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Disability Services China winds up Raymond Terrace centre-based care after move to NDIS

GOING IT ALONE: Amy and her mum, Linda Bobeth, at their Raymond Terrace home. A sanctuary, dressed in pink, Amy’s favourite colour. A love that’s born the nickname “Pinky”. Picture: Sam NorrisLINDA Bobeth is at a loss for what to do for her daughter, Amy, after her disability service provider withdrew its centre care services from Raymond Terrace last week.
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Disability Services said it was simply no longer viable to provide the service.

Management gave Ms Bobeth and about a dozen other clientsless than three weeks notice itwouldinstead bus themto Salamander Bay.

“Change rattles Amy, as someone with autistic-like tendencies,” Ms Bobeth said.

“It’s just not fair to uproot her and the others with such little notice.”

Amy, who turns 32 this week, has the autosomal recessive disorder Cohen’s Syndrome, that causes intellectual, physical and visual impairment.

Amy, or “Pinky” to her loved ones, is known for her sweet nature.

While she hasn’t offered a word of complaint about the change to services, she’s not likely to either.

“She doesn’t express emotions or pain verbally,” Ms Bobeth said.

“Amy had a mosquito on her leg in the car the other day.

“I said, ‘smack it, or it will make you sick’.

“She gently picked it up and put it out the window.

“Her greatest disadvantage is that she can be too nice.”

Disability Services has offered to collect its Raymond Terrace clients at their door or at a central collection point depending on their preference.

Ms Bobeth said a 35 minutes bus trip each way was too disruptive for Amy and unworkable given her work arrangements –having only changed work sites in March to get Amy to and from care in Raymond Terrace.

“I’m now in the process of getting an early review of her NDIS plan,” Ms Bobeth said.

The hope is to place her into one-on-one care.

Disability Services CEO Mark Spurr said his staff had worked to minimise the disruption to clients.

“Our centre-based care at Raymond Terrace was due to go into a two-week Christmas break on [December 23] so it’s really five weeks notice,” he said.

“Our reason for this decision is that it’s simply not viable to run it in Raymond Terrace any more.”

Mr Spurr was at pains to point out that DSA would continue to provide other services in the area including one-on-one care.

“Unfortunately NDIS does not support bricks and mortar based care,” he said.

“We’ve been in discussions with NDIA to review their policy.

“There will continue to be services and support for people in the Raymond Terrace area. Most of our customers are satisfied with the arrangements we’ve made.”