Chesney flies the coop

Chesney flies the coop

For parents, Ross and Sandy Bailey the NDIS provided great relief when their 19-year-old son, Chesney had his first National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan approved four years ago.

Chesney, who grew up 50 kilometres outside of Forbes on his parent’s farm, has intellectual disability and autism and Ross said life before the NDIS was difficult.

“We didn’t have a lot of funding or support,” he said. “I used to spend hours in the car, driving 200 kilometres a day, two days a week, to get Chesney to his after school work at the biscuit factory.”

Then they met their Local Area Coordinator, Tracey, from Social Futures, and things began to get easier.

Chesney’s NDIS plan included transport funding. It meant he could catch a taxi to Parkes, halving his dad’s travel time, but Ross and Sandy were becoming concerned about Chesney’s future.

He had lived with them on the farm all his life, and they knew they weren’t going to be around to take care of him forever.

A big change came though, when Ross and Sandy took off to New Zealand for their first holiday alone in 30 years.

“Chesney received NDIS funding for respite care for the two weeks they were away. He stayed in a little apartment, in Forbes, with regular contact from support workers, and discovered independence.

“He did whatever he wanted for two whole weeks while we were in New Zealand and he’s been badgering me to move out on his own ever since!” Ross said.

The move to his own home happened a month ago and Chesney hasn’t looked back.

“He is a five minute walk to his workplace. He gets himself off to work each day, and it’s only a short bike ride to his older sister’s house.

“I went to see Chesney last weekend,” Ross said. “At 10am, he was lounging around in his pyjamas, eating pancakes he’d made himself for breakfast.

“He goes out on Thursdays with two of his friends from the biscuit factory and comes home to see us every second weekend.

“Chesney now has access to a range of activities. He has more choice over what he wants to do and how he wants to spend his time than he has ever had before,” Ross said.

Once a week, Chesney joins a support group and goes to Orange or Dubbo where he visits the library, gym and pool.

“If you saw Chesney two years ago, he was a very different person. He actually says hello to people now, he smiles and has confidence. He has independence now and things to do with his time.

“He just wouldn’t have been able to do this before. Nowadays he has support funding for someone to come and visit him every day, to help him write a shopping list of what he wants to eat for the week, and to make sure he isn’t cooking himself fish and chips every night!”

“Being unwell myself, the knowledge he will have ongoing lifelong support from the NDIS if he needs it, is a great relief,” said Ross.

“Everything is working really well. I’ve never had trouble or difficulty getting everything we’ve needed.”

Social Futures delivers Local Area Coordination services for the NDIS across more than 50% of NSW.

To talk to a Local Area Coordinator email [email protected] or call our LAC Hotline on 1800 522 679 (Mon-Fri 8:30am – 4:30pm).

Using his NDIS plan

Chesney’s NDIS supports have helped him achieve: 

  • greater independence through living on his own in supported accommodation
  • greater self-confidence
  • Increased social capacity

 

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

Chesney flies the coop

For parents, Ross and Sandy Bailey the NDIS provided great relief when their 19-year-old son, Chesney had his first National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan approved four years ago. Chesney, who grew up 50 kilometres outside of Forbes on his parent’s farm, has...

read more

Rob’s come along in leaps and bounds

At 67, Broken Hill man Rob Lindsay has lived with an intellectual difficulty all his life. “There just weren’t assessments for that sort of thing when Rob was younger”, said his sister Joan. “At school, he didn’t keep up, that’s just the way it was. When he left...

read more

Jack’s Story: Gazing into a new future

Jack Pellizzer is in his last year of high school in Broken Hill. He likes school and, like most 18-year-old boys, he also likes music and movies. But until recently it was difficult for him to tell people what he liked and wanted. Jack has a number of undiagnosed...

read more

Elise moves into a home of her own

Moving into your own home is a special milestone but for Elise Miller, it holds extra significance. Elise has finally had the birthday party she's dreamed of for so long, with friends, family and other supporters celebrating in her new purpose-built home. The sociable...

read more

NDIS opens up a whole new life for Tasel

FOR many of us, 2020 may turn out to be a year we’d rather forget. But for Maclean woman Jacques Sears, things have never been better. Ms Sears, also known as Tasel, is deaf, but with the help of the National Disability Insurance Scheme her life has changed for the...

read more

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Dirty Laundry Day Project 2020

Dirty Laundry Day Project 2020

Today is White Ribbon Day. It is a day for difficult conversations. A day to talk about domestic and family violence, which is sadly inherent in our communities. We know that this kind of violence thrives in secrecy, so it is important to shed a light on it. To remove stigma and shame. To talk openly.

