About

Susan Pordage has extensive experience working with individuals with a cognitive disability. She has over 20 years of experience working as an occupational therapist in various roles, mainly with elderly people. Since 1998 she has had her own private practice.

Between 2011 and 2013 Susan worked in the Specialist Mental Health Service for Older People. She worked in the Transitional Behavioural Assessment & Intervention Service (T-BASIS) Unit which is a 16 bed inpatient unit catering for patients with diagnosis of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) and long term mental disorders and dementia. Her role was to assess the level of functional capacity of patients and advise the multidisciplinary team on whether the person can return to the community and what level of support they require.

In 2010, Susan began using the Allen Cognitive Disability Model in private practice. Funding was provided by GP Network Northside (Hornsby Ku-ringai Ryde Division of General Practice Ltd) for behavioural management programs using the ACL for individuals with a cognitive disability requiring low care. She now consults with clients in residential care settings as well as individuals who live in the community.

From 2008 to 2011 Susan worked at Montefiore Jewish Home where she was trained to use the Allen Cognitive Levels (ACL) in her daily work. During this period she was able to make observations on how an individual’s ACL score influenced the way they interacted in the human and non-human environments. She also had many opportunities to see how accurate the ACL was at predicting the level of assistance a resident would require.

From 1994 to 2008 Susan worked in numerous roles in geriatrics, rehabilitation, adults with Cerebral Palsy, DVA private practice and consultations to Aged Care Facilities.

Susan graduated in 1994 from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy.

Recent presentations include:

  • Cognition Symposium (November 2014), "Developing an accessible and affordable resource for supporting the use of the Allen Cognitive Disability Model globally", Los Angeles, United States.
  • Mental Health Forum (October 2013), "Using the ACLs to assist older clients with cognitive disabilities to engage in meaningful occupations", Sydney, Australia.
  • Carers NSW Biennial Conference (March 2013), "How to use the ACL to assist carers of individuals with a cognitive disability", Sydney, Australia.
  • Cognition Symposium (November 2012), "Using the ACLs", San Diego, United States.

Finally, Susan Pordage is a member of the Allen Cognitive Network, which is a group of clinicians using the Allen Cognitive Levels and the Allen Cognitive Disability Model. She is a Registered OT and a member of OT Australia.

Since 2010, Susan has been a regular attendee at the Ageing Brain Interest group and is the current chairperson. This is a group under the umbrella of NSW branch, OT Australia. She receives mentoring from Claudia Allen, the original author of the model, on the latest information.