Opinion | 8 July 2015

We are worth the investment

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“I say the ‘I’ in NDIS should stand for ‘investment’. We are worth the investment. To move forward we need people to believe in us, to back us up, and create opportunities. When people have confidence in us then we start to believe in ourselves. We need to change the words to change the thinking.” A quote by Michael Sullivan, from an article by Julia May, Sunday Age, 15 February 2015.

We need to invest in people with an intellectual disability for we have a lot to give, to society and our communities. And to ourselves as well. We also need people in our communities to believe in us.

People with intellectual disability are individuals with different needs and wants. We want good things in our life, like everyone else does.

Inclusive communities and societies are those in which people live harmoniously in a society of diverse abilities.

It’s not just about acceptance or tolerance but a celebration of diversity and difference.

Through our abilities we can be seen in a society of diverse abilities as helping and showing other people what we can do.

We need to get the NDIS right, with the right mixture of acceptance and funding. How can you put a price on people’s lives?

A person with an intellectual disability can have a disability that changes over their lifetime. As we age, things can happen to us in our lives, our health can change and any person can end up with a permanent disability.

I am the chairperson for NSW Council for Intellectual Disability and we are having a conference in the middle of July. The conference is called ‘We are worth the investment’ and it is your chance to come and learn more about the NDIS and give your opinion on these issues.

To find out more about the conference please click here.

Michael Sullivan is chair of the NSW Council for Intellectual Disability and a member of the National Disability Advisory Council. Michael feels that being a person with a disability has made him want to help other people who have a disability – something he wants to do for the rest of his life, because that is who is he is.

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