Wording up for a wider world

Wording up for a wider world

The world is making much more sense to Catherine Ryan since she was accepted onto the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

 

The 33 year old lives in Orange and has experienced schizophrenia for as long as she can remember, disrupting her education and leaving her unable to read and write.

Now her NDIS-funded support worker, Debbie, is teaching Catherine a skill which is opening up her world and changing her life.

“I had to learn how to trust and everything with her (Debbie). She taught me how to read and write. I can read children’s books now. I can pretty much do what I’ve always wanted to do,” Catherine says.

She especially likes being able to write birthday cards to her daughter.

“I’m real happy with myself that I can actually do that!” she exclaims. “It’s helped us to have a better relationship, now we can read bedtime stories together. She asks for a bedtime story every night.”

Catherine has been supported through her NDIS journey by Orange-based Social Futures Local Area Coordinator, Frank Sheehan.

Prior to her NDIS funding Catherine struggled to get around. It wasn’t possible for her to understand bus timetables and not being able to read street or shop signs made the world a daunting place.

“Before the NDIS I struggled a lot with understanding and reading,” Catherine says. “I had to ask my mum for a lot of help with all that. I had to ask ‘mum, what does this mean? What does this say?’ I couldn’t do anything by myself. I feel more capable now.”

Being able to read signs as she goes past is life changing. “I now don’t have to ask people at the big stores, ‘what does that say?’ Because when I would ask them, they used to laugh at me. So that was sort of embarrassing. Now that I know what it says I don’t have to ask anymore.”

“It has helped me with just normal things in my daily life, like shopping. Debbie’s also teaching me how to shop and choose cheaper stuff. I used to get my dad to write down my shopping list and read it out when I went shopping. And now, I can write my own shopping list. I go through the catalogues, write it down, then I can go and do it. It makes me feel good. I feel proud of myself,” Catherine says.

Her increased confidence is also helping Catherine to connect with community: “Now I can go out in a crowd with Debbie. I’m not ready to go out on my own, but I feel pretty safe with Debbie. But on my own, I probably won’t feel safe. I’ll probably hide in a corner like I usually do.”

Catherine loves clothes shopping and especially loves her boots: “I have that many boots at home, half of them I haven’t worn! They’re all my favourite. Dad would get embarrassed ‘cause he had to walk into Crossroads clothes shop with me. Now I can go on my own.

“This year Debbie’s teaching me how to do maths and my timetables. She’s also helping me learn how to trust and communicate with other people better. The big problem at the moment is trust issues. I feel like if I could trust people more, I could go out into the community, I could probably be able to do other things. And reading and writing will be helping with my trust issues, because now I can communicate with people.

“It’s helped me out heaps, I’m really happy with the NDIS.”

Using her NDIS plan

Catherine’s NDIS supports have helped her:

  • Learn how to read and write
  • Improve her family relationships
  • Feel more confident
  • Engage more with her local community
  • Work on her trust issues

Social Futures is a National Disability Insurance Scheme Partner in the Community.
Our Local Area Coordination services connect participants to the NDIS in regional New South Wales.

To contact your nearest LAC call 1800 522 679

Read more participant stories

Care factor makes all the difference for Rocky

In 1996, at 29 years of age, Rocky Mileto sustained a severe spinal cord injury from a tackle in a game of rugby union. “I had the ball, it was one on one. Just the wrong angle, wrong timing,” Rocky said. “It was that easy, that simple.  Most injuries, rugby or rugby...

read more

Putting family life back in the picture

Many people who have family members with disabilities experience the sadness and frustration of being so busy in their support roles that they can’t enjoy the pleasures of family life. For them, the benefits of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can be...

read more

Muscular dystrophy won’t stop Lachie

It has been one year exactly since Lachlan Reardon got his first NDIS plan. Soon to turn 11-years-old, this local Mudgee boy has come a long way in a single year. Lachlan lives with mild muscular dystrophy. He has hyper flexibility and low muscle mass. He’s always...

read more

Everyone has ability. Everyone has a dream.

It has been just over a year since Ability Dreaming opened its doors and like any new business, there have been highs and lows according to Managing Director, Joel Everett. The first 12 months of any business is a notoriously difficult time for anyone, but adding a...

read more

From bugs to hugs – life is looking up

“She always wants to hug you! She hugs you 10 times in 10 minutes!” exclaims Broken Hill Local Area Coordinator Angela Turner, speaking of her National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant Marg. Marg often drops by the Social Futures Office in Broken Hill...

read more

Get new stories from NDIS Participants in your inbox

* indicates required



Delivering services around COVID-19

Social Futures is committed to the continuation of delivering support services in a safe, practical and innovative way while navigating COVID-19.