My Q&A Apperance

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What sort of mentoring do people with a communication disability need?

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When I go out and socialize, people always tend to look at me because of my wheelchair and not always know how to communicate with me because of my communication aid. It’s my support workers who empower me to be able to walk into a room with people that I don’t know and still feel confident. My support workers help me to be understood and let people know that I can communicate effectively with the assistance of an iPad.

I used to hate going out but when the right support worker showed up and took me out and was able to assist me with feeling empowered, having a voice and building up my confidence, I could actually start to enjoy it.

 

People with communication disabilities require people to sit with us and be patient in understanding us. To also be patient when I use my communication aids. My support workers empower me with the confidence to go out into the community and socialize with people I don’t know.

 

It’s about having a voice and feeling like I have the right to say no as well. Feeling like I can ask for help when I need to.

 

As a person with a communication disability, it’s important for my support workers to help build up my confidence and to be strong to know that I have the same rights, and can live my life to the fullest despite my disability. It’s crucial for people with communication disabilities to have mentors that challenge the very idea of a disability.

We need mentoring to break down these barriers and to train people on how to effectively communicate.

 

While the communication aid is an incredibly helpful tool, we also require mentoring on feeling empowered and confident enough to communicate as well. It’s a two-part job and there needs to be more research on how we can effectively support people with communication disabilities in confidently communicating with others.

 

One of my mentors was my speech therapist who provided me with the tools and skills to be able to use my communication device effectively. I believe it would be great to see a program where older children or young adults with communication needs mentor younger children on how to effectively use their communication device.  I think that the right speech therapist should provide the individual with practice of speech or sign language. It’s up to the speech therapist and occupational therapist to provide the child with the skills to meet their communication needs. This includes providing information on the different communication aids that will match the person’s needs. Its crucial for speech therapists to mentor those with communication devices on how to use them effectively, particularly in primary schools.

 

 

A mentor provides knowledge, support, and guidance so we can grow in our personal lives. I personally have been lucky to have a supportive family and my parents as mentors. My mother taught me how to be independent and rely on myself to achieve what I wanted in life. My father taught me that a disability didn’t need to hold me back: that it didn’t matter that I was disabled, I could still achieve what I wanted in life.  I believe it’s incredibly important people with communication disabilities have mentors who encourage them to lift their confidence and engage with others in society so that they can live a full life.

 

Disabilities are part of everyday society and aresomething that is more normal than many realize. It’s for this reason I believe those with communication disabilities need mentors to help them reach their fullest potential.

The New NDIS – My Opinion

The NDIS was a noble initiative by the Gillard Government in practice it hasn’t proven to be such an effective idea. The budget blow-outs are big, with the funding not always being allocated fairly. I think some individuals on the NDIS may be taking advantage of it and others in real need are not receiving funds. Some service providers are taking client funding for services that they cannot provide, and others are unable to navigate the NDIS system and receive payment at all.

 

I have heard plenty of horror stories and also plenty of great stories about being on the NDIS. One story from a woman in South Australia talks about how her husband’s wheelchair arrived with no wheels, as the wheels were not covered. On a different note, I have heard a story from a woman who received a new wheelchair and accessible housing upgrade as part of her new plan.

 

One of the problems is that many planners don’t have any idea about what it is like to have a disability and the day to day life matters that are involved. Often the initial care plan is inadequate to address all the disadvantages and obstacles that prevent a person with a disability from entering society. This means that the client has to go back to the NDIS for a review, a process that takes a very long time. In the meantime, the client just has to wait.

 

At times the NDIS assessment process is obviously unfair to people with disabilities. Until recently, many of the interviews for creating NDIS plans were conducted via the phone instead of face to face. This caused many problems for those with disabilities that affect communication, such as cerebral palsy. Some people are not able to communicate over the phone due to these communication difficulties. Thankfully, the NDIS has noted the concerns of the community about this and have agreed to end its phone interviews. Nevertheless, there are continuing problems with the speed and superficiality with which assessments are conducted.

 

Individuals who desperately need the assistance of disability support workers for daily activities are not being provided with sufficient hours of support. Those who are not provided with the necessary hours of support are unable to attend work, go shopping for food and carry out other necessary daily activities.

