“I have got my life back”, is how Wendy Smith describes her WA NDIS experience. Wendy, who has Multiple Sclerosis, lives in Kwinana with her husband Andrew and dog Jasper. Prior to joining the WA NDIS trial in Cockburn-Kwinana she had limited opportunity to live her life to the full. She felt like a burden to those around her and found it very difficult to leave her home and be part of her local community.
“People with disability deserve to have an identity, but for ten years I felt like I was just my disability, not a person,” Wendy said. “From the moment I met my Local Coordinator, Victoria, I felt like a human again. She talked to me about what I wanted and needed and took the time to get to know me,” Wendy said.
Through a series of meetings and conversations, and with Victoria’s support, Wendy was able to identify how she would like her life to be. This includes many things other people take for granted, such as someone to support her to shower every day at a time she chooses. Previously Wendy had little control over the days and times she received this service, which made it difficult to plan her days and leave the house.
Another of Wendy’s goals was to shop at a shopping centre of her choice, that being her local shopping centre. It is close to home and when shopping there she bumps into friends and feels part of her local community. Due to the way her supports and services were previously structured, Wendy was unable to access her local shopping centre.
After investigating a number of service providers in the WA NDIS trial Wendy discovered that one provider was able to provide all the supports and services she required. This suited Wendy better than having services provided by multiple providers.
Now Wendy is putting her WA NDIS plan into action, she and her husband are able to make plans, go on outings together and do their weekly shopping locally.
“It wasn’t part of my plan, but I have quit smoking because I don’t have the stress in my life anymore,” Wendy said. “Now that I don’t have to worry about my support I have started thinking about other things I would like to do in my life, including more writing.”