Nexus partners with Autism Tasmania

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Leading the way in the Tasmanian disability sector, Nexus has today announced a one-of-a-kind partnership with Autism Tasmania to embed best practice and to build autism capabilities for all staff.

The partnership, which will see a total investment by Nexus of more than $200,000 over two years, will allow our organisation to go above and beyond the typical industry standard of having just a general disability training.

Instead, all Nexus staff who work with clients who are on the autism spectrum, will undertake seven specialised autism-training units provided by Autism Tasmania, along with receiving ongoing support and educational resources.

“All current and future staff, across every single role in the organisation, will receive a two-hour introductory training session demonstrating that Nexus is Open to Autism,” Nexus CEO Mark Jessop said.

“We will also introduce a new Autism Tool Box training, with 100 staff to receive 20 hours of specialist training delivered by Autism Tasmania.

“We recognise that autism is highly complex and diverse. Each autistic person has unique needs and we are now investing in services tailored to meet these needs and deliver better outcomes.”

The two-year partnership, the first of its kind between a disability service provider and Autism Tasmania, will move beyond standard education with a unique company-wide, capacity-building approach.

In addition to the training, Nexus will also receive planning resources from Autism Tasmania, such as environmental checklists and sensory profiles, and guidance in reviewing our relevant work practices.  

The official launch of the partnership, held this morning, was attended by many of the Autism Tasmania and Nexus staff who work directly with clients set to benefit from this organisation-wide training.

Guest Speaker Skie Mitchell, chair of Autism Tasmania and mother of a 14 year old son on the autism spectrum, said autism-focused training would enable Nexus to achieve the most positive outcomes.

“The training and the education will be ingrained in the culture of Nexus, so the staff will live and breathe the training they receive,” she said.

“The knowledge provided by this partnership will fuel their passion.”

Tasmanian Minister for Disability Services Jo Palmer noted the importance of innovative collaborations in providing better support for the autistic community.

“We know that people on the autism spectrum make up 33 per cent of people on the NDIS in Tasmania, that is the highest percentage of a disability group,” she said.

“Partnership is the key across so many aspects of our lives, and in this space in particular, to ensure that people in Tasmania with autism and their families can have the choices that they need to live the fullest life that they can, and to feel that they are valued and important.”

Autism Tasmania CEO Donna Blanchard said the ongoing partnership would allow both parties to be able to measure the impact of the training and continuously strive towards better outcomes.  

“We have come up with a way to deeply collaborate two organisations against a common purpose, of better learning and better outcomes. “