Scope launches Australian-first physiotherapy service for regional children with complex disability

Six year old Archie Sims used to travel with his mum for almost three hours to get his Hart Walker fitted and adjusted to enable him to run, walk and play.

Those trips will now be a distant memory, with leading disability service provider, Scope launching the GoKids Mobility Van Service, the first specialised physiotherapy service for rural Victorian children who have profound and complex physical disabilities.

The GoKids Mobility Van Service is a fully mobile service that travels to various Victorian rural locations to make adjustments to wheelchairs and mobility devices.

“Scope saw an enormous need for to support children living in regional communities. With the limited number of specialised physiotherapy services in rural Victoria, families began opting out of essential fittings because the distance to go to these centres in Melbourne was too far. With the GoKids Van, Scope is now able to come to these families directly,” said Scope CEO Dr. Jennifer Fitzgerald.

Archie’s mother, Anna says the GoKids service and the Hart Walker has had an enormous impact on their lives.

“Before it was difficult for Archie to stand, let alone walk. The Hart Walker has changed all of this. He’s now free to move on his own. Archie can now play, run and walk like any other kid,” said Anna.

The GoKids Mobility Van Service was launched with the generous support from The Bowness Family Foundation, who continually and actively support programs for people with a disability.

Scope’s specialised physiotherapists will support families with a complete end-to-end service and provide assistance through initial consultations for mobility devices, ongoing reports, equipment implementation and after-care.

Anna says the GoKids service will enhance and enable the lives of children with physical disability in regional Victoria.

“As a parent, you always want to do what’s best for your child. And what was best for Archie was to go to a specialised physiotherapy service that understood and could assist with the complexity of his disability, even if that meant making a three hour drive,” said Anna.

“Now that the GoKids service is able to travel through and visit regional Victoria, families that may have never been able to drive up can now access the same services Archie did.”

What: The launch event of Australia’s first specialised physiotherapy service for children living with profound physical disability in regional communities.

When: Thursday June 22 between 11am to 12:30pm

Where: Ballarat South Community Hub, Tuppen Drive, Sebastopol.

Filming opportunities:

  • Watching seven-year-old Archie play, run and walk in his Hart Walker.
  • Cutting ribbon ceremony to launch van, and a tour of the van and its facilities.
  • Interview opportunities with Archie, CEO Dr. Jennifer Fitzgerald and representatives of The Bowness Family Foundation

About Scope

Scope’s mission is to enable each person to live as an empowered and equal citizen.

We support people with physical, intellectual and multiple disabilities and developmental delays to achieve their goals.

Across Victoria, Scope provides services to over 6,000 people with a disability across more than 100 service locations.

Scope also works with corporate and community organisations to improve inclusiveness for people with a disability.

Scope’s foundations stretch back to 1948, when a group of parents who wanted better lives and options for their children with disabilities established the Spastic Children’s Society of Victoria.

For media enquires please contact:
Ai-Lin Chang
Media Relations Coordinator
T: 03 9843 2086
M: 0457 757 206

View a PDF version of this media release here.