Adapting to change – A message from our CEO

CEO Elizabeth Barnes stands in an empty corridor holding the rail facing forward to camera.VisAbility has undergone a huge transformation in recent weeks as we navigate a new approach to the way we operate.

I wanted to express my personal thanks to every one of you for embracing online therapy, online/telephone community services, and home-puppy-training during the COVID-19 outbreak. You have adapted so well to the change in service provision as we’ve made the transition.

Your support counts

The feedback we have received has been very positive. It means a lot to us to we know what we’re doing is valued and appreciated against a backdrop of change.

Many people have told us that talking to our staff online doesn’t feel that much different to talking to them in person. In fact, if anything, you’ve felt more empowered because your therapist is giving more detailed information online, and family members are more closely involved.

The Community Activity Centre team say that 90% of current clients have been involved with online activities – a fabulous uptake. Who knew so many people would enjoy virtual interaction especially with our group sessions?

As always, we are continuously learning, so do come back with any information which you feel will be helpful so we can hone and improve this new mode of service provision.

Planning ahead and moving forward

Even though the Perron Centre and our service centres are closed and we are all working from home, it hasn’t stopped us thinking about our future. We are adapting to our new normal and are forging ahead with strategic planning.

We have some exciting developments ahead of us, including proposals to build a world-class self-sustaining Guide Dog breeding program here in WA This will ultimately lead to more top-quality, highly-trained dogs available to clients and will cut down wait times.  

At our Special General Meeting we invited some 177 members to the online event by video conference. Not all could attend, and it was certainly one of the more unusual general meetings we’ve ever held, but everything went very smoothly.

We said goodbye to our current Chair Debbie Schaffer who has been with us since 2006. Debbie has played such a significant role in making this organisation what it is, and we thank her for her enormous contribution. We welcome our new Chair Aaron Constantine and a new Vice Chair, an existing client, John Nolan.

I hope that you are all well and adapting to this new world we’re living in.  You are our priority as always, so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need extra support during this time.  We are here for you.