What is a microboard?

A microboard is an incorporated association around a person with a disability that works alongside a person with a disability and their family to achieve the person’s life goals. These goals might be finding work, moving into a home of their own, enrolling in inclusive educational settings and so on.  They might also be involved in recruiting and managing support staff with NDIS funding.

The work of a microboard is person centred and all decisions and actions are made around the person at the centre’s likes, dislikes, hopes and dreams.  They are always included as much as possible in decision making.

Microboards originated in Canada.  See Velacanada and were first established in Australia in Perth by Microboards Australia. In Canberra Australia some families are also working at establishing microboards – see Microboards Canberra.

The advantage of incorporating is that the more formal nature makes the group more likely to be sustainable.

Incorporation also allows more successful fundraising or sponsorship of activities.  Organisations are more likely to engage with incorporated associations than informal groups.  This is because incorporated associations are guided by laws around the management of money.

Research shows that working together as a group helps the person at the centre to achieve more goals than when it is left up to the family (Roulstone & Hwang 2015, Lemon & Lemon 2003).

References

Alan Roulstone & Se Kwang Hwang (2015) Disabled people, choices and collective organisation: examining the potential of cooperatives in future social support, Disability & Society, 30, 6, 849

Carolyn Lemon & James Lemon (2003) Community-based cooperative ventures for adults with intellectual disabilities The Canadian Geographer Volume 47 Issue 4 pages 414–428

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