Enhanced Lifestyles is a member-governed and customer-led NDIS services provider. Find out how this sets us apart from others.
Did you know that Enhanced Lifestyles is a customer-led disability services provider? Just as unique is the story about how we were formed – not only before the NDIS, but also before the United Nations Rights of the Disabled Person Convention and before the Australian Disability Discrimination Act.
In short, we’ve been providing services for South Australians living with disability for a very long time!
To help you understand why this makes us different, we need to tell you about our history and our operating model.
But first: what does customer-led mean? Well, it means that our customers can become members, which allows them to have a say in our association’s big and important decisions. Better yet, our members may be eligible to join our Board (more on that later). When you consider that we are an NDIS services provider, our unique operating model makes all the difference.
This customer-led model isn’t new for Enhanced Lifestyles: we have always been run this way. In fact, our founders were a group of people with disability who aspired to create the kinds of services that they would want to receive. Rather than accepting the services available at the time, they set out to revolutionise the disability services sector. Remember, we were founded before the Australian Disability Discrimination Act and United Nations Rights of the Disabled Person Convention were enacted, showing that our founding members were forward-thinking change-makers.
Our founders believed that, by developing services around empowerment, they could really enhance the lifestyles of people living with a disability in Adelaide. You may have already guessed that this overarching vision helped to name our association!
For many years, our founders advocated for Australians with disabilities, championing their rights to receive services that were empowering, capacity-building, and informed by the unique needs of the individual. They wanted Enhanced Lifestyles to provide services where the customer has maximum choice and control, particularly around how and when services are provided. They also wanted customers to receive support from staff who perform tasks with the customer, rather than for the customer. This is an important distinction to make.
Perhaps most importantly, our founders wanted to ensure that the Enhanced Lifestyles team would always act in the best interests of our customers – and so our membership system has been embedded in our governance structure.
Enhanced Lifestyles members have voting rights for important decisions, ensuring that customers’ voices are constantly at the fore.
We still operate this way – all of our customers have the opportunity to become a member and have their say. You can read about the process and benefits of becoming a member here.
As mentioned above, members can also apply to fill vacancies in our Board. Our Board is comprised of customers who have become members, as well as members of the community who have expertise in different areas. Having customers on our Board helps to guide and refine our strategy, improve our services, and steer the association in the right direction. Because of our Board’s valuable input, the Enhanced Lifestyles team truly understand the needs of our customers, and our service provision reflects this.
These humble beginnings inspire and motivate us every day, and it shows in the supports we provide. Our founding members established an association with a unique model and a set of values born out of a desire to empower people with a disability. Our roots are still incredibly important to us – and that will always be central to Enhanced Lifestyles’ identity as an association.