Bipartisan vote gives hope: families
GREAT NEWS: Allana McNichol shows her mother Marian Pope around her new home WHEN Allana McNichol was born, doctors told her family she would never walk.
Thirty-six years later Ms M c N i c h o l i s a v i b r a n t woman who can not only walk but has recently moved i n t o Cootharinga’s supported accommodation facility, plays tenpin bowls and is involved in a number of programs. Despite her Down S y n d r o me, s e v e r e h e a r t problems and rheumatoid arthritis, her proud mother Marian Pope said she always knew her daughter could succeed if given the right support.
Ms Pope said while disabili t y s ervices had i mproved immensely since Ms McNichol was born, there were still waiting lists and a lack of funding to contend with.
She said if more children were able to access early intervention programs as a result of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, it would take the pressure off families, help clients become independent as adults, and in many cases, even contribute t o t he workforce. ‘ ‘ Over many years people tend to slip through the cracks,’’ Ms Pope said.
‘‘ There’s different things they miss out on if you don’t know where to go to ask for help or have to wait a long time for it.
‘‘ When she was first born there was nothing to help us. We were told she would never even walk, but I refused to believe it.
‘‘ I said, ‘ while there’s life, there’s hope’, and by the time she was six I had her walking after researching a program from the university.’’
Ms Pope said if the government implemented the disability insurance scheme it would dramatically change the lives of people living with disabilities.
‘‘ I believe there are many places in the community they could contribute . . . if only there were the programs to spend time with and teach them. Hopefully if it goes through the young o nes g o i ng t hr o ugh t he school system will be able to get more training and gain employment suitable to their ability.’’