The Dirty Laundry Day Project first began in Casino NSW in 2009 and has been run in The Northern Rivers annually since.

The project was created to draw attention to Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) in the community, to give people experiencing abuse and violence a voice, and to take a strong community stance against violence. The name comes from the opportunity for people to air their dirty laundry – removing stigma and opening conversations in our communities.

A series of workshops are held with survivors of DFV which allow them a creative and cathartic opportunity to share their experience by painting messages on T-shirts.  Those T-shits are then displayed in public spaces with information and details for seeking help and assistance, to bring light to a topic we don’t talk about enough.

“For many survivors, even those closest to them don’t know about their experience because DFV is often hidden and flourishes in silence” said Social Futures CEO Tony Davies.

“The workshops are a safe way for people to express their feelings anonymously in a supported environment. Speaking out about their experiences is a very powerful way to reclaim their voice and regain an aspect of control”, Mr Davies said.

As the COVID-19 pandemic increases the pressure on families and relationships, in addition to winding back the supportive payments of Jobseeker and Jobkeeper, it is more important than ever to have conversations about domestic and family violence, and to refer people at risk of violence or at risk of offending, to the support they need.

As Brad Chilcott, Executive Director of White Ribbon Australia said, “a national conversation around gendered violence must become a personal campaign for change in the lives of all Australians.” It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to stand up and address domestic and family violence in our communities.

Dirty Laundry Day Exhibitions 2020

This year, The Dirty Laundry Day Project is being displayed in Queensland for the first time in locations throughout Brisbane, in partnership with Adderton: House and Heart of Mercy.

It is also being displayed across the Northern Rivers from Coolangatta to Grafton in partnership with Summerland Credit Union, and in Coffs Harbour in partnership with Warrina Womens Domestic and Family Violence Specialist Services.

Show your support

You can show your support to stop violence in our community by donating to our White Ribbon fundraiser: https://bit.ly/2UvBABa

Or by donating direct to the Dirty Laundry Day Project via our website here: https://dirtylaundryday.org/

Watch our film clip

View our film clip with Social Futures CEO, Tony Davies and Summerland Credit Union CEO, John Williams here:  https://bit.ly/2UJ6QwI

Access help

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic or family violence, there is help available. We urge you to seek support.

Call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or Mensline on 1800 600 636. In an emergency call 000.

Rob’s come along in leaps and bounds

Rob’s come along in leaps and bounds

At 67, Broken Hill man Rob Lindsay has lived with an intellectual difficulty all his life.

“There just weren’t assessments for that sort of thing when Rob was younger”, said his sister Joan.

“At school, he didn’t keep up, that’s just the way it was. When he left school, he went on a disability pension, but there was nothing for him to do – no programs or supports,” Joan added.

 

But life has taken a positive turn for Rob who has come along in leaps and bounds since meeting Michael at Social Futures and becoming a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant.

“He’s got confidence now!” Joan said.

“People would say to me a few years ago, when he first started on the NDIS, ‘he walks upright now’, and ‘he’s so proud of himself’.

Without the NDIS he wouldn’t have been able to afford the supports he now has. The NDIS has put that within our grasp,” Joan said.

“Michael, our Social Futures LAC, has been really fantastic.

“He keeps in touch and any time there is anything up, I just have to ring him.

“I can see him anytime – the support is there the whole time. Social Futures have been able to suggest other additional supports for Rob to access through his plan. They’ve been just wonderful,” said Joan.

Prior to receiving NDIS support, Rob lived with his elderly mother, and Joan would do the shopping, cooking and housecleaning with support from home delivered meals a couple of times a week.

Now, Rob is able to access home support through the NDIS for housecleaning and cooking. He has even learned to cook for himself, preparing his own meals two or three nights a week.

This has taken the pressure off Joan, who can now spend more quality time with her brother, as well as more time with her husband.

“I think the NDIS is fantastic,” Joan said. “It’s a real load off, you’ve got no idea how much.”

Rob is also learning literacy, numeracy and cooking.

“He can now use an ATM card, and is learning literacy and numeracy so he can write his own grocery lists,” Joan said.

“Here’s me, I can’t even use a computer and he does computers!” Joan said with a laugh.

“Now, he can also write cards to his niece and nephew, which he wasn’t ever able to do before!”

Joan said the social aspects of the groups Rob accesses have been a lifesaver for him, and now he goes on outings to the cinema and the shops.

However, the most incredible thing for Rob has been his increased independence.

For the first time Rob travelled on his own by bus from his sister’s home in Adelaide back to Broken Hill.

