A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles – Christopher Reeve
Over the years working in the disability sector, I have met many heroes and witnessed innumerable heroic acts from people living with a disability. I am regularly humbled to observe the overwhelming obstacles they face, undertaking activities that many of us often take for granted. Navigating through the common life tasks can be a daily mountain to climb for some, and these incredible people dig down deep every day to access the strength to persevere.
The establishment of the NDIS has meant that as a nation, we commit to better support for people living with a disability, giving them the freedom to make their own decisions about accessing the services and supports they want and need. It’s been four years since the first national roll-out and there has been a lot of learning along the way. With over 250,000 Australians accessing the scheme today, people living with a disability are beginning to better understand what it is they need and want from this scheme.
What we hear from our clients at Care Support Network is while they want the freedom to choose the services and supports that will best fit their needs, they don’t want to navigate the system alone.
They say this because the NDIS is complex and can be really confusing. There are significant administrative tasks that come with it. Then there is the added pressure of finding the local services and supports that best fit their needs and budget. Every person’s situation is unique and so finding the right supports needs to be tailored to each person. A cookie-cutter approach doesn’t work.
Where does this leave the Australians who are accessing the NDIS scheme? If they aren’t using Plan Management and Support Coordination services, they carry an enormous administrative load. This isn’t fair.
In both my personal and professional life, I am regularly reminded that we do better when we work together. Going it alone just doesn’t produce the same outcomes as when we put our heads and hearts together and work as a team. And I strongly believe that people living with disability and their carers deserve a team of support. A team that will walk alongside them to navigate this complex NDIS system. A team that will ease the burden of the administrative tasks so they can focus less on paperwork and more on living. A team that will help them find the local services and supports to lead a better life and accomplish their goals.
Christopher Reeve’s definition of a hero embodies people living with a disability. As a nation, we have rightly committed to offering the freedom to choose the support they need and want. Let’s now honour these heroes by ensuring they all have a caring and supportive team to walk alongside them.