How we work

Motivation Australia enables people to stay healthy and access rehabilitation and assistive technology from local services through trained personnel.

Strengthening health services

Our work is vital in places with fewer resources. Many countries in Asia and the Pacific are already experiencing a rising tide of diabetes and other NCDs. Complications that are easily preventable with the right device or service, risk peoples’ lives every day. As the young populations of these countries age, it will dramatically increase the pressure on health systems.

At some time, most people will require rehabilitation and assistive technology (AT) to stay active and enjoy life, particularly people with disabilities and health conditions. Many people rely every day on devices like glasses, hearing aids, wheelchairs and walking aids, as well as services that require more resources such as prosthetic limbs. Without them, people often remain isolated in their homes, excluded from participating in the activities they’d love to do. If it’s vital to you, and you don’t have it, it can have a huge impact on your life. For some people, AT can literally save their lives.

Health services are often far away, lack necessary supplies, and trained staff to provide the health care that people need. Many people who need AT, do not have access to them. Most affected are vulnerable groups such as women and children, the elderly, and those with disabilities, non-communicable diseases and other health conditions – often the people who could most benefit from access to services. Many children with disabilities cannot go to school because they lack the supports they need. Poverty also compounds the issues, as it is both a cause and a consequence of disability.

A group of people gather in a circle to discuss things written on paper in front of them.

Commitment to human rights

Women and girls are key to development. Empowering more women and girls to participate and have a voice, helps make the outcomes of our work more sustainable. Unfortunately, they often experience reduced access to health care and education, limited opportunities for participation in their community, and increased likelihood of living in a cycle of poverty. Read our statement on gender equity and social inclusion or contact our gender focal point by email.

I love teaching because it is my calling. When I have my artificial limb I can do everything, because I can walk

– Melelega, a school teacher in Samoa

Without deliberate inclusion in mainstream development programmes, specialist services and physical access to new facilities, the needs of people with disabilities are often overlooked. This is why all development initiatives, across the full spectrum of the Global Goals For Sustainable Development, must include people with disabilities. Read more about how the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is particularly important to our work.

A teacher holds up a set of pictures for a group of attentive children.

Sustainable development approach

Decades of experience has taught us that there’s no point in just giving out things and hoping that it’s going to make a long term difference. That’s why we work with a sustainable development approach, to create positive and lasting change through our programmes. Our work is focused on building the capacity of local organisations to deliver frontline services. This means training local personnel and equipping organisations to provide the services and AT that people need.

We do this by working in partnership to strengthen local organisations in five key areas: human resources, technical resources, service systems, organisational culture and management. Our work focuses on three themes that build on each other: health and rehabilitation, assistive technology (AT) and inclusion.

A triangle in three segments which are labelled: health and rehabilitation, assistive technology, and inclusion.

Improving survival, health and rehabilitation outcomes

Addressing the life threatening, secondary complications of disabilities and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is an ongoing challenge. Many countries in Asia and the Pacific are already experiencing a rising tide of diabetes and other NCDs. Preventable complications such as pressure sores, kidney damage and infected diabetic foot wounds are a major health threat, particularly where there are limited health and rehabilitation opportunities.

Equipping our partners with the expertise and resources to help their clients to survive and stay healthy, is the most fundamental way that Motivation Australia can improve their quality of life. Avoiding an amputation by healing a diabetic foot wound, assisting someone to prevent pressure sores or finding a solution for a sustainable supply of urinary management products are life changing, and for some people, life saving interventions.

Two women wearing uniforms treat a wound on a person's foot.

Increasing access to appropriate assistive technology

Access to appropriate AT is key to removing barriers to participation and realising peoples’ rights. AT helps to reduce the impact of impairment and increase the ability of people with disabilities to do their daily activities, and participate in family and community.

AT enables persons with disabilities to become productive members of society, thereby enhancing their quality of life, enabling them to enjoy their human rights and live in dignity.

Effective provision of AT requires: services that people can reach, appropriate devices, training for local people, policy and guidelines that support and guide practice, as well as maximum involvement of the AT user at every stage of service delivery.

Creating and supporting opportunities for inclusion

Everyone has the right to be included and participate in their family and community life as much as they would like to. However many people still do not have access to appropriate health care, rehabilitation and the AT they need. Without these services, the elderly, people with disabilities, non-communicable diseases and other health conditions often remain isolated in their homes, excluded from participating in the activities they’d love to do.

Whatever the reason you need AT, they are tools which enable your inclusion. Whether earning a living, pursuing education, playing sport, travelling or having a social life, not having access to the AT you need, will significantly impact your quality of life. Rehabilitation and assistive technology (AT) are stepping stones on the journey towards full and equal inclusion.

If you like what we do, become a part of it yourself!

You can contribute in so many ways, to the level that you feel comfortable. Every bit helps people with disabilities in the Pacific achieve equal participation in their community.