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

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...

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From homebound to outward bound

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Tailored care helps Joseph spread his wings

Joseph's birthday in November last year was a double celebration - turning 40, and spending his first year as a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant.   He marked the occasion with a concert in front of 80 invited guests, singing covers of his...

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From hobby sketching to the Archibald Prize

When Zion Levy Stewart first started sketching people who visited his family home at age 20, everyone thought it might help him pass the time. Twenty years on, this National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant was an entrant in this year's 2019 Archibald...

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There’s no place like home

Just a few years ago, Tammy had reached the point of considering moving into supported accommodation due to the impact of her disability. The long-term Forbes resident was increasingly isolated and incapacitated by Devic’s disease, caused by the inflammation and...

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From homebound to outward bound

From homebound to outward bound

Nicole was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in December 2009. She tells her story in her own words:

I went to the doctor because I had three cold fingers and that’s when I got the diagnosis. It was devastating. I was a full-time working mother and it seemed like my world had collapsed.

 

The MS soon progressed and I was living permanently in a chair. This left me homebound and financially it was a disaster. My husband could only work three days a week on reduced hours so he could look after me. Our combined income was reduced to just $30,000.

I couldn’t afford to ever get out, I couldn’t get a wheelchair, couldn’t see my friends. It was just depressing and that’s what I thought life was going to be like for me from then on. Before too long I developed anxiety.

Then the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) arrived. I had my first meeting with Local Area Coordinator (LAC) Katrina from Social Futures in March 2018 and from that moment my life and my family’s life has changed, out of this world. Just amazing.

With assistance from disability services provider Breakthru I was able to hire transport and a support worker to take me out. My first trip out was to Bunnings – can you believe it? Bunnings! And I loved it! 

Everyone gets a break

My friends can now come over and take me out for lunch, I have a support worker so my husband can get a break and play golf once a week. I have a cleaner and my kids don’t have to come and look after me. I can go to physio myself in my new powered wheelchair.

Now I’m just so happy and so shocked all at the same time. The NDIS has been life changing. Before the NDIS I couldn’t afford anything, I was sitting in a chair, I was so depressed. I used to do art therapy, I did it for hours and hours and hours. And I thought, that’s all there was. That’s now my life. And that’s all it’s going to be from now on.

My husband – he had to do everything. He was a man trying to style my hair! Now I have help. And now I have a life. I almost have to have a booking diary I am so busy these days!

The physio has also been great. My legs are a bit better now and she has me up doing a few steps. That has helped with my anxiety too.

I was a barmaid for 26 years, I was a really social person. After my MS diagnosis I didn’t visit the supermarket for years, but the other day I went down in my power chair and it took me hours to do the shopping with all the people stopping me to say hello.

Home modifications approved

I’ve just had home modifications approved for a deck and a ramp so I’ll soon be able to get out my front door for the first time in six years. With help from Reita (my new LAC from Social Futures) I’m going to apply for bathroom and laundry modifications so I can even do laundry. We’re looking into car modifications too so I can get my power chair in the car.

It was a rough start with the NDIS because I didn’t understand it. And letting people into my home and my life was challenging, but it’s been lifesaving.

Now I’m sitting on a cushion that’s helping my pain from sitting all the time and that’s also funded by the NDIS. What can I say, other than I love it.

 

“My first trip out was to Bunnings – can you believe it? Bunnings! And I loved it!” (Nicole)

Nicole’s NDIS supports have helped her:

  • Rebuild her social life
  • Enjoy quality family time
  • Improve her mobility
  • Purchase key equipment.

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

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...

read more

From homebound to outward bound

Nicole was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in December 2009. She tells her story in her own words: I went to the doctor because I had three cold fingers and that's when I got the diagnosis. It was devastating. I was a full-time working mother and it seemed like...

read more

Tailored care helps Joseph spread his wings

Joseph's birthday in November last year was a double celebration - turning 40, and spending his first year as a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant.   He marked the occasion with a concert in front of 80 invited guests, singing covers of his...

read more

From hobby sketching to the Archibald Prize

When Zion Levy Stewart first started sketching people who visited his family home at age 20, everyone thought it might help him pass the time. Twenty years on, this National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant was an entrant in this year's 2019 Archibald...

read more

There’s no place like home

Just a few years ago, Tammy had reached the point of considering moving into supported accommodation due to the impact of her disability. The long-term Forbes resident was increasingly isolated and incapacitated by Devic’s disease, caused by the inflammation and...

read more

Get new stories from NDIS Participants in your inbox

* indicates required



Tailored care helps Joseph spread his wings

Tailored care helps Joseph spread his wings

Joseph’s birthday in November last year was a double celebration – turning 40, and spending his first year as a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant.

 

He marked the occasion with a concert in front of 80 invited guests, singing covers of his favourite songs with his sister Lara.