 

It is possible for the NDIS to be efficient with a few changes to the current model. For example, instead of private organizations conducting the planning, having the NDIS actually create the plans would be an important step forward because the private organizations’ focus is placed on saving money rather than funding where necessary. The NDIS also has a clearer idea of the planning process as opposed to the private organizations.

 

People with disabilities have the potential to be happy, healthy contributors to society when given the appropriate support. Making these changes within the NDIS could create profound shifts within accessible communities and transform this noble initiative into an effective and efficient program.

 

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Entertainment …

When I think entertainment I think it is doing anything that makes you happy or laugh. Whether it’s going out to parties, drinking, spending time with friends and family or just doing things that make you happy.

I guess you could say I am a person who loves and lives around entertainment. I like to laugh a lot and when I do laugh I don’t stop. I love going to plays, music events, art exhibitions, music and the movies. As you can tell by now I love doing things that make me happy.

I feel like they should make more events that cater to people with disabilities, and I’m sure they would wish for them to be more accessible and more outings with more accessibility. I guess that’s what stops most of us these days.. being afraid to go somewhere without having the knowledge to know if you can get into the place or not.

There are barriers to entertainment, where sometimes I can’t attend places because they’re not accessible enough or just they don’t always cater for people with disabilities. With saying all that there are many places of entertainment who now consider people like me, having the right equipment, chairs, ramps etc. So it’s good to see the entertainment world is changing and considering people with disabilities.

Unfortunately with saying all that there are times where I think it’s not fair having a disability, and wanting to be associating with the entertainment world. Now I have noticed over the years with buying tickets for wheelchair accessible places, there aren’t many tickets that cater for that which I find very unfair and that I think in my opinion that should change.

With saying that I think it should grow and change, and they should start having more people with disabilities cast is shows, and in the entertainment world as we are humans too, and can do things just about the same. I love the entertainment world and I hope to continue to be apart of it forever. Always being included, going out and having fun and sharing laughter and creating more memories.

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Inclusion …

Everyone wants to feel included and fit into today’s society…

In today’s society, it’s very hard to feel included as not everyone has the same values and morals as you. We all get judged by society these days whether its religion, LGBT communities, people from different races, people with disabilities and many more. We all want to feel included and not treated differently. I guess you can say it’s the fear that people have to be wanted and to fit in.

In my opinion, this is not fair. You shouldn’t be defined by what you are, its who you are that is important. This is crazy right because I was brought up to treat everyone the way you would want to be treated, but I guess not everyone agrees.

To be included for me has been quite a journey good and bad, as you know I have cerebral palsy and in a wheelchair. It started when I was in school I had a lady that followed me around that helped me feel a bit included in school, I guess you can say following that I was the first ever student to attend a ‘normal’ school having a disability, a physical disability.

Saying that I always felt included in school and that I fit in, having the best years of my life and gaining two best friends who I will have always by my side. But it did have some impact on me where at times I wouldn’t feel included in some activities like sports, which were never catered to myself and I could never join because they weren’t wheelchair catered.

I guess having a disability has made me realise some things in life. It’s made me realise that no matter who or what you are, what you believe in, how you act you should NEVER feel like you don’t belong and included. If anything go out, join groups and surround yourself with people who look at you and make you feel appreciated and wanted and that don’t make you feel like its not OK to be different.

Moral of this, always make people feel included. Whatever it is..

The power is in your hands and you’re the only one who can change it. Make people feel wanted and included and they will feel like they belong in society. It’s the small things that make a difference in this world, be the bigger person and put your foot down and make a change.

Empower being different –   “I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives.” 
― R.J. PalacioWonder

   “I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives.” 
― R.J. PalacioWonder

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Travel …

 

I can still imagine the beautiful beach and feel the sand between my feet when I close my eyes …

I am 34 years old and I can say I have traveled quite a bit throughout the years. The first time I traveled I was 4 years old. I don’t remember much of it but I remember it being fun. I have been to lots of interesting and fun countries, getting to see all the special wonders around the world. 

I think the best thing about traveling is experiencing new cultures, new traditions, observing the way people celebrate, lifestyles, sightseeing, clothing and of course the food, which is the most important thing. In all the countries I have been to I have been fortunate enough to enjoy many different cultures. 

