A CASINO family says the introduction of National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has changed their life. Their daughter Samantha has just finished Year 12 and is keen to pursue a career in the beauty and personal care industry.

Samantha is the youngest of seven children. She was born with spina bifida, is paralysed from the waist down and relies on a wheelchair. Samantha also has a mild intellectual disability, but none of this prevented her from participating in mainstream education.

Always a happy child

“She’s always been a happy child,” her father John said. “She’s never been able to walk but when she started school she still wanted shoes, just like everyone else. “So we got some specially made for her and she still has them all these years later.”

John and his wife Gail received some disability support over the years but it never met the family’s needs. “I had to work two jobs and Gail was a full-time carer – we never had a minute to scratch ourselves.”

LAC stepped in

After the NDIS approved Samantha’s application to join the scheme in 2017, Social Futures Local Area Coordinator Gisela helped Samantha develop her first plan

With NDIS funding for one-on-one support, Samantha now has a personal carer who can take her out for social activities and provide respite care if John and Gail want a night out together. The support worker can also accompany her to TAFE for her studies.

Samantha uses some of her NDIS funding to pay for a personal trainer at her local gym and is currently organising some physiotherapy.

John described the benefits as “just fantastic”. He says he often wonders, “why didn’t we have the NDIS years ago?”

New motorised wheelchair ‘life-changing’

“We’ve also used Samantha’s NDIS funding to purchase a new motorised wheelchair.

“The new wheelchair has been life changing for Samantha because she can now raise herself to the same height as other people and do her own shopping at the supermarket.”

Like most young adults, Samantha wants to carve out her own path and live independently.

John admits he and his wife were “a bit nervous” about letting go of their carers’ role but now they’re looking forward to taking the next step with Samantha’s second plan.

“We’re self-managing Sam’s plan and with the progress she’s already made, it just gives us a lot of hope that she’ll be able to look after herself for the rest of her life, long after we’ve gone.”

John

Sam's father

Samantha’s NDIS supports have helped her:

  • Plan for life and career beyond school
  • Become more independent
  • Build her fitness
  • Upgrade to a motorised wheelchair

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

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