“He never would have been able to do that before,” Joan said. “His confidence and independence have really come a long way.

“I couldn’t fault the staff in terms of the help I have had through the NDIS. It’s just phenomenal,” Joan added.

If you would like more information about Social Futures Local Area Coordination for the NDIS, call our LAC Hotline on 1800 522 679 between 8:30-4:30pm Monday to Friday or email [email protected].

Using his NDIS plan

Rob’s NDIS supports have helped him:

  • Increase his confidence and independence
  • Access community and social outings
  • With support cooking, shopping and cleaning
  • To travel independently

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

Chesney flies the coop

For parents, Ross and Sandy Bailey the NDIS provided great relief when their 19-year-old son, Chesney had his first National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan approved four years ago. Chesney, who grew up 50 kilometres outside of Forbes on his parent’s farm, has...

read more

Rob’s come along in leaps and bounds

At 67, Broken Hill man Rob Lindsay has lived with an intellectual difficulty all his life. “There just weren’t assessments for that sort of thing when Rob was younger”, said his sister Joan. “At school, he didn’t keep up, that’s just the way it was. When he left...

read more

Jack’s Story: Gazing into a new future

Jack Pellizzer is in his last year of high school in Broken Hill. He likes school and, like most 18-year-old boys, he also likes music and movies. But until recently it was difficult for him to tell people what he liked and wanted. Jack has a number of undiagnosed...

read more

Elise moves into a home of her own

Moving into your own home is a special milestone but for Elise Miller, it holds extra significance. Elise has finally had the birthday party she's dreamed of for so long, with friends, family and other supporters celebrating in her new purpose-built home. The sociable...

read more

NDIS opens up a whole new life for Tasel

FOR many of us, 2020 may turn out to be a year we’d rather forget. But for Maclean woman Jacques Sears, things have never been better. Ms Sears, also known as Tasel, is deaf, but with the help of the National Disability Insurance Scheme her life has changed for the...

read more

Get new stories from NDIS Participants in your inbox

* indicates required



Website survey – 2020 – promotional terms of entry

 
Fill out our survey for your chance to win one of 6 prizes sharing $300 in shopping vouchers!
Our survey takes 2-3 mins and by answering all our questions you are automatically entered into the draw.
Follow this link here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9MWVJTN to fill out the survey.
Competition terms and conditions are below or downloadable here: https://bit.ly/3jgTykU

 

Trade Promotion: Game of Chance

Schedule to Terms of Entry

Name of promotionSocial Futures new website survey
OrganisationNorthern Rivers Development Council (NRSDC) t/as Social Futures
PromoterSocial Futures
Relevant statesNSW, QLD
Entry restrictionsAny staff of NRSDC or Social Futures can fill out the survey but they will not be eligible to win one of the prizes
Competition periodOct 23 – Jan 31
Maximum number of entries1 per person per survey
Draw detailsThe draw will take place on Feb 11th at the office address 256 Molesworth st Lismore NSW 2480
Prize details1 of 6 supermarket shopping vouchers to the value of $50
Notification of winnersWinners will be notified by their preferred contact detail as filled out on the survey which will most likely be phone or email.
Publication of winnersThe winners will be publicised on the Social Futures facebook page.
Prize deliveryThe Prize will be delivered by post or via an online digital voucher to a valid email address.

 

 

Trade Promotion: Game of Chance

Terms of Entry

  1. These terms must be read together with the Schedule for this competition. The Schedule defines certain terminology used in these terms. By entering, entrants accept these terms. To the extent of any inconsistency between the Schedule and these terms, the Schedule prevails.

 

  1. Entry is open only to residents of the Relevant State/s who comply with the Entry Restrictions (if any). Directors, officers, management, employees and other staff (and the immediate families of directors, officers, management, employees and other staff) of the Promoter or of its related bodies corporate, or of the agencies or companies associated with this competition are ineligible to enter.

 

  1. The competition will be conducted during the Competition Period.

 

  1. To enter the competition, entrants must follow the Entry Method during the Competition Period.

 

  1. Entries must be received by the Promoter during the Competition Period. Entrants may submit up to the Maximum Number of Entries. Multiple entries (where permitted) must be submitted separately.

 

  1. The Promoter accepts no responsibility for late, lost, incomplete, incorrectly submitted, delayed, illegible, corrupted or misdirected entries, claims or correspondence whether due to error, omission, alteration, tampering, deletion, theft, destruction, transmission interruption, communications failure or otherwise. The Promoter has no control over communications networks or services, the Internet, or computer or telephone networks or lines and accepts no responsibility for any problems associated with them, whether due to traffic congestion, technical malfunction or otherwise. The Promoter is not liable for any consequences of user error including (without limitation) costs incurred. Any form of automated entry using any device or software is invalid.

