Social and community participation in the NDIS is all about meeting people with similar interests and joining in social and community activities. It’s about expanding the quality and enjoyment of life for people living with disabilities, allowing individuals to go where others go, do what others do, with other people and choose to do activities they actually enjoy. 

It can mean different things to different people – like going to your local cafe, joining a sports team, bushwalking, doing a craft class, volunteering, and more. But no matter what it means to the individual, it’s crucial in giving everyone the chance to live a whole, fulfilling life. 

Why is social and community participation important in the NDIS?

While it’s pretty obvious that social and community participation in the NDIS is important in giving individuals the opportunity to live their best lives, there are a few more reasons for why this is considered in NDIS supports:

  • Help individuals feel included and connected to others
  • Give individuals an opportunity to build relationships and maintain friendships
  • Grow social networks and make individuals feel more included
  • Increase confidence and build their ability to participate with peers
  • Help individuals develop skills to be more independent and safe within the community
  • Build skills and relationships that aid in getting a job 
  • Help individuals find activities they enjoy doing, discovering their passions

According to Juan Pablo Zapata, clinical psychology resident in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at UW School of Medicine, studies suggest that “people who engage in a variety of new experiences are more likely to retain positive emotions and minimise negative ones.”

Assistance with social and community participation is so beneficial to quality of life

He explains that there’s a region in our brain called the “novelty centre” which responds to new stimuli, linked to areas of the brain that play large roles in learning and memory. It’s been found that doing or seeing something new can activate this system and can trigger dopamine pathways, which makes us feel good.

This is why it can be so beneficial for NDIS participants to try different activities. While it may feel different and foreign to try something new, with the right support and help, individuals may actually find passions you didn’t even know you had. 

And, more importantly, activities you enjoy alongside people who make you feel valued will give you the most benefits possible. 

How can individuals under the NDIS work toward their participation goals?

Under the NDIS, there are guides available to show supports that may be available to help you do the things you’d like. These supports may already be available through your NDIS plan or mainstream and community supports – which are usually available to everyone. 

These guides can also show you where you can find more information, covering how to get ready for participation, connecting with social and community activities, and how to stay connected with these activities. 

How individuals under the NDIS can work toward their participation goals

If you’re confused about the process, the best way to use these guides is:

  1. Read the information to learn about the supports available
  2. Think about where you are in working toward your “goals” of participation. You may be at the start and getting ready to participate, or going through a recent change in your life that requires help to stay connected. Some guides will be better suited to you than others. 
  3. Refer to the guides during meetings or appointments with your planner or provider
  4. Talk with your providers about your supports, to help you understand your own progress and outcomes. It can also be helpful to compare what different providers can offer. 

These guides are based on a scientific review of research, coming from a review and research progress done in 2021 by the NDIA Research and Evaluations Branch. 

Easy Community Services: assistance with social and community participation in NDIS

Easy Community Services is a Brisbane-based company that provides care support services, respite care, and short-term accommodation for NDIS participants. We’re committed to providing high-quality, personalised care that meets the individual needs of our clients. 

We’re all about making a real difference in the lives of NDIS participants and it all started from a desire to assist NDIS participants with social and community participation. 

We discovered just how much of a difference it made to our clients to be able to go away on a weekend trip, visit the theatre, or take a holiday to the zoo – all these seemingly unnecessary things that completely changed the lives of our clients. 

Like this trip to Tasmania that helped our client see some pretty neat sites!

Easy Community Services social and community participation

It’s why we dedicated more of our time and effort toward building a team of experienced and compassionate staff to provide our clients with the support they need to live their best lives. With services including personal care, transportation, meal preparation, housekeeping, short-term accommodation and more popping up as we developed a greater understanding of what these clients needed – and how we could go to the next level of support. 

Unlike other support services, we don’t wrap you in cotton wool, we ensure that each of our clients feel safe, are empowered to achieve their goals, and build initiative in a way that expands their world and increases their capabilities.

And it makes an incredible difference to the community we work with … 

“I used to be so isolated .. I couldn’t get out and about on my own, and I felt like I was a burden to my family. But Easy Community Services has given me my independence back. They provided me with the support I need to live my life to the fullest.” – Louise

If you’re interested in gaining assistance with social and community participation under the NDIS, learn more about our services today

We’re happy to help you discover all the ways in which you can enhance the quality of your life – or the life of someone close to you. And we can promise that no matter what we help with, everything will be tailored to your specific needs. 

Because everyone deserves to live their very best life.