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  • Do I need to have previous experience in STEAM to take part?
    No, all of our workshops are designed using universal design principles meaning anyone can take part regardless of prior knowledge or existing skills.
  • What is STEAM?
    STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and math. Each term at FutureTech we explore a specific topic through the lens of each of these disciplines to show our participants of the vast applications of STEAM in the real world.
  • When does FutureTech run?
    FutureTech runs every Saturday during school terms. We have different time slots available, depending on which program you attend.
  • What is FutureTech's cancellation policy?
    At FutureTech we try to be as flexible as possible, we understand things happen and some days our participants just are not up to coming in. We do however have to ensure that we can pay our mentors for their time and we want to be able to continue to offer our programs for many years to come. That is why we have a 24 hour cancellation period. To maintain as much flexibility for you, while ensuring our business model is sustainable. Participants who give 24 hours or more notice they are unable to attend will not be charged.
  • What is the age range of participants?
    Our participants range from 8 years old to 18 years old. We do not allocate participants based on age, as we know that autistic people often have spikey academic profiles. This wide range of ages means that participants with strengths in certain areas can support those who are beginners and vice versa. We also know that peer to peer support is often more beneficial than teacher to student models, and find that this helps to foster confidence, leadership skills and strengthen relationships between participants.
  • What qualifications and experience do the mentors at FutureTech have?
    Most of our mentors are either working to attain or have already completed university degrees in their chosen disciplines. While they often don't hold qualifications specific to autism, disability or support work many of them have worked for many years as support workers, undergoing various vocational training through this. The majority of our mentors are neurodivergent themselves, giving them a unique perspective and approach to supporting our participants that qualifications alone could not give. Finally, our framework uses evidence based, best practice knowledge and has been informed by Founder & CEO Rebecca McCash's extensive experience working with neurodivergent people across settings, life stages and support needs.
  • What does a typical day at FutureTech look like?
    Every session incorporates both learning and social focused time. Workshops Our workshops are designed and delivered using our unique framework that incorporates evidence based autism friendly practice. While we encourage participation, we understand that participation looks different for every neurodivergent young person we support - and their capacity to engage can fluctuate based on what is happening in their lives. Social Our social sessions are time for our participants to relax, and connect with one and other however that looks for them as individuals. Some neurodivergent people love to connect through verbal conversations and collaborative gaming, some through parallel play, and for some of our participants this is simply playing a favourite game in the same space as other neurodivergent people. To find out what a typical day at FutureTech SYD looks like, click on the below document to read our Visual Story. To find out what a typical day at FutureTech ONLINE looks like, click on the below document to read our Visual Story.
  • Do I need to have a parent or carer with me during FutureTech ONLINE?
    It really is up to you! It might be helpful to have additional help particularly in your first few weeks of FutureTech ONLINE while you get familiar with the structure and platform - but if you are already a Discord whizz you will likely know more about it than we do! Some of our workshops have tricky or intricate elements like cutting out, measuring, pouring and can be a little messy - we recommend you get help for anything that may be difficult for you to do alone as we cannot physically assist while online. We also recommend participating in any potentially messy experiments or activities in a space that is easy to clean up, using sheets and protective materials if needed, and clear of any devices such as your computer or iPad.
  • Am I expected to communicate verbally and have my video camera on?
    No, we encourage participants to communicate in whatever way they feel most comfortable. Sometimes this is by verbally speaking, and others it may be via typing on our Discord chat. While we love to see your faces! We don't expect participants to have their video cameras on during our sessions. It is much easier for us to help trouble shoot problems if we can see what is going on, however we encourage participants to do only what feels comfortable for them.
  • Is Discord a safe platform?
    It sure is. No-one can access our Discord channel without being provided our unique link to join. We have various protective measures in place within the Discord channel, so that we always have eyes over what is being said or shared. While our channel is not monitored 24 hours a day 7 days a week, our nifty bots combined with our team's regular check ins mean that everything remains friendly and appropriate.
  • What do we do during Social?
    There are a number of options for social ONLINE, and participants are welcome to suggest new games or activities they enjoy. Some of the most common activities we take part in during social ONLINE are: Minecraft Jackbox Kahoot
  • I'm concerned about additional screen time, how is FutureTech different?
    We often hear from parents that they are concerned about the amount of time their young people spend online. This can be a deterrent for people joining our online programs. FutureTech ONLINE is different, as it offers participants structured learning workshops as well as engaging social sessions where they can connect with other like-minded peers in an envornment free from many of the social barriers (for example, interpreting body language, making eye contact) that a face to face program would demand. This means our online program is particularly suited to those who may find a face to face program too overwhelming, as well as those who are physically located in areas we don't currently host face to face options. During COVID we were concerned that participants would find it difficult to connect remotely, however we were surprised to discover that the reduction in common social barriers actually led to more verbal communication and deeper conversations and connections to others as a result.
  • How large are the groups at FutureTech SYD
    We keep groups small at between 10 - 15 participants per session. This helps us get to know each participants strengths, interests and preferences extremely well and provides a less crowded environment so everyone feels comfortable.
  • What access features does FutureTech SYD have?
    FutureTech SYD runs out of Seaforth Village Community Centre. Our site features an accessible bathroom, 'chill out' area, small outdoor area for participants who need to take a break from the sensory environment.
  • Do I have to stay with my young person during FutureTech?
    It is 100% up to you and your young person. Our staff are trained in supporting autistic and neurodivergent young people so there is no need for you to stay, however if your presence makes your young person feel more comfortable you are more than welcome to hang out with us! Many of our parents use drop off/pick up time as an opportunity to connect with other parents. We welcome and encourage this, as everyone needs to feel supported and part of a community.
  • What NDIS categories can I use for FutureTech?
    You can use either CORE or CAPACITY BUILDING budgets to access FutureTech, typically these categories are: Category 2: CORE - Assistance with Social and Community Participation Category 15: CAPACITY BUILDING - Improved Daily Living Category 9: CAPACITY BUILDING - Increased Social and Community Participation
  • Can FutureTech support me with NDIS?
    Each year FutureTech will provide a progress report and quote for you to take to your NDIS plan review. If you are in the process of applying for NDIS, FutureTech can provide a letter of support and quote to provide to the NDIS during your planning meeting. This will help let the NDIS know that you would like to use funding to access our programs. Outside of this, our team have skills and expertise in support coordination and where possible are able to provide this guidance to our participants pro bono. This can include things like; Reviewing reports from therapists and other providers, and giving feedback to ensure they are consistent with NDIS expectations. Advising on types of funding to request. Advise on who to request reports from, and what type of report might be needed. Support submitting 'Reviewable Decision' requests if you are unhappy with the funding in your plan. Please note: this support is subject to the availability of team members who have this expertise and may not be available during particularly busy periods.
  • I don't have NDIS funding, can I still attend FutureTech?
    Absolutely! We understand how difficult the NDIS process can be, and that not all young people who will benefit from our programs will qualify for the scheme. Our pricing is aligned with the NDIS price guide, however we are always open to discussing individual circumstances and would never want finances to be a barrier to participation.
  • Is FutureTech a Registered NDIS Provider?
    No, currently FutureTech is an unregistered provider. This means that we can only access NDIS funds from self and plan managed NDIS participants. If you are an NDIA managed NDIS participant, you cannot use your NDIS funding to access our programs. If you are unsure about this, or would like to explore changing your plan management so that you can utilize your funding for FutureTech - arrange a call with a member of the team.

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