 

  1. The prize/s are specified in the Prize Details. The total prize pool is specified in the Total Prize Pool section of the Schedule.

 

  1. If a winner of a prize is under the age of 18 years (where entry by persons under 18 is permitted), the Promoter may, at its discretion, award the prize to the winner’s parent or guardian.

 

  1. The Promoter may in its absolute discretion prohibit an entrant’s participation in this competition, cancel a prize or otherwise cease to provide any benefit of a prize to a winner and their companion/s if the entrant or the winner (or their companion/s), in the opinion of the Promoter, is under the influence of alcohol or any other drug, behaves aggressively or offensively, or behaves in a manner which may diminish the good name or reputation of the

 

  1. All entries and materials submitted to the Promoter in connection with this competition (in any form, including without limitation in hard copy or electronic form), become the property of the Promoter and each entrant warrants that it has the right to transfer these things to the Promoter.

 

  1. The winner/s will be notified as stated in the Notification of Winners section of the Schedule and their name and state of residence will be published in accordance with the Publication Details. By entering this competition, each entrant requests that his or her full address not be published.

 

  1. If any prize is not claimed by the Prize Claim Date and Time, the relevant winner’s entry will be deemed invalid and the Promoter reserves the right to conduct such further draws on the Unclaimed Prize Draw Date as are necessary to distribute the prize/s, subject to any directions given by any relevant authority. If required by law or any relevant authority, the winner/s will have their name and state of residence published in accordance with the Unclaimed Prize Draw Publication Details. If a prize is no longer capable of being redeemed, the new winner/s will receive a prize, as determined by the Promoter, of equivalent value (as if the original prize had been awarded to that person, less any administrative expenses incurred by the Promoter), subject to the approval of the relevant authorities in the Relevant State/s, if required. If no Unclaimed Prize Draw Date is specified, any unclaimed prize/s will be distributed at the Promoter’s discretion.

 

  1. Entrants acknowledge that there may be inherent risks in some aspects of the competition, including without limitation any Challenge involved in this competition, or the prize and that participation in the competition and/or using the prize may involve participating in dangerous activities. By entering this competition and/or accepting the prize, entrants accept that risk.

 

  1. Where the competition is communicated on Facebook, entrants and participants in the competition acknowledge that the competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by or associated with Facebook and entrants and participants in the competition release Facebook and its associated companies from all liability arising from the competition. Entrants provide their information to the Promoter and not to Facebook
Jack’s Story: Gazing into a new future

Jack’s Story: Gazing into a new future

Jack Pellizzer is in his last year of high school in Broken Hill. He likes school and, like most 18-year-old boys, he also likes music and movies. But until recently it was difficult for him to tell people what he liked and wanted.


Jack has a number of undiagnosed conditions. After years of genetic testing, he and his parents, Andrew and Melanie, have no answers. He is non-verbal and needs a wheelchair to get around. But last year, Jack and his parents met Angela. And their lives changed.

 

Angela Turner works at Social Futures in Broken Hill and is a Local Area Coordinator for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. In her role she helps people with disabilities and their families to access the supports and therapies they need in order to live their best life.

“Angela! She’s fantastic!” Jack’s mum, Melanie, exclaims. “She really helped us with this Eyegaze technology – she was really on the ball.”

An Eyegaze is a computer with a special camera which tracks a person’s eye movements. This then moves a mouse on a computer screen, laptop or speech-generating device. It can be used to play games, to access the internet, to operate a TV, telephone or music, and importantly, to communicate.


“Now he’s able to tell us things instead of us ruling his life,” Melanie says. “He can tell us when he’s not feeling well, it’s just amazing – he’s over the moon.


“Before we would need to clean up after him, but now he can tell us if he needs help to go to the toilet. It’s amazing. He goes to school and he’s able to tell them what he wants – it’s made life so much easier. Now he is able to tell us, now he is doing the prompting.” Finally, Jack has greater choice and control. And that is what the NDIS is all about.


“Before the Eyegaze (Jack) used a PODD communication book for many years, which has the same symbols as the Eyegaze,” Melanie says.“He would look at a sentence, for example, ‘I want’. “But by the time I flicked through all these pages to work out what it was he wanted, he wasn’t looking anymore, he just can’t concentrate for that long.Whereas the Eyegaze is pretty instant, it turns a page in 1.4 seconds.”


