What does the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) mean for a person with disability from a human rights perspective? If you know your rights and have access to good information, you are in a much better position to articulate what you need – not what someone else tells you what you need.
Our long term vision was for our son to live in his own place – we started this process 10 years ago and took one step at a time. Firstly, we used one-on- one support to mentor him in the domestic skills of cooking and cleaning in our home. He actually really enjoyed this and the feeling that he was being a contributing member of the family. We then took the big step of the whole family moving to a house where there was an area on a lower level that we could convert into a self-contained area for him to see how he coped with more independent living. This was going to be a 5 year plan but within a couple of years, we realised that he was ready for the next step of moving into his own place. I bought a unit (with a mortgage) and he moved in two years ago. He is able to get Centrelink rental assistance and the rent that he pays, covers the mortgage and body corp fees. He still needs 24/7 support but he is doing remarkably well and is continually learning and developing. He is now also a well-known member of his local community.
At the core of Bespoke Lifestyles is the belief that people should be self-determining and have personal autonomy. We believe that this should be no different for someone with a disability and that it therefore makes sense that the person themselves is the one who should be in the driving seat of their own life. If the person with disability needs support with decision making, it makes sense that this support should be from those who are closest to them who know them best. This involves a shift in power from the traditional disability system where organisations are often the ones with the authority.
I attended the September/October 2011 workshops and found them to be very informative. They gave a good background of the Bespoke philosophy and how to achieve independence. The atmosphere was friendly and welcoming and it was interesting to hear other families’ experiences and hopes for the future.
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