Wagga Wagga local Kristen Michael is just like any other person, with goals and dreams to achieve. High on Kristen’s goal list was to participate in that quintessential Aussie rite of passage – to move out of home with friends.
Doesn’t sound that unusual does it? However these women faced more roadblocks than usual.
For starters, Kristen had been on a waiting list for a Wagga group home for almost four years. She had previously been in a group home an hour and a half away, but she wanted to live closer to her parents.
However, there was nothing available for her so her parents looked at sinking their superannuation funds into building her a home – a purpose-built four-bedroom home so the three women could live there independently and have on-site 24-hour support, too.
Kirby finally has her own space again, making her own choices. See how SDA has helped Kirby’s dream to live independently again in her own home.
26-year-old Anna’s long-term goal was to live independently. Now she has Supported Independent Living (SIL) funded in her plan, she’s been able to achieve that goal and move out into a private rental house with two friends her own age!
Lindsay had his stroke on the first of May last year. It was pretty devastating. Heard him fall, and went into the bedroom and he couldn’t get back into bed. Not knowing what to do with him, they wanted to put him in a home. And that meant an aged care facility. And we just said “No, we’re taking him out”.
James had just started uni and had his whole life ahead of him when the unthinkable happened – he was assaulted.
He spent 7 years in a rest home with people 50 – 60 years older than him and no mental stimulation besides his roommates crying out in the night.
It was pure luck that he was discovered, and he’s now living a more independent life, and he has a future to look forward to again.
A Rockhampton family are leading the way in raising awareness and bridging the gap between people with a disability and their community.
Kevin and Loraine Fox, have been married for 34 years and decided early on in their relationship to adopt.
“We thought about it and decided to adopt children with a disability, specifically children with Down syndrome – that was the intention from the very beginning.”
Just over 30 years ago they adopted eldest son Matthew around 12 months later their second child, Laura joined the family.
Kevin and Loraine, who were both diagnosed with disabilities as adults – Kevin with Klinefelter syndrome and Loraine with bipolar disorder and arthritis, said it was important to foster their children’s strengths and embrace their differences.
“Loraine and I have disabilities ourselves and we know the capabilities of a person with a disability is broad, and our children really bring that out.”
Those capabilities have been enhanced since Matthew and Laura joined the NDIS in 2017.
Matthew now receives funding for speech and numeracy therapy, supported employment, an exercise program and in home-support – he lives independently with his wife Mynissa, who also has Down syndrome.
“Matthew and Mynissa are thriving in their own home, and Matthew has improved his speech so much through regular therapy,” Loraine said.
Laura receives funding for speech therapy and support workers to drive her to and from activities including choir. Laura also receives funding for a communication device.
“The ability to help her get her messages across is going to be such a huge thing, it will do so much more for her.
“Because of the NDIS, Laura has been able to broaden her scope enormously and she has come along in leaps and bounds.”
“Our two adult children have been given support to be more active and accepted in the community.
“Matthew and Laura’s effect on the community is amazing, they’re becoming the teacher rather than the one taught and it’s the NDIS that’s allowed that.”