Melanie says she has not had an issue with the NDIS at all. “It’s been brilliant. Even with his therapies and things,it’s been fantastic,” she says.“He’s getting weekly therapies – physio and occupational therapy – and a speech therapist comes up from Adelaide to visit the school every few months.“A few weeks before our first plan was due to expire, we had a meeting with Ange and we were able to go through what Jack was like with his respite and activities, what was working for him and what wasn’t.
“Ange was able to gather quotes and things and work out what we really needed so when the new plan rolled in, it was seamless. No hiccups, no waiting. She made it easy for us, explaining things – she went through everything.”


Social Futures’ Local Area Coordination program assists people with disability to access the NDIS program, and to have greater choice and control over their lives.To find your nearest Social Futures office or to speak to someone about our LAC services, call 1800 522 679.

“Ange was able to gather quotes and things and work out what we really needed so when the new plan rolled in, it was seamless. No hiccups, no waiting. She made it easy for us, explaining things – she went through everything.”

 

Melanie

Jack's mum

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

Chesney flies the coop

For parents, Ross and Sandy Bailey the NDIS provided great relief when their 19-year-old son, Chesney had his first National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan approved four years ago. Chesney, who grew up 50 kilometres outside of Forbes on his parent’s farm, has...

read more

Rob’s come along in leaps and bounds

At 67, Broken Hill man Rob Lindsay has lived with an intellectual difficulty all his life. “There just weren’t assessments for that sort of thing when Rob was younger”, said his sister Joan. “At school, he didn’t keep up, that’s just the way it was. When he left...

read more

Jack’s Story: Gazing into a new future

Jack Pellizzer is in his last year of high school in Broken Hill. He likes school and, like most 18-year-old boys, he also likes music and movies. But until recently it was difficult for him to tell people what he liked and wanted. Jack has a number of undiagnosed...

read more

Elise moves into a home of her own

Moving into your own home is a special milestone but for Elise Miller, it holds extra significance. Elise has finally had the birthday party she's dreamed of for so long, with friends, family and other supporters celebrating in her new purpose-built home. The sociable...

read more

NDIS opens up a whole new life for Tasel

FOR many of us, 2020 may turn out to be a year we’d rather forget. But for Maclean woman Jacques Sears, things have never been better. Ms Sears, also known as Tasel, is deaf, but with the help of the National Disability Insurance Scheme her life has changed for the...

read more
Supporting regional transport solutions 

Supporting regional transport solutions 

There are lots of people working hard to improve transport options for our communities.

Social Futures convene transport working groups throughout the Northern Rivers as a part of our Transport Development Project.

 

The groups bring together public, private and community transport providers, local government, members of parliament and health and social services to identify local issues and work towards reducing transport disadvantage and improve access to affordable transport options for Northern Rivers residents.

It is part of our Transport Development Project focused on reducing transport disadvantage and improving access to affordable transport options for residents of the Northern Rivers.

 

Our ‘going places’ website has information on all the public, private and community transport options available in the Northern Rivers to help you get where you are going without your own vehicle.

 

Visit goingplaces.org.au to plan your journey or download your local transport guide.

Back to school vouchers for children affected by bushfires

Back to school vouchers for children affected by bushfires

Students affected by the 2019/20 fire season have been getting a little help with their school expenses thanks to a grant from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal.  Social Futures, along with the Northern Rivers Community Foundation (NRCF), worked through 35 schools to distribute a thousand donated $50 vouchers to families across the Northern Rivers region.    

For the first time, the vouchers were sent electronically for students, or their schools, to print up and exchange for school related kit such as books, clothing and stationery.    

“It was a big job finding just which families had been affected by the fires,” explained Social Futures Senior Customer Experience Officer Kim Riches. 

It was such a widespread disaster.  We relied on the schools to fill in the picture, but even finding the right schools took a bit of work,” she said. 

“I think the last vouchers went to Dundurrabin public School,” she added.  

Dundurrabin, a small community inland from Coffs Harbour with less than 100 residents, was badly affected by the Bees Nest fire of September 2019.    

Social Futures also distributed vouchers through their programs like Mijung Jarjums and the Family Referral service.   

“We already have strong connections with the diverse communities across the region, including in remote or disadvantaged areas,” explained Social Futures CEO Tony Davies.  

“So, when we were asked to help out with this project, we were happy to make use our networks and hard working staff to see the vouchers get into the hands of the families that needed them most.” 

Emily Berry of NCRF said, “The vouchers are for purchasing items that students may have lost in the bushfires and have never been able to replace due to limited funds available in the family. We hope these vouchers help inclusion for the students, that they can more easily fit in to their school environment and go on to realise their potential, instead of feeling different, excluded because of their financial hardship.” 

