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Lifestart, a not for profit organisation and registered charity, provides early childhood intervention and school age years programs and supports to children and young people living with disability or developmental delay. Lifestart provides a family/ person centred approach to meeting the priorities and needs of children and young people, their families and carers. It is based on the concept of partnership with children and young people, their families and carers, to assist and empower them to participate meaningfully and inclusively in our community.

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History of Oi

The Oi idea originated from a small federally funded pilot project in 2010, the MyTime to Chat program which focused on forums and online chat to support families in an online therapy environment.

Led by an experienced speech pathologist, with a strong belief that web based programs could provide valuable opportunities for families to connect in their busy world, the online chat program facilitated peer support to families and carers of young children living with disability, particularly those in social or geographic isolation such as remote areas of Australia

Lifestart also recognised that families needed support modes to connect at times and in places that reflected those that the whole community has embraced, for example, social media, webinars and other virtual experiences, thus promoting social inclusion.

Over 6 online sessions, families shared experiences and interests and information and services were obtained. Following a positive evaluation of this program, Lifestart sourced funding to grow online its support project.

The Trust Company now part of Perpetual provided seed funding for the project and following some collaborative work with other disability agencies a larger more inclusive project, Online Inclusion – Oi was born.

Oi has been developed though philanthropic support from The Trust Company now part of Perpetual and the goodwill of our partners and supporters.