goal being to assist them towards their financial independence. But this is not the only benefit we anticipate.

We expect to see at least 20% improvement in the confidence of members in their business skills/knowledge, social engagement, dignity and mental health.  While we know we are biased, this is why we are so enthusiastic about the platform. It will be a disruptive game changer to the current approach to disability employment and have tangible benefits for individuals, their families, their communities and even the Australian economy.

Do you know someone who might be interested in membership?  Encourage them to complete the form below.  They can reach us at [email protected] or on 0436 480 769 if they have any questions.  Our free Bronze membership gives access to many features of the platform.

A man in a wheelchair entering data into a spreadsheet on a computer.

The gig economy – Medium (Passiveblog | March 2022)

One of the things the platform will do is to support members to establish and operate a gig-based micro-businesses.  Gig work is something you can do with only minimal upfront outlay and with relatively few risks.  You can fit your work around your disability, needs and aspirations.  Contact us at [email protected] or on 0436 480 769 to discuss.

Cerebral palsy colorful word on the wooden background with stethoscope

Terrific support from some software services

We are delighted to report that three software services are showing their support by giving us special pricing and access to other supports, because of our not-for-profit status and our social objectives.

These services are:

(i) Box
(ii) Mailchimp
(iii) Digital Lift (Monday.com)

These are services that provide excellent applications and online services that we regularly use.  We definitely recommend that members of the platform’s community check out the services and consider them for your own needs.

A Black visually impaired man reading at homed beside a lush plant.

Addressing a hidden cost

A custom build for a WordPress website often involves the use of paid plug-ins for the site to operate properly.  This is a reasonable expense and designers aren’t doing anything wrong by using them and then expecting clients to pay the extra cost.  But when you have agreed the cost to build your site, you might not have factored in the additional expenditure.

When negotiating the cost to build your website, you should ask the developer how much the plug-in renewals will cost you. Remember to allow for currency exchange rates.

The platform’s website and online services use several such plug-ins and we have a few bills coming up to renew the licenses on those plug-ins.  We are factoring in those expenses into our current grant applications.  When members of the platform commission their own websites they should also factor in that additional cost.

We will also be including the cost of plug-in renewals into our operational budget.  Such expenses are the cost of doing online business in the Twenty-First Century.

A Blackman who is visually impaired walking with a cane in a busy city street.

We are thrilled to share James’ amazing photography is on sale

James Nyland is a talented member of the platform’s community.  He is one of our pilot testers.  He is also a very talented photographer.  Some of his work is now listed on Shutterstock, a stock image library that pays contributors when they sell the work of the photographer.

We are sure you will all agree, James is an incredibly talented photographer.  We are working with him to help monetise his hobby and to build a gig-based micro business.

Do you know an Australian with a disability who wants to monetise a hobby/craft, who aspires to set up a gig-based micro business, or someone who wants to start a small business? Encourage them to complete the short form below, or to contact us at [email protected] or phone us on 0436 480 769.  Our free (Bronze) membership is a very useful way to explore our services without paying any money.  Bronze membership is free for Australians with a disability, their carers or others who have a connection to disability in Australia.