Beyond therapy: the multiple benefits of using a service-learning model to enhance paediatric therapy in a remote area school. An evaluation of physiotherapy student placements at a school for children with additional needs in Central Australia, 2019
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In 2019, physiotherapy students in their final year of university study provided two four-week blocks of intense physiotherapy services at Acacia Hill School (AHS) in Alice Springs. This school is the only education facility which caters specifically for children with additional needs in Central Australia. Of the 93 pupils at the school, 67% identify as Indigenous and 30% are in out of home care. These children are some of the nation’s most vulnerable. This service-learning placement emerged in response to a dearth of physiotherapy services for pupils and their families at AHS. A lack of government-funded resourcing combined with a problematic transition for many families onto the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) had resulted in some school-aged children with significant neuro-disability not having had access to critical physiotherapy for up to five years.
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