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Tibii’s top 3 tips for working in the disability space

A new service provider called Tibii is putting participants first by using the ‘human-rights’ model of disability care.

Tibii Operations Manager George Foumakis and his business partner Aida Ayati, launched their Adelaide-based support service Tibii three months ago.

Their focus is to provide options to people with disabilities, to have more choice and control over their lives. Their aim is to improve their participants’ quality of life.

George shared these 3 tips for working with participants

1. Active listening

“We find that active-listening is the biggest thing. We take the time to listen to our participants to see what they want and what their needs are.”

2. Regular reviews

“We touch base with our participants regularly to review how our services are going. We’re in the industry to help, and if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be here, so we have systems in place to check in often. We ask our participants if they are happy with the support services they are receiving, and if there’s anything that we can do better. It’s important to listen without being critical and without taking things personally.”

3. Specialised training

“I’m a big believer of investing in staff by providing ongoing, quality training. Our company has developed its own ‘Human-Centric’ training program, which directly reflects Tibii’s values.”

George was inspired to study and work within the field of disability support after caring for a family member who required full-time assistance. 

Prior to establishing Tibii with Aida, George had been employed in a variety of roles within the disability sector.

He said his years of experience in both his family life and work have provided him with understanding and empathy of the successes and challenges of caring for others, and the importance of options.

“The more I worked in the industry, the more restrictions I noticed that controlled participants’ lives, and I wanted to change that.”

Starting Tibii

George and Aida saw the need within the industry for a provider that operated more in line with their own values. This sparked the aspiration to create a disability services company that empowered its participants. 

Once the start-up costs had been saved and invested, and after many months of late nights getting policies and systems developed, Tibii launched with the intention to change the industry; to offer a disability support service with a difference!

“We don’t see people with disabilities; we see their abilities, and I think that works,” George said.

“I treat everyone I meet with equal respect, and I think we have real success with our ‘human-rights’ model of disability care.

“Implementing this model of disability assistance helps us to understand that we are all able in our own beautiful ways.

“Tibii’s duty is to explore our participants’ abilities while being mindful of their concerns and choices.”

This approach gives Tibii’s participants complete choice and control over every aspect of their lives – whether it’s what they want to eat, down to what type of support they want and how they want to live and experience life. 

George said that Tibii operates in a way that supports, not controls, people.

A ‘human-centred’ approach to care

When he was previously working as a service coordinator, George found that some people in support roles take over all decision making with the intention to be helpful.

“We approach things differently and avoid trying to get our participants to fit the mould,” he said.

“It’s important to listen to pinpoint what best suits them.”

He finds that offering ‘human-centred’ care gives the participant complete decision-making over their lives wherever they can, compared to a lot of care models where choice is lacking.

He has a team of 25 support workers that have a wide range of experience. Offering care to participants who have more complex needs is Tibii’s next point of focus.  

George added that he’s welcomed some wonderful and inspiring participants, as well as a team of incredibly dedicated support workers.

“I love working in this field and having the opportunity to help others is truly rewarding.”

Tibii’s services include:  

  • Assisting clients with daily life skills
  • Community Participation Support
  • Supported independent living
  • Assist with Accessing/Maintaining Employment
  • Accommodation/Tenancy Assistance
  • Assist with Travel/Transport
  • CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) Support Services
  • Assist with Life Stage/Transition

Tibii currently provides quality support services for participants in Adelaide and Mount Barker with plans to expand to Murray Bridge soon.

You can find them at www.tibii.com.au.




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