The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is expected to provide about 460,000 Australians with a disability with the necessary supports they need to live an ordinary life.
We recently spoke to Siobhan Daley, who has taken up the post as the new public face of the scheme in NSW. Like any 16 year old, Siobhan lists music and TV as hobbies, and is currently completing her HSC alongside her peers and pursuing the goal of representing Australia at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in her chosen sport, Boccia.
According to Siobhan, her love of the sport started in 2007, at a ‘Come & Try Day’ in a shed in the middle of nowhere. “Boccia was in the back corner, no one was playing so I had a ramp put in front of me and well, fell in love with the sport… I start playing Boccia seriously in 2010 when we moved to the city”.
Siobhan also loves programming her own communication devices and hopes to start her own business to help people program their own devices too.
Flying the NDIS flag
In her role as spokesperson for the NDIS, Siobhan hopes to spread the word about the scheme to raise awareness and understanding of the NDIS for participants and alleviate any doubts they might have. Siobhan has personally been involved with the NDIS since it was trialed in Newcastle in September 2013 – in our interview, she gave us some recommendations for people who are about to embark their own NDIS journey.
What are some of the challenges you have faced in relation to the NDIS?
According to Siobhan, “the best thing about the NDIS is being in control of my supports, choosing who supports me, when they support me, what they support me with. As I always say, it’s all about getting the right person, in the right place, at the right time”.
However, Siobhan mentioned to us that even though the NDIS scheme allows her to take control of her supports, she has found it challenging to locate the right support worker. Finding the right person takes times. Siobhan uses her existing supports until she finds the perfect match.
Certainly, this is a trend we are seeing at Mable (formerly Mable), where NDIS participants are using the Mable platform to build and manage their own teams of paid support. Increasingly, these teams are diversified, with clients engaging support from a number of areas including the Mable online community, local businesses, their existing support teams or communities.
For those just starting out on their NDIS journey, Siobhan offers the following advice:
“Just think about what you want to do with your life, what do you want to do differently? The whole world is about to open up in front of you, go explore it! The most important thing to do, is plan. Plan what you want to do whether that be becoming more independent and moving out of home, or taking a cooking class”.
If you’re looking to build your own community of paid support, or would like to search for available support workers in your area, click here to join!