While the fires were indiscriminate, many regional and disadvantaged communities were significantly affected, with homes lost and, in some cases, the school buildings themselves. 

Michelle Dalgleish, principal at Coutts Crossing Public School said many families faced hardship in the aftermath of the fires due to property damage and loss of livestock.  

“Our school community was affected by catastrophic fire conditions in November 2019. The fires threatened lives and property in the area, forcing the school to be declared temporarily non-operational due to safety concerns when the Coutts Crossing village was evacuated. It was an extremely scary time for students, families and the whole community,” said Michelle.  

“The school has worked hard to deliver a range of social-emotional programs to improve student’s resilience and strengthen coping skills in the aftermath of the bushfires. And now the vouchers have brought some welcome financial relief to families and students,” she said.   

All 86 students at Coutts Crossing received a voucher.   

“The school has worked hard to deliver a range of social-emotional programs to improve student’s resilience and strengthen coping skills in the aftermath of the bushfires. And now the vouchers have brought some welcome financial relief to families and students,”

Michelle

Couts Crossing School Principal

Elise moves into a home of her own

Elise moves into a home of her own

Moving into your own home is a special milestone but for Elise Miller, it holds extra significance.

Elise has finally had the birthday party she’s dreamed of for so long, with friends, family and other supporters celebrating in her new purpose-built home.

The sociable 34-year-old has lived with her parents all her life but, according to her mother Vicki, had “clearly” reached the point where she was seeing too much of mum and dad.

Elise has severe cerebral palsy, epilepsy, a mild intellectual disability and is non-verbal but can communicate her needs to those who know her well.

“We bought the block of land a while back with this in mind and hired the architect three years ago, about the same time Elise joined the National Disability Insurance Scheme,” Vicki said.

“It’s taken a while but we wanted to be sure everything was just right, which it now is – the builder has done a really good job.”

Elise moved in at the beginning of August but Vicki had to find and train up a team of eight support workers who will be on hand to provide one-on-one care 24 hours a day, seven days a week in rotating shifts.

“She just loves her new place, she’s more mellow since she’s moved in,” Vicki said.

“Elise enjoys being out and about and likes company, especially when people are having fun. Now she’ll have the extra joy of having her friends over to her own home and having fun there.”

Vicki says she and her husband have built two houses on the block, one for Elise “and one for us to move into when we’re ready to properly retire.”

Elise’s home has three bedrooms and is entirely flat, removing the need for ramps, and also features wide doorways, wide hallways, floor-to-ceiling windows throughout, an accessible bathroom and a large open lounge/kitchen/dining area.

Her NDIS funding has paid for occupational therapy assessments, builder consultations, the installation of an overhead hoist between her bedroom and bathroom, plus key items such as a new bed and shower trolley.

Leftover track from Elise’s bedroom hoist installation has also been routed through to the lounge room so she can have ‘floor time’ there.

“One of the two extra bedrooms will be used by the support workers who stay over while the other will be their office to do reports and other paperwork,” Vicki said.

Elise’s new home is much closer to town, putting her within easy reach of the central business district.

She also has her own modified car that her support workers use to take her to various activities, including her day program.

“Elise spends five days a week with disability service provider Aruma – three days a week she’s out doing various activities with one-on-one support, and two days a week she participates in group activities,” Vicki said.

“She’s one of eight who have been together in that group for 15 years since they left school, and they’re good friends.”

For Vicki and her husband Phillip, Elise’s move into her own place marks the start of a new phase in their lives.

“I have a plan to set up a circle of support for Elise that will take over my role,” she said.

“It will have my two older daughters on it along with other key people, maybe six in total, and between them they’ll take charge of things like making sure her car is registered, that her house gets painted, that doctor’s appointments are made, that things get done when needed.”

Elise’s most recent NDIS plan funded a Support Coordinator for the first time, which has proved invaluable given the circumstances of Elise’s move against the background of the COVID lockdown.

Vicki also receives support from Elise’s Local Area Coordinator Belinda Separovic, who works for NDIS partner Social Futures.

Vicki chuckles wryly that Elise’s place will “probably become party central” once her routine is worked out.

“They’ll be able to have barbies, visit clubs, watch the footy, go to the movies, have charades nights, all the sorts of things that adults do socially which she hasn’t been able to do much of until now because she’s been stuck at home with us – and to be honest that’s boring for her,” Vicky said.

“Her comprehension is pretty good and over recent times she’s learnt to express herself better, so with all the support she’s got now she’ll be able to be a lot more independent.

