AIIM Choices is regarded as a leader in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) community, specialising in supporting multicultural groups with NDIS Plan Management. Although based in Wodonga, AIIM Choices supports participants across Australia and in most capital cities.
Sandy Powell, Corporate Development Manager, explains that the AIIM Choices point of difference extends beyond paying invoices on behalf of its clients.
"We are genuinely participant-centric in everything we do. For example, we were supporting a little boy with MS and a part of the program involves horse riding. Horses and animals are a great combination for him, but to go to horse riding he needs a special saddle," Sandy said.
"Does the NDIS fund saddles? No, it doesn't. However, would they fund a saddle for a special little nine-year-old where he needed a special saddle with a special configuration to hold him? Absolutely, you can if it is linked to achieving his NDIS goals. This example illustrates our methodology of wanting to work with people to make sure they feel supported and not disadvantaged."
AIIM Choices also supports Australia's multilingual communities by offering language support to help participants get the most from their plan management. AIIM's staff can speak a range of languages, including Chinese(Mandarin and Cantonese), Turkish, Vietnamese, Sinhalese, Hindi, Punjabi, Polish and Filipino.
"We started this process some time ago because when a person rings in, we want to connect them to, somebody to talk to in their own language. We are very keen to support marginalised groups and give them access to the NDIS."
Yet for some people new to Australia, having the confidence to talk about their disability or seek access to government services is unnerving due to their experiences from their country of origin.
"Thankfully, we're in Australia. Filling in government paperwork is not always an easy process in other countries, consequently, people from some cultures are extremely cautious when seeking government support."
To this end, AIIM Choices has launched its Ambassador's Program, intended to coax those new to Australia, who feel marginalised, to interact with the NDIS.
"To work with these marginalised people, we try to find the key influencers. In these communities some individuals are the 'glue' that brings them together. Our Ambassador Program is about an enabling process because there is a significant barrier for many of these cultures to talk about disability and to find the help they feel comfortable with.
"Our participant-centric approach underpins the way we engage with these multicultural communities."