I normally fly with Qantas because I have a special card with them to have any support worker I prefer to come with me and my support worker pays half price as a bonus. I have to have someone travelling with me due my physical disability. I cant travel alone and this card is only for domestic travel. People with a disability don’t have this financial support when traveling internationally which is unfortunate and something that could be lobbied for by disability rights organizations.

Travelling is one of those things I always have had on my bucket list. Ticking off countries every time I travel is an amazing feeling. I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel around. Every time I travel I feel so happy as I get to gain new experiences. 

I went to England last year, I went with mum and my aunt Helen. In England I found everything everything very accessible. Castles, churches, no matter how old the building. However the accessible taxis in London were very scary. I really enjoyed my time in England and I would to go back there again.    

I love the hour before the plane leaves. I just get so excited that it is one step closer to going to a new adventure. I can’t sit still, I sit their have my last sip of my drink and then they call the plane and that’s when I get nervous and excited at the same time.

The whole plane trip I am on the edge of my seat. I want to sleep yet I still want to be up to see the clouds. When I arrive at my destination my face lights up and that’s when I know a new adventure is about to start. Taking pictures, eating and just enjoying the company being on the other side of the world is an amazing feeling to have. 

I can’t wait to continue to travel and discover new places in the future. Seeing places I haven’t seen before and experiencing new adventures, until then …

                             Bon Voyage …  

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How To Look Good With A Disability …

All women want to look good every day. Having the perfect look to best suit society puts so much pressure on us. Having the most fantastic shoes, makeup, handbag is a must have to blend in.

People with disabilities especially feel extra pressure about looking good because they feel scared they are going to be judged more if they don’t measure up.

Society seems to have a mental stigma that people with a disability don’t have any sense of fashion. But that isn’t true, we have the same amount of good fashion taste as the rest of the population. So clearly these assumptions are false and misleading.

To me the best era of clothing and time was the seventies. “To me, the Seventies were very inspirational and very influential… With my whole persona as Snoop Dogg, as a person, as a rapper. I just love the Seventies style, the way all the players dressed nice, you know, kept their hair looking good, drove sharp cars and they talked real slick.” Quoted by the famous rapper Snoop Dogg
The clothes we wear describe us. What we wear tells a story, and shows who and what we are. I might look different because I have a disability, but I buy clothes because l like shopping in these shops; Gorman, Topshop, Just Jeans. These clothes are a really nice make and they always have good clothes to fit me.

Yes I do admit finding the right clothes that fit and look good is hard. But with the help of support workers I am able to wear nice stuff and feel included. I love shopping as it is fun. I can do it all day and night. I get to try on things that I love.

 

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Shoes …

I would love to wear Jimmy Choo shoes or high heels. I’m a size 4. It’s a nightmare trying to find the most fashionable shoes, but I guess you could say finding the right one is a constant struggle. Shoes for people with disabilities are horrible.

They are not fashionable at all, as they are mostly brown and have no pattern on them and are just not my thing. I am your typical girl who has a wardrobe filled with shoes. However, I never wear them, as they are a constant battle and struggle, As none of them can fit my feet.

I’m not Cinderella I guess, not every shoe fits, and it’s not like a prince is trying to fit the shoe on. My feet are swollen and I can’t wear any shoe I like, Due to all the operations I’ve had over the past few years. However, I want to wear a pair of pretty and sexy shoes for a change and not the boring ones I wear now.

             ‘There is an element of seduction in shoes that doesn’t exist for men. A woman can be sexy, charming, witty or shy with her shoes’-, as quoted by the famous Christian Louboutin. 

I guess shoes show who someone is. Based on the individual it sums up a bit about them. For people who wear sneakers and joggers it shows they are into sports and active, for the girls who wear heels it shows how they are fashionable and like to show off their legs.

Don’t get me wrong I give you credit for doing that, if it was for me to be in heels I would fall and tumble over. Every shoe can describe a person. The best thing about having shoes is that they protect you from the floor in the heat, When it’s cold and raining they keep your feet dry, and just sometimes are so comfortable that it feels like you’re not even wearing anything on your feet.

 

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