How is a CoP defined?

A CoP has been defined as “a group of people who share a concern, a set of problems or a passion about a topic and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area by interacting on an ongoing basis” (from Wenger, McDermott and Snyder (2002) Cultivating Communities of Practice: A guide to managing knowledge. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School)

Who can join this CoP?

This forum is open to disability providers, Local Area Coordination agencies and organisations working with CALD communities.

What are the benefits of joining this CoP?

There are numerous benefits of joining this CoP. You will have the opportunity to form links with other like-minded practitioners who have an interest in addressing barriers to service access and making services more inclusive for CALD communities. You will also: improve your understanding of the needs and issues affecting CALD clients and communities; find new ways of reaching and making connections with CALD groups; learn how organisations can facilitate more effective pathways to accessing the NDIS and disability services for CALD individuals; gain knowledge and strategies to address current service deficiencies; and find opportunities to collaborate and form partnerships. Better connections between services and improved understanding of community needs will ultimately lead to improved outcomes for CALD clients.

How do I start a new thread?

At the top of each section is a ‘new thread’ button. Clicking onto this will open a dialogue box for you to start a new thread. You need to be registered as a member and logged in to see this button and post. You can start threads in any of the three categories.

How do I reply to an existing thread?

At the top of each thread is a ‘post a reply’ button. This will appear on the thread in the order in which it was received (not the time it was approved).

There are also reply buttons underneath each individual post in the thread. If you reply using this option, your reply will appear with a note at the top saying your post is ‘in reply to’ that member.

Why are there three categories?

Three categories have been created to ensure that discussion topics can be grouped under the following three broad themes:

  • Service access – refers to enablers or barriers that either prevent or facilitate CALD communities’ awareness and understanding of services as well as their capacity to locate and utilise disability services.
  • Service delivery – focuses on how services are provided to CALD clients. For example, do they effectively meet the expectations and needs of CALD clients?
  • Partnerships – covers how services and stakeholders can work together to develop strategies to improve service access and responsiveness.

How is the forum moderated?

The forum is moderated by administrators on a weekly basis. Their role is to assess and approve registrations, ensure discussions remain topic focused, respond to any questions or issues that remain unresolved and monitor the forum for any inappropriate or offensive comments. They can also provide input into discussions when required, highlight key themes, issues and good practice approaches as well as provide members with links to external information and resources.

Will information relating to clients be confidential?

Any identifying information pertaining to real cases will not be discussed in the forum due to privacy considerations. However, members are free to discuss issues relating to service access and responsiveness in case work as long as identifying information about specific clients is not provided and cases are discussed in general terms.

Who can access information that I post?

This forum is a private group and information posted will only be accessible to the group and its administrators. However, key issues and themes arising from discussions that contribute to improved service access and responsiveness will be shared across the disability sector. Since one of the key objectives of this CoP is to improve engagement with CALD communities, it is important to use learnings from this forum to improve practice in this area. Unless permission is formally obtained, information that is made public will not include specific comments that can be attributed to any single individual or organisation.
Please note, due to the nature of online forums we recommend that you don’t post any information that you would not be comfortable sharing in a public arena. This includes your private phone number or contact details.

How will this CoP assist me as a practitioner to improve my work with CALD clients?

This CoP is designed to provide practitioners with the opportunity to discuss both successes and challenges in how they engage with CALD communities. You will be able to make links with other services that are working with CALD communities and ask questions relating to any difficulties or challenges you may be experiencing. In turn, practitioners will share their insights and experience and you will benefit from their collective knowledge, expertise and community connections (and vice versa). This could lead to a number of steps to improve your practice such as establishing referral protocols, secondary consultation options, tailored communication strategies to reach vulnerable CALD groups or undertaking further training.

Why should I join this CoP?

Although people from CALD backgrounds have a similar level of disability as Australian-born people, CALD communities have a greater proportion of profound and severe disability and a higher level of need for assistance in undertaking core activities. Despite this, CALD communities’ representation in disability services is disproportionately low. People with the least access to formal disability services are those born in non-English speaking countries (NESP) and mainly speak a language other than English (LOTE) at home.

To address this significant discrepancy, a range of access and equity strategies are needed to ensure real choice and control for people with disability from CALD backgrounds. The Engaging with CALD Clients and Communities CoP contributes to this discourse by facilitating connections between mainstream disability services and organisations working with CALD communities, raising awareness of barriers to service access and building knowledge on effective engagement approaches.  

What are the benefits of joining this CoP?

Benefits to joining this CoP include: improving your understanding of the needs of CALD clients and communities affected by disability; finding new ways to reach CALD communities; gaining knowledge, ideas and strategies to improve engagement with CALD clients; opportunities to collaborate, form partnerships and increase your professional network; and improving outcomes for your CALD clients.  

Will information discussed in the forum be confidential?

Although this forum is a private group, due to the nature of online forums, we recommend that you don’t post any information that you would not be comfortable sharing in a public arena such as your private address or phone number.

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