“The support arrangements we’ve put in place will really allow her to live her own life for the first time – she’ll be able to get up when she wants, do what she wants during the day and go to bed when she wants, just like anyone else in the community.”

“The support arrangements we’ve put in place will really allow her to live her own life for the first time – she’ll be able to get up when she wants, do what she wants during the day and go to bed when she wants, just like anyone else in the community.”

 

Vicki

Elise's mum

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

Chesney flies the coop

For parents, Ross and Sandy Bailey the NDIS provided great relief when their 19-year-old son, Chesney had his first National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan approved four years ago. Chesney, who grew up 50 kilometres outside of Forbes on his parent’s farm, has...

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Rob’s come along in leaps and bounds

At 67, Broken Hill man Rob Lindsay has lived with an intellectual difficulty all his life. “There just weren’t assessments for that sort of thing when Rob was younger”, said his sister Joan. “At school, he didn’t keep up, that’s just the way it was. When he left...

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Jack’s Story: Gazing into a new future

Jack Pellizzer is in his last year of high school in Broken Hill. He likes school and, like most 18-year-old boys, he also likes music and movies. But until recently it was difficult for him to tell people what he liked and wanted. Jack has a number of undiagnosed...

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Elise moves into a home of her own

Moving into your own home is a special milestone but for Elise Miller, it holds extra significance. Elise has finally had the birthday party she's dreamed of for so long, with friends, family and other supporters celebrating in her new purpose-built home. The sociable...

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NDIS opens up a whole new life for Tasel

FOR many of us, 2020 may turn out to be a year we’d rather forget. But for Maclean woman Jacques Sears, things have never been better. Ms Sears, also known as Tasel, is deaf, but with the help of the National Disability Insurance Scheme her life has changed for the...

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NDIS opens up a whole new life for Tasel

NDIS opens up a whole new life for Tasel

FOR many of us, 2020 may turn out to be a year we’d rather forget. But for Maclean woman Jacques Sears, things have never been better.

Ms Sears, also known as Tasel, is deaf, but with the help of the National Disability Insurance Scheme her life has changed for the better.

With the birth of her third child only seven weeks away, change has come at just the right time.

FOR many of us, 2020 may turn out to be a year we’d rather forget. But for Maclean woman Jacques Sears, things have never been better.

Ms Sears, also known as Tasel, is deaf, but with the help of the National Disability Insurance Scheme her life has changed for the better.

With the birth of her third child only seven weeks away, change has come at just the right time.

Tasel said in the past she didn’t have interpreters or funding to help, but thanks to NDIS local area co-ordinator Libby McPhee, from Social Futures, Tasel now has the support she needs.

The 38-year-old uses her NDIS funding for interpretation services, community participation and to purchase assistive technologies.

“They really understood what I needed as a deaf person to be well supported,” she said.

“It’s much better, much improved, thanks to Hilary (my interpreter) and Libby my LAC for their wonderful help.

“It feels different. I’m happier. I can book interpreters, I can train my dog to be a service dog for me – the NDIS has enabled me to do that.”

Jacques Sears with her service dog Sasha.

Tasel’s service dog, Sasha, is a nine-month-old German Shepherd and with help from the NDIS, Sasha is learning sign and voice commands through a local trainer, Grace from K9.

Sasha will then get a vibrating collar to alert her when Tasel wants to communicate with her. As a fully-fledged access dog, Sasha will have a special access dog uniform to identify her.

“It’s really exciting,” Tasel said.

“Training my dog to be a service dog would cost too much without the NDIS, so it is amazing now the NDIS is covering it, and I’m stress free from that worry,” she added.

That’s not the only exciting news Tasel has to share. In just seven weeks she is due to have a baby.

“It’s very active, always punching, kicking and moving around in there,” she said.

“It’s a little boy. We have a name but we’re keeping it secret until the birth.”

Tasel also has a 19-year-old son, Hulieo, living in Canberra and a 16-year-old daughter LaToiah, who lives with her in Maclean.

For Hulieo and LaToiah’s birth, Tasel said she communicated with her doctor writing on paper or the doctor would talk slower so she could lip-read.

Tasel’s partner, Marcus, also helped through the birth, telling her what doctors were saying.

The birth of this new child promises to be a whole different experience for Tasel.

“All of the ongoing appointments I have for the baby I can now have interpreters for, funded through the NDIS, so I feel more confident going through all of these appointments,” Tasel said.

“I can understand what the doctors are telling me. I’m really happy. It’s been such a change for me. I’m feeling really comfortable and good about this – well supported.”

The NDIS has also provided assistive technology funding to support Tasel after her baby is born.

