Opinion | 13 October 2015

Anthony takes charge

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Hi I am Anthony and I have now been living on my own for over 18 months. This has been a very exciting, challenging and personally rewarding time for both me, my family and my support networks.

I chose to move out of home for the same reasons everybody does; to be able to do the things I want to do, without mum and dad looking over my shoulder!

I have completed many courses to increase my skills to continue to be independent, these courses have included: the Supported Living Fund project, the MCM leadership program; where I am learning the skills to become a leader, so that I can teach others how to live the life they want! I have also recently been granted an MCM run project grant, which I will be using to start my own blog on what it means to have an Intellectual Disability in this current world.

I have also been a part of the CID Speak out Reach Out (SORO) group for the past several years, and have contributed on many submissions to Government including, the NDIS Information, Linkages and Capacity Building submission as well as the review of the Disability Inclusion Act, to name a few.

I am also a member of NADO in the Penrith area and have worked closely with my case managers in assisting with developing policies and practices for teaching members of the public what it means to have an intellectual disability and encouraging Penrith local businesses to employ and engage with people with Intellectual Disability.

I also feel very strongly about people with disability engaging and interacting with their fellow community members who don’t have a disability, and what better way to start than by moving into a suburban street with neighbours from all walks of life. I believe that people can learn from each other! This has been a great way for me to meet new people and for people without a disability to learn things from me!

I want to encourage other people with Intellectual Disability to take the step and venture out into the world – or you will never get anywhere!

Of course I was faced with obstacles when I first moved out, but I made sure I learned from all the experiences that I’ve had…and believe me there have been many! I didn’t want to receive any royal treatment because I had a disability, I wanted to learn like everyone else who first moves out.

I made sure that I learnt how to become self-sufficient, I learnt the skills to be independent with my cooking, shopping, budgeting and general living skills. I want to encourage and teach other people the skills so they too can live the life they want!

I want to be a role model for other people with Intellectual Disability and encourage them to take that step!

The NDIS will allow people to follow their dreams and will help them to become independent. People can make a plan with the NDIS and they can use their funding to get supports in different areas like living alone, which can give them freedom and make their life better! The great thing about the NDIS is that the person whose name is on the funding package is in charge – not anyone else! Of course it’s great to get other peoples suggestions, but the decisions are up to the person.

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