Two Melbourne-based social workers have developed a 'TripAdvisor-style' website allowing people with disabilities and their carers to rate and review support services on offer.
By
Sam Carroll

9 Mar 2017 - 10:09 AM  UPDATED 9 Mar 2017 - 10:50 AM

According to a report on disability rights released in 2014 by the Australian Human Rights Commission, Australia lags behind other developed nations, ranking last amongst OECD countries for the relative income of people with a disability.

With the full-scale introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in July 2016, people were given the opportunity to choose where money allocated to them by the government should go. This marked a significant advance in disability services within Australia.

However, part of the difficulty with the new scheme was finding out which service to choose from the thousands on offer.

Having started in Melbourne and expanded into NSW on March 1, the site now looks set to expand nationally over the coming months.

In an effort to counteract the obstacle, two Australians have created a forum enabling people to read, rate and review the disability services on offer under the NDIS with the website Clickability.

Having started in Melbourne and expanded into NSW on March 1, the site now looks set to expand nationally over the coming months.

The website offers providers the chance to register their business across a number of categories, ranging from jobs, interpreters and therapies.

The site's philosophy resembles the concept of the travel-related website 'TripAdvisor' but for disability services. So far over 1,000 services have been listed. Over 70 per cent of those listed in Victoria have already been reviewed by members of the community. 

Clickability was founded by former Sydney-siders Aviva Beecher Kelk and Jenna Moffat, two women with experience working in disability services. 

Kelk, who is currently undertaking a PhD covering social work and social policy, tells SBS the site was started because people were concerned about how to clearly find accurate provider information to base funding decisions on. 

"We were frustrated with the lack of information, accountability and transparency," Kelk says.

"The opportunity was certainly created by the NDIS and we deliberately launched it in the place where there was already some language around personalising services."

"We were frustrated with the lack of information, accountability and transparency."

Reception to the website so far has been positive, giving a group typically deprived of power the opportunity to assist in helping develop a new information economy.

“It’s been great... it has been such a chronically dis-empowered community and there has been such a disconnect between service providers thinking of people as beneficiaries verses customers," Kelk explains.

"All these charities have never had to function as businesses before – [our thinking was] how can we actually help people come to the party and start behaving in a way that looks like an industry."

Clickability is already available in Victoria and New South Wales, and plans to expand nationally while venturing out into non-disability services.

"If there is going to be a national scheme, there needs to be national information economy," the co-founder continues.

"We would love to create and influence an information economy that is not only useful but is really relevant reliable and trustworthy – to be able to have that rolled across the country – and to actually move away from just disability support services into mainstream services. Where people submit a review of an organisation we don’t have listed, we are able to put it up.

"We want to see mainstream services become more accessible and welcoming, and that’s what participation is about.

“People are already starting to review mainstream services – that’s where consumers are really starting to go."

Those interested in reading and submitting reviews can access the site here.

Over 150 people with a disability will march in Mardi Gras this year
“We see our disability and sexuality as key parts of our identities.”
Having a disability is not a tragedy
Hollywood tear-jerker Me Before You fails to show that people with disability are not defined by grief.