“People loved it, in fact we all loved it,” his mum Robyn says. “It was wonderful to see all of his self-confidence shining through, and just knowing that he now has the support to keep exploring his potential and growing as a person.”

Joseph has Down Syndrome and, despite living independently for the past 12 years, until he received his first NDIS plan he had never been anywhere on his own away from his family in Mudgee.

First trip away

“NDIS support allowed him to go away on a camping trip to Bowral for two weeks last year,” Robyn says. “It was such a big thing for him, giving him the opportunity to boost his wellbeing and engage with people and activities outside his familiar home environment.

“He came home just beaming.”

Joseph and his family were supported through the planning process by Bathurst-based Social Futures Local Area Coordinator Jodie. The family opted to manage Joseph’s plan on his behalf, and they have used the opportunity to employ support workers who know him and know what he likes doing.

“They’re much more attentive to what he wants to do in his life and they’re consistent in what they do,” Robyn says. “It’s a lot more personalised.

“They provide in-home support three afternoons a week, helping Joseph with meal preparation and making sure all his washing and cleaning gets done.

“Outside the home they take him swimming (which he loves), to gym training and out to afternoon teas with his friends.”

Work and play

Joseph also works four days a week at the Mudgee Shire Council’s recycling centre and one day a week doing coffee deliveries around town for a local café.

His active work and social life meant that even after he moved out of home his family had to do a lot of the drop-offs and pick-ups.

“We live on a property out of town and we both work, so to run backwards and forwards into Mudgee was always a bit of a drain,” Robyn says.

“Now it all gets sorted by the support workers. Joseph is so busy that we have to make appointments to see him!”

If there is one thing his family would like for Joseph, it would be for him to meet someone he could have a long-term relationship with.

“He’s very happy with where he is right now but it would be great if one day he finds someone he can share his life with,” Robyn says.

 

“Joseph is so busy now that we have to make appointments to see him!” (Robyn, Joseph’s mum)

Joseph’s NDIS supports have helped him:

  • Improve his self-confidence
  • Boost his independence
  • Engage more in the community
  • Rely less on his family

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

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...

read more

From homebound to outward bound

Nicole was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in December 2009. She tells her story in her own words: I went to the doctor because I had three cold fingers and that's when I got the diagnosis. It was devastating. I was a full-time working mother and it seemed like...

read more

Tailored care helps Joseph spread his wings

Joseph's birthday in November last year was a double celebration - turning 40, and spending his first year as a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant.   He marked the occasion with a concert in front of 80 invited guests, singing covers of his...

read more

From hobby sketching to the Archibald Prize

When Zion Levy Stewart first started sketching people who visited his family home at age 20, everyone thought it might help him pass the time. Twenty years on, this National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant was an entrant in this year's 2019 Archibald...

read more

There’s no place like home

Just a few years ago, Tammy had reached the point of considering moving into supported accommodation due to the impact of her disability. The long-term Forbes resident was increasingly isolated and incapacitated by Devic’s disease, caused by the inflammation and...

read more

Get new stories from NDIS Participants in your inbox

* indicates required



Opportunity Pathways supports access to study and work

Opportunity Pathways supports access to study and work

young woman hanging hi-viz shirts on the line

Social Futures is offering a new program called Opportunity Pathways for Rent Choice recipients and social housing clients to help them access education, training and work in the Northern Rivers region.

The program offers flexible, personalised support to people who want to improve their employment options. Participants will have access to pre-employment training, employment support, post-employment support and housing independence services.

Anyone interested in the program can contact Jason McDonald, Program Manager on 0428 856 546 or by email [email protected].

Opportunity Pathways is a new initiative under Futures Directions in Social Housing NSW.

Read the FULL MEDIA RELEASE

Auslan signing comes to Byron Writers Festival

Auslan signing comes to Byron Writers Festival

This year the Deaf Community will have more access to the Byron Writers Festival, beginning with an Auslan-signed promotional video developed in collaboration with Social Futures’ Far North Coast (FNC) Ability Links.

The video features FNC Ability Links Co-Manager Sigrid Macdonald introducing the event and explaining the Auslan interpreting services that will be available during the festival, which runs from 2-4 August at Elements of Byron Resort. “It’s great to see Byron Writers Festival in the vanguard of public events realising the need to make themselves more accessible to people with disabilities, including members of the Deaf Community like myself,” Sigrid said.

Download the media release

In collaboration with:

 

‘Fight like a girl’ self-defence class sure to be a hit

‘Fight like a girl’ self-defence class sure to be a hit

Coach self defence training

Fight Like A Girl self-defence has come back to B-Space in Ballina for a six-week course starting 23 May 2019. This is a girls’ only class that builds confidence and empowers participants with useful skills in a safe and fun environment.
The course is being taught by Sensei Rachel Whiting, who has over 30 years’ experience teaching martial arts and self-defence. She is passionate about teaching girls the skills they need to keep themselves safe as the situation arises.

 

Download media release

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