In 1987 (aged 20) I had a water skiing accident and suffered a spinal cord injury that left me a C5/6 quadriplegic. I am passionate about improving the lives of people with a disability. I have spoken at conferences and Rotary clubs about my experiences.
Flick (Felicity): I am a 29 year old woman living independently in the community. I share with a friend living with a disability. I live with cerebral palsy and use a communication device to assist her with communicating and a wheelchair for mobility.
I’m 50 years old and live with partial (also known as incomplete) quadriplegia. I had a boating accident in 1976 at Goolwa and broke my neck. It means I can’t do all the things I dreamed of when I was a kid. I lost the use of both my legs and I have only partial use of my arms. I wasn’t able to fulfill my dream of being a farmer on my parent’s farm at Kapinnie, 100 kilometres from Port Lincoln.
I tend not to talk about my disability first, because my disability is secondary in my life. I have Multiple Sclerosis (MS) which I was diagnosed with in 1986. One of the first symptoms I noticed was that I was losing feeling in my fingertips. I just started tripping over my feet a little bit at first, and it was that which got me thinking and made me go to a doctor. It sort of all went hand-in-hand. My condition has slowly deteriorated since then and I’m now confined to an electric chair all day. I can do very little with my hands anymore, which is a little bit disappointing because I used to be a qualified mechanic.
I had MS for seven years this year, and I’m now blind and in a wheelchair. It is optic neuritis. I’ve got everything in place at home to be able to function. I just need someone to cook and do a little bit of personal care. The carers are there three hours a day, seven days a week, so [I just have} to just keep the house tidy and do my washing. They [services] are all covered financially by Disability SA.
I was born in 1951 in McLaren Vale in the family home. I grew up living at home with my family of three sisters and a brother. The family moved to Willunga when I was four, where we lived with my grandmother and grandfather who was the local doctor.
Hi, I am Georgia, I have Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy. Due to this I use an electric wheelchair for my mobility as I can’t walk. I’m currently living with my parents and my sister. Living at home with my sister and parents is terrific. They’ve been an excellent support in everything I’ve decided to do, and everything I do, so it’s good to have them behind me.
This story attempts share with you how we have assisted our loved son and brother to create a place of his own. This has been carried out against a backdrop of having to undo other institutionalised forms of living. For Matthew, these were a medium sized hostel for children and young people and then a number of group homes. The themes of this story are about how environments can disable (or enable) people, and about the process of change for a family and about liberation.
John’s story is about his life with a congenital physical disability. He has never let his disability stand in the way of his goals. It was his strong desire to lead an independent life and his willingness to take risks in life that directed him to try new ways of getting support and make his own life choices.
I am 23 years old and I have cerebral palsy. I use a wheelchair for mobility and live at home with my parents. I enjoy travelling and having new experiences. In spite of my physical dependence on people, I think it is very important and empowering to be able to run your own life by directing your own support and care the way you want and need it to be.
Susan and Alex live in a comfortable house in Windsor Gardens. Susan and Alex are married and demonstrate a positive view of their future. Our disability doesn’t hold us back a lot. If we didn’t have each other, I think it would be a different world… a very isolated world. Susan lives with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and reports that she can’t walk very far and no longer works; she lives with MS related psychiatric disability and has physical disabilities. Alex lives with incomplete paraplegia. Alex was shot in the back with a 22 calibre rifle in 1959 by his schoolmate. They were out rabbit shooting.
I think sometimes people are pushed into leadership, because that is what happened to me. I was brought up in a small country town in South Australia and lived a fairly ordinary life until I was 14 when I was sent to the Somerton Crippled Children's Home in Adelaide for three months of intensive physio.
I am 41 years of age and I’ve had multiple sclerosis (MS) for 17 years. I live at Kangaroo Ground in Victoria, which is a north-eastern suburb of Melbourne. I live with my husband, Peter and two girls; Terissa who is 15, and