Sydney Physiotherapy School assists people with spinal cord injury
NSW Minister for Disability Services John Ajaka recently visited Spinal Cord Injuries Australia’s Walk On program at the University of Sydney‘s Faculty of Health Sciences to tour its facilities and see first hand the support it provides to assist people with a severe physical disability due to a spinal cord injury.
Through a unique partnership arrangement which embeds community-based service delivery into teaching and research, Sydney Health Sciences works with the NSW Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA) to deliver the Walk On program in Sydney. The program provides a vital exercise rehabilitation service for the community and an avenue for transformative research in this area.
“Spinal Cord Injuries Australia provides much needed expertise and understanding in developing ways to overcome challenges for people with a severe physical disability due to a spinal cord injury. The Walk On program has grown significantly and has expanded all over Australia,” Mr Ajaka said.
Professor Michelle Lincoln, Acting Dean at Sydney Health Sciences, said “The Faculty of Health Sciences is very proud of our partnership with SCIA, which enables us to continually advance research knowledge and teaching practice while delivering valuable services to the community.”
Mr Peter Perry, CEO SCIA said that Spinal Cord Injuries Australia is committed to finding effective ways for people with spinal cord injury to be able to live lives no different from anyone else. Lives where choices are possible and self-determination a reality.
“SCIA’s programs help to relieve and reduce the burden of care upon broader society. We see it as our role to do whatever it takes to assist people to get back on track after a spinal cord injury so that they can become the masters of their own destiny, rather than recipients of care.
“The Walk On program assists over ninety clients per week, and has improved the lives of over 260 people nationally. The smallest improvements in the function of a paralyzed person makes enormous differences to their independence and quality of life. The minister’s visit affords us an opportunity to demonstrate the amazing outcomes and progress made by our Walk On participants of all ages as well as to meet the team who make it all possible.”
Mr Ajaka acknowledged the proficiency and commitment of SCIA staff together with Physiotherapy and Exercise and Sports Science students from the University of Sydney in making it possible for people with spinal cord injury to maximize their life choices.
“It is wonderful to see the results that can be achieved by non-government organizations with the support of government funding. They not only make a difference to people’s lives in NSW, but their expertise is also recognized and accepted internationally,” he said.
Walk On is an individually designed, intensive activity-based rehabilitation program to assist persons with a spinal cord injury to improve and maximize their functional ability and lead a more independent life. The program involves intense, dynamic, weight-bearing exercises all performed out of the wheelchair one on one with a qualified exercise physiologist or physiotherapist. Walk On is a community-based rehabilitation program available to people following their discharge from hospital. Walk On clients regularly report significant functional improvements from their involvement in the program which has led to a positive impact upon their quality of life.
Master of Physiotherapy at the University of Sydney
The Faculty of Health Sciences has a whole campus dedicated to its programs, located on the Cumberland Campus in Lidcombe, which is 16 km from the city centre. Students entering the Master of Physiotherapy on this campus will have access to amenities such as a Health Science Library, specialized laboratories and discipline specific equipment, on-site health clinics a state-of-the-art sports centre and recreational and social amenities.
The University of Sydney offers a two-year graduate-entry Master of Physiotherapy program, which is intended for students coming from an undergraduate degree in a related field and who wish to gain the requirements to become a physiotherapist.
Program: Master of Physiotherapy (MPT)
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Duration: 2 years
Semester intake: February 2015
Application deadline: TBC by the faculty. For the 2014 intake, the application deadline for this program was Oct. 1.