Opinion | 2 December 2019

A quick catch up with Benjamin on International Day

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Ben and his friends wearing their team Australia uniforms, Australian flags, and an inflatable kangaroo mascot. They are raising their arms in victory, and look happy and proud.

Tomorrow is International Day of People with Disability. The purpose of the day is to promote understanding of the issues facing people with disability, and to push for change.

We don’t often hear from young people with disability on this day. So we thought this was a good chance to ask our Champion Benjamin what he has been up to lately, and what he would like to see change for young people in this country.

What cool things have you been doing lately?

Well I have been making movies with Brendan and music with Stefan. I’m having my own small business in designing shirts. I have a bank account for my business and we have finished a huge amount of designs. The logo we are still working on it – we’re trying to make it more portable. I’ve been meeting with my Project Management Group who help me run my business. I have a graphic designer, and accountant who are our neighbours a businessman who is a friend and my Mum and a facilitator who helps organise everything and her name is Wendy.

I also represented my whole country of Australia with 70 other countries at the INAS Global Games in athletics. I got a fourth and two fifths in the world. I am really happy about wearing my Australian Team Uniform. I made some good new friends who are also throwers, but they beat me.

Ben and his teammates at the INAS Global Games.

📷 Ben and his teammates at the INAS Global Games in athletics

How has your NDIS funding helped you?

NDIS helped me with my hopes and dreams and to be more independent, going on public transport, Ubers, trains and trams by myself mostly. Sometimes with a support worker. I went into town twice on a Friday night to drink beers with my friends and I did not need to have a support worker with me. I’ve also been going to see bands and new music with friends from my Circle.

And I’m about to go for another Man’s night out and weekend away with my best friends in town. We’re definitely gonna have a party with my buddies and we’re going to nightclub and I’m going to DJ and maybe Beatbox.

Next year I’m going to University at Flinders University doing acting and drama and NDIS will pay for my student mentor to support me at University. I am proud to enrol at University.

If you could have one wish and change one thing for young people with disability what would it be?

My main goal is for young people with disability to be able to travel around the world to America and to communicate and make new friends and travel independently.

I need young adults with disability to not be treated like babies and just to be treated like adults.

📷 Ben and a support worker adjusting the settings on audio equipment

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