Amy’s Story

Ability SDA Typical Apartment Internal Layout

My life has changed so much since moving into my Ability Apartment – it’s really so different, I can’t look back. I love living by myself and doing whatever I want to do.

My name is Amy. Before I moved in my Ability Apartment, I was living in Emergency Accommodation. My home wasn’t accessible at all. There were stairs and the bathroom wasn’t accessible or easy to use. I was only able to have a few drop-in supports to check on me from time to time and I constantly had to watch how much NDIS funding I had available to me. I regularly went without supports in the afternoons and that was difficult for me. 

Now I live in this beautiful apartment with so many accessible features. I have way more supports than ever before and everything is better organised and regulated for me. Plus, I have access to the overnight support team in the building and that’s a game-changer for me.

When I found out about SDA as an option, and specifically Ability SDA, I was pretty amazed to be honest. I had some concerns about it initially because I wasn’t even sure if I’d be eligible but there was no need to worry! My original Support Coordinator told me about the Ability Apartments and then managed the whole application process for me. She was amazing and kept me informed the whole way through the process. I applied during Covid so there was a slightly more extended wait to be approved but even with those complications, I felt everything went really smoothly. 

Moving in was easy too. My family and Support Coordinator and carers helped me so much. 

I actually got a bit of a shock at how nice my apartment was – modern, clean and spacious. Everything was great and everyone I dealt with on the Ability SDA Team was so friendly. I feel really lucky to live here. I was also able to bring my previous supports with me to my new home and this made the transition so much more comfortable and familiar for me. 

I felt settled in my new apartment very quickly; that part was easy! I loved being able to decorate my space exactly how I wanted it which really helped me to feel at home. My two cats settled in really quickly too and it was such a blessing to be able to bring them in with me. It did take me a little while to get fully comfortable with the Assistive Technology though… My speech isn’t 100% clear so Alexa and I had some communication troubles at first but even that only took a few weeks to fully sort out and now she’s so helpful to me. Actually, I KNOW I’d struggle without her now… there’s so much I physically can’t do myself that the Assistive Technology just does easily for me, it’s really incredible. 

I also love so much about the physical space in my Ability Apartment. The wide doors and hallways make moving around the apartment really comfortable. It’s hard to explain to someone who isn’t in a wheelchair but it’s really something being able to move around without constantly having to watch my wheels and the walls. It’s one less thing to worry or even think about. The bathroom accessibility is great too and makes my daily life much easier. It’s absolutely fantastic and I love that this is my home now. 

It’s not just about the physical building either; there’s a whole other social dimension. I’m a very social person – I love shopping, socialising, hosting dinner parties, watching movies. I’m really involved in the community here. I go out every single day and take every opportunity to go out with my supports. My physiotherapist, speech therapist and podiatrist are all close by or come to the building to treat me. I even do hydrotherapy. Having access to so much therapy has helped me so much and given me more freedom and opportunities to get out and enjoy my life. 

I love hosting dinner parties in my apartment with my friends and neighbours. My carers help me to prepare the food and set everything up and it makes me so happy to that I can actually do it here and have people over. I’ve even hosted a few Christmas parties! My friends and family love my home. They think it’s beautiful and love seeing me so happy here. They love the view from the balcony too because it really is stunning. I had people over last New Year’s Eve and we could even watch the fireworks from my balcony. 

All of this activity has changed my perspective and my mental health. My supports have seen a huge change and improvement in me. I’d like to encourage anyone thinking about applying to Ability SDA for Specialist Disability Accommodation just to do it. It’s worth it, you’ll love it. I’ve now been here for 3 years and I still love it!

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