Disability Advocacy NSW – a voice for people with disabilities in Dubbo and the West.
I’ve come across from the NDIS and I’ve been in this role since January, but I have worked in the
disability sector for 10 years. The thing I’ve noticed in my advocacy role is the increase of people with disabilities needing support from an advocate to help them navigate the NDIS, which is a complex system.
People are really struggling to understand it, there is so much
red tape involved and so much need to “prove” your disability, which is really sad and adds additional stress and anxiety to an already emotional situation.
The NDIS provides funding to people with a lifelong disability that has a significant impact on
their day to day life. It’s a funded package so the money doesn’t go to the participant, but depending on what their goals are in their plan, the funding can be used for things like therapy, supported accommodation, community participation and funding for equipment.
People with disabilities face so many challenges. Things like isolation,
exclusion, prejudice and lack of support. These are everyday issues for people with a disability and it’s very difficult for these people to feel included in the community and have the same opportunities as other people do.
I have a lived experience with disability and feel I can relate to
people with a disability and the impacts on their everyday life.
It only takes a smile and a kind word to brighten someone’s day.
I feel for people who are facing challenges in their lives and try to help wherever I can to ensure they are being treated equally and with respect and dignity. Providing advocacy support is a privilege and I give 100 per cent to each person I support in the hope I can help to make a positive change in their lives.
There are many success stories.
Some people have goals which others might think are unachievable, but the satisfaction gained from taking little steps towards that end result is priceless. That sense of achievement when someone tells you “I did it” is very rewarding, and having the opportunity to support someone to take that next step is so beneficial for self-esteem and self-worth.
One thing I keep going back to is
“to the world you may just be one person but to one person you may be the world” and that really resonates with me. When you’re having a really bad day, that just helps give me a boost and reminds me why I’m doing what I’m doing.
– Interview & photo by Sophia Rouse