Virtual Support: OnSide’s answer to Telehealth

The nature of disability support has evolved in the last decade, and more so lately thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Restrictions and lockdowns changed the way most Australians received care across the board and it looks like some of those changes are here to stay.


Telehealth has become a go-to service delivery mode for many people for a number of reasons, especially those with disabilities who engage in Support Coordination. We’re proud to be keeping it as part of our regular service offering here at OnSide but we’ve given it a better name: Virtual Support.


To ease your concerns and answer a few common questions, we want to take a moment to explain what OnSide’s version of telehealth looks like and why it’s beneficial to people with disabilities.  


What is ‘telehealth’ (aka Virtual Support)?


More broadly, telehealth is the name given to consultations with healthcare providers via video or phone call. To say that it’s been a popular option for people is an understatement. 

More than 91 million telehealth services were delivered to Australians from mid-March 2020 to late January 2022, with an astounding number of practitioners now using the service (upwards of 89,000 and counting).


What are the benefits of Virtual Support?


We understand there might be some hesitancy in choosing Virtual Support when working with a Support Coordinator. While the delivery isn’t face-to-face, the quality of service remains the same.

Here are some other benefits of engaging with OnSide via Virtual Support:


1. Greater access

For anyone who has mobility challenges or lives remotely, Virtual Support is a convenient alternative to in-person meetings.


2. A whole team of Support Coordinators

If a Support Coordinator isn’t in the immediate area, they can draw on the collective knowledge of the entire OnSide team to make sure participants find the right supports close to home.


3. Travel time

As Virtual Support doesn’t require participants to appear in person, funds that would normally go to travel time can be diverted to other services.


4. More control

This delivery-mode meets participants where they’re at, giving them more control over when and how they’d like to connect to build capacity.


5. More options to connect

Virtual Support also includes SMS text messages and emailing, as well as phone and video chats.


How does Virtual Support work?


To begin, you can choose your preferred method/s of communication. Support Coordinators will then reach out to schedule sessions with you. When you meet, it’s just like face-to-face: you’ll have an opportunity to check in, continue working on your NDIS plan goals and get the support you need.


We know that meeting in person is irreplaceable and that’s not what Virtual Support is trying to do. Our aim is to give you even more choice and control when it comes to getting the right support at the right time – whether that’s by phone, text, email or video chat.


Dedicated Support Coordination that’s more flexible than ever


If you have any questions about Virtual Support, please get in touch. We’re excited to continue to offer you dedicated Support Coordination that’s unbiased and places your needs above all else.