Carly’s Story

We’re building a nest of our own here, focusing on ourselves and each other.

My husband, Evan, and I make a really great team. I’m excited to start the next chapter of our newly-married lives together, living independently in our own space. I can’t wipe the smile off my face!

I have type 3 spinal muscular atrophy and Evan and I were previously living at home with my mum. She’s always been great to us and we all got on really well, but like every young couple, we’ve always wanted our own space and to be able to make our own decisions about how we live. We started looking at renting but something that looked okay on a real estate website was often a massive letdown in person: steps, inaccessible bathrooms… which all looked accessible in photos. We looked for a long time and the process became pretty demoralizing.

am glad we learned about ability SDA when we did. I know that living here will change my life – our life.

Something I’ve been most looking forward to is being able to have easier access in the kitchen. At mum’s house, I didn’t have an adjustable bench or wheelchair access under the counters and sink. I won’t have to ask Evan to get me a glass of water again – I can do it myself here. I’m equally excited about my new accessible bathroom!

The Assistive Technology is second to none. I’m really, really impressed with it all. At mum’s I needed assistance just to open the back door, but here the balcony door and blinds are automated. They open and close with the touch of a button or a simple voice command. 

I feel a lot more independent here, and independence is something that’s incredibly important to me. It’s a great feeling that I am free to come and go as I please; I can leave by myself at any time to catch a train down the road. I love swimming; having a pool nearby is a game-changer and I know I’ll be in there all the time.

Not only have I reclaimed independence, but Evan has a lot more freedom, too. Knowing he can pursue work and not worry about me not having or being able to access what I need, gives him tremendous peace of mind. He says he can breathe easy knowing I’m safe and that I can “talk to the apartment” to make it do what I need it to.

It’s empowering for me to know that while he’s away, I can get things and do things for myself. I don’t have to wait until he’s back home. The onsite support team plays a big role in providing that comfort. I know that even if things go a little wrong and I drop something or need to go to the bathroom, help is a quick call away.

Aside from the physical comforts of the space, I’m also more confident about reaching my goals. Like many, I lost my job due to COVID-19. The apartment is so close to everything including public transport. I like having the train station right next door and it gives me the best chance of finding work again. I won’t have problems getting to interviews and when I do find the right job for me, I’ll be able to work from home in our beautiful second bedroom.

We can’t wait to entertain our friends here. Out of respect for mum, we tended to be more quiet and send people home earlier than we would have liked. The rooftop terrace has a lovely barbeque area and we’re already planning our first get-together. I just know our friends will love the views as much as we do.

To anyone who is planning to or currently going through the process of applying for SDA funding… keep going. The process can be stressful at times, but it’s worth persevering. Keep the end goal in sight and who knows? We might be neighbours one day!

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