Who we are
Is There a Better Way was initially established to support families and disability support providers to understand and strive towards the elimination of restrictive practices. Over time, ITaBW has become a broader approach, firmly grounded by a human rights framework.
The ITaBW approach helps support people to develop a clearer understanding and insight into the reasons for a person to engage in behaviour that can be challenging. It is guided by the underlying recognition that challenging behaviour results from unmet needs. It is a way of expressing the stress and distress the person is experiencing. Our response, therefore, being to better understand what the person is experiencing and what needs they may have that has led to ongoing stress.
Often the needs of people with a disability and behaviour can be misunderstood, ignored or overlooked, especially in educational and disability services settings. Often, in an attempt to ‘fix’ a behaviour, we focus on wrong things, trying to change a behaviour and motivate a person to do something differently. Supporting a person to have a less of a need to use behaviours of concern however requires us to look, not at the behaviour but what might the gaps in a person’s needs be.
Utilising evidenced-based practice and lived experience, we delve into understanding what the person with disability is experiencing and the influencing factors, both personal and environmental that contribute to possible unmet needs. Like an iceberg, we look at what lies underneath a behaviour to get a deeper understanding of how to support a person’s needs.
Positive Behaviour Support
ITaBW is grounded by a contemporary view of Positive Behaviour Support approach embedding a range of evidence-based practices. We are led primarily by a neuroscience and trauma-informed lens, seeking to understand the experiences of people with a disability from what it might be like to be them from within. The main focus is to reduce the experience of anxiety, stress and dysregulation for people and to therefore improve their quality of life and relationships.
ITaBW seeks to support people to feel in control, connected and heard.
It seeks to support people to be ABLE to adapt or learn new skills and behaviours by reducing stress and increasing the brain and the body’s capacity to cope.
The knowledge of ITaBW founders in communication, health, human rights and behaviour support ensures that ITaBW is unique in its approach to better understand the underlying needs of people and how to therefore develop lifelong supports. The ITaBW framework has evolved over time into a robust model of practice that underpins the approach utilised by all employees.
University of Western Australia
The Is There a Better Way family program has been independently evaluated by the Business School at the University of Western Australia. We have done this twice! Once with our face-to-face training program and now with our online learning program. You can access the results of these evaluations by clicking the UWA logo.
Overall, most families who have attended our programs have reported significant changes in their relationships, wellbeing, capacity to cope, vision for the future and development of skills for both themselves and their loved ones with a disability. Most importantly they experienced positive change and felt empowered to continue to create change into the future.
ITaBW is a service arm of Microboards Australia. Microboards Australia provides a range of services to families who may have a family member with disability to develop a Microboard, to provide general support, training, advocacy and to support a sector-wide change to uphold the human rights of people with a disability. Broadly, a Microboard is a sustainable network of unpaid relationships with a strong values-based culture committed to the Social Model of Disability. Microboards takes each network through a detailed formation process culminating in incorporation to create a not for profit association supporting just one person & which legally mandates adherence to microboard principles in person-centred thinking, vision, robust communication needs supports, social inclusion, self-determination and supported decision making, risk management and dignity of risk, full citizenship, safeguarding, medical planning, futures planning, advocacy, governance, and recruitment. You can find out more by accessing our main Microboards Australia website. Just click on our logo and we will take you there!