“I have an iPad which means I can book interpreters independently. It’s good to have technology I can use for relay technology, which helps me living remotely,” she said.

Through her assistive technology funding, Tasel has also purchased a baby alarm.

“A receptor is worn on my wrist and one around my waist, and through flashing and vibrating it will wake me when the baby is crying,” she said.

“I also have two doorbells which link to my phone so if somebody is at the door I can see who is there.”

Tasel said her support co-ordinator is currently looking for new accommodation for her daughter, and her newborn, and the new property will have front and back door alarms fitted.

“People use the back door generally because deaf people won’t hear people at the front,” Tasel said.

“That’s why I now have a back and front door alarm. It is a safety thing too. I have funding for a fire alarm also – a flashing light – to fit to the new property once we find it.”

In the future, Tasel plans to learn creative writing through TAFE, but for now her focus will be on her 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

Chesney flies the coop

For parents, Ross and Sandy Bailey the NDIS provided great relief when their 19-year-old son, Chesney had his first National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan approved four years ago. Chesney, who grew up 50 kilometres outside of Forbes on his parent’s farm, has...

read more

Rob’s come along in leaps and bounds

At 67, Broken Hill man Rob Lindsay has lived with an intellectual difficulty all his life. “There just weren’t assessments for that sort of thing when Rob was younger”, said his sister Joan. “At school, he didn’t keep up, that’s just the way it was. When he left...

read more

Jack’s Story: Gazing into a new future

Jack Pellizzer is in his last year of high school in Broken Hill. He likes school and, like most 18-year-old boys, he also likes music and movies. But until recently it was difficult for him to tell people what he liked and wanted. Jack has a number of undiagnosed...

read more

Elise moves into a home of her own

Moving into your own home is a special milestone but for Elise Miller, it holds extra significance. Elise has finally had the birthday party she's dreamed of for so long, with friends, family and other supporters celebrating in her new purpose-built home. The sociable...

read more

NDIS opens up a whole new life for Tasel

FOR many of us, 2020 may turn out to be a year we’d rather forget. But for Maclean woman Jacques Sears, things have never been better. Ms Sears, also known as Tasel, is deaf, but with the help of the National Disability Insurance Scheme her life has changed for the...

read more

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How our local services stayed connected through COVID-19

How our local services stayed connected through COVID-19

While individuals and households were adjusting to the new reality of social isolation as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, human service organisations were scrambling to figure out how best to keep supporting our most vulnerable community members despite physical distancing restrictions.

Social Futures is a social services provider based in regional NSW. We wanted to do something to help other local organisations get prepared and meet the challenges emerging from the health crisis.

Through our existing Better Chances Forum which is convened by Social Futures, we were able to provide a fortnightly online meeting space where local services could connect, collaborate and support each other.

The use of the Better Chances Forum was important because it brings together sector professionals who work with vulnerable children, young people and families – where there are heightened concerns about the risk of homelessness, domestic and family violence and disengagement from school and community as a result of the lockdown and economic impacts.

Almost fifty professionals from 24 organisations have connected with the sessions  since we began holding them in early April.

The sessions have helped to break down barriers and raise awareness in the sector of additional resources and assistance available to support the families they work with.

As a sector, we were able to more quickly identify emerging trends, such as an increase in child wellbeing reports, and find solutions together.

One challenge was the difficulty many young people faced remaining connected and engaged with education during lockdown.

For children and young people who are at risk, schools can be an important way to connect with their families and offer the right supports. We often say that a school’s duty of care shouldn’t stop at the school gate, but even when students returned to school, parents were being asked to not enter the school grounds and make drop-off and pick-up as quick as possible.

We recognised that teachers needed additional support so we used our online Community-Hub to create a collaborative information pack for schools with details of all the services and resources available in their local area to help them reach out and support their students and families.

Some other actions emerging from the sessions were collecting data and research about how local communities were impacted by COVID-19 to share with government and peak welfare bodies, coordinating care packs for families, working to connect families to early intervention services and legal advice to minimise negative impacts, and liaising with local police around young people who may be out in public during lockdown.

We will continue to provide the online meeting space as we transition out of lockdown and adapt to the new world of physical distancing. While it has undoubtedly been a challenging time, we have also seen some positives in embracing new technologies and new ways of working. While online forums, teleconferences and telehealth have been around for a long time, the lockdown has forced many workers and community members to try these platforms for the first time and see the benefits of being able to connect and collaborate with services, expertise and peers remotely.

As an organisation and a sector we don’t see the goal as eventually ‘going back to the way things were’ but rather embracing a new way of working that holds onto what we have learnt through this experience to become more inclusive, effective and connected.

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.