I wouldn’t exactly call my house accessible. I do have a ramp up to my backdoor and a modified bathroom but I can only access certain areas of my home. It feels really weird to live somewhere you can’t actually get to.
Even more weird is that it’s a LOT better than some of my friends’ situations. My name is Jake and I have Cerebral Palsy. I’m 26 years old and currently live with my Mum, stepdad, two brothers and our dog on the Central Coast.
I’m finally going to be free though. Moving out and being able to live independently, is going to give me complete control over my decisions. It’s really important to me. If I don’t do something – it’ll be all on me because I won’t have anyone else to blame or rely on and I can’t wait for that to happen.
I first heard about the Ability SDA apartments through my NDIS Support Coordinator. I really didn’t know what to expect with the application process for SDA funding. I sort of just went with the flow. There were 2 parts that I had to go through. The first part was getting the application for the SDA apartment through to Ability SDA and then there was a whole different application for me to go through with the NDIS to get my funding approved. That second part took a long time and I ended up needing help from my family, my COS, my OT and a guy called Greg Barry who is like an NDIS funding consultant to get through it all. Then I had to wait until the NDIS approved my funding.
Even with all the work that went into this process, I still wasn’t sure if I would even get approved. Luckily, I didn’t have too much expectation anyway so I found the process semi-reasonable except for the not knowing. That was the worst. I had so many questions and there were just no answers or communication back from the NDIA along the way. It was a long waiting process until my approval finally came through from them.
Now I’m so excited but I do still worry about the unknown. I’m going to be moving out and I feel like I don’t really know anything about living alone. I guess it’s a good thing though – I don’t have any expectations so I am hoping I won’t get disappointed. I do worry about the transition though and wonder how I’ll cope. I’ve never done anything like this before. I’ve got a great core support team though and I’ve started planning what I’ll need with them and my family.
I’m really, really excited about integrating the assistive technology into my life. It will be so much easier to manage things day to day and it’s how the world is going these days. Plus, it’s a great help to people with disabilities. I feel like when I’m there, the sky will be the limit because I won’t be limited anymore in what I can do. I have heaps of hobbies. I love the Central Coast Mariners, talking, communicating, meeting new people, motivational speaking, watching TV, Netflix and cooking and I know that I’ll be able to do the all in my new apartment.
To anyone in my position, I just want to say: apply for SDA. It could actually change your life and if you don’t give it a go, you won’t find out what is out there for you.