Assisting Amari to connect

Amari*, an African refugee who has lived in South Australia for seven years and is a citizen now, has significant disabilities due to a stroke suffered before seeking asylum. He speaks little English and very few interpreters speak his dialect. He has been living in a high-density public housing complex in a very rough area where he is constantly victimised by neighbours and very vulnerable. Before Baptcare, he had never accessed state-based supports.

A trusted associate contacted Baptcare to see if Amari was eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The associate had been the man's only carer and was feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Baptcare has now allocated Amari with a Local Area Coordinator (LAC) with relevant asylum seeker support experience to meet with him and his carer.

Through the LAC services offered by Baptcare, Amari has access to easy English NDIS materials and communication boards to build trust and determine the mainstream and government supports that can and need to be activated. They will also support Amari to apply for NDIS access.

Rachel, a Baptcare Local Area Coordinator, says Amari is now thriving with the supports offered to him.

"Amari has been visiting and engaging with his local neighbourhood community centre weekly. He has also connected to the church attached to the centre. He's getting more familiar with the people there and at the moment he is happy to visit in the quieter times, borrow books and talk with the coordinator about his day.

"The Community Centre Coordinator has recently linked him to a local adult education institution where he is excited at the prospect of utilising his trade to share his substantial knowledge with their students," said Rachel.

Since March, Baptcare have played a key role in implementing the National Disability Insurance Scheme and expanded into South Australia. So far Baptcare have supported 350 National Disability Insurance Scheme clients, like Amari access newly allocated local area coordination services in the regions of Yorke Mid North, Western Adelaide and Eastern Adelaide.

*name changed to protect privacy.