Celebrating unique abilities

16 October 2011

EIGHT AusAID funded Australian Leadership Award (ALA) fellows visited the Westhaven Association Site this week to learn more about its approach to community-based rehabilitation for people with disabilities living in rural and remote areas.

The fellows, drawn from innovative disability-focused organisations in Vietnam, Laos, England and the Phillippines, are being hosted by the University of Sydney's Faculty of Health Sciences for an intensive eight-week program.

The program will work with leading researchers or frameworks for effective policy-relevant data collection, and the monitoring and evaluation of community-based rehabilitation.

The University of Sydney's Rosamond Madden said the ALA award was a good initiative by the university.

"To have all the different organisations come together is fantastic because we can all devise ways of monitoring and analysing these services for the disability-focused organisations involved," Mrs Madden said.

Laotian Bounlanh Phayboun of the organisation Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise (COPE) said she hopes to incorporate the different services to those with mobility and disability issues.

"Our work with the University of Sydney is very beneficial to Laos because it will enable us to find undiscovered devices to help deal with various health issues not just in Laos, but elsewhere in the world," Ms Phayboun said.

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