Ingrid’s story shows the importance of keeping a balance so that each person feels equal within their relationships. It shows NDIS’s role in respecting a woman’s right to determine how that equality is maintained. Ingrid cares for her husband as he cares for her. Without each being able to contribute to the relationship, the imbalance of power could occur and become a problem. Ingrid also recognises the importance of receiving support in her role caring for her mother.
I have cerebral palsy and am an NDIS participant in Geelong. I live with my husband and we have an organic garden. Having organic food is a priority for me. As well as the health, well-being and cultural aspect, it means I can be as sustainable as possible.
In my first Plan with the NDIS I asked that meals be prepared for me and my husband. This was initially rejected, but I persisted with my request as my husband has particular food allergies. I went back to my Planner and discussed it again in terms of my goal as a wife. I wanted to provide my husband with healthy food as he provides so much day to day support for me. This goal was added to my Plan, and I am now having nutritious meals prepared for myself and my husband.
As women we are partners, parents and daughters – we are often charged with the responsibility of providing care and we have the right to have support to provide this care whether it is cooking meals, changing nappies or spending time with our parents.
The NDIS has been really great in ensuring I get equipment when I need it and not have to be on a waiting list for years and having to contribute my own money toward the cost of the equipment. However, I am concerned about the lack of housing options.
Before becoming a NDIS participant I had long term support workers. I was able to continue with these workers, which was important to me as they provide me with enduring care and some companionship too – I am very gregarious.
The simple things like going to the toilet and bathing are becoming more of a challenge and I can see I might need more support hours in the future.
I now have two service providers which offers me more flexibility. I use some community access support to visit my 93 year old mother who lives in an aged care facility in Melbourne. This has allowed me to visit her more often which is important to me and takes the pressure off my husband, who dislikes going to Melbourne.
I am concerned that some services like Traveller’s Aid in Melbourne that make the whole community more accessible will not be funded and that this will severely limit the success of the NDIS. I am always speaking out about these things but I am concerned for those women who cannot speak up for themselves. They may not get the support they rightfully deserve.
The most important tip I have for other women accessing the NDIS is “to be more assertive and/or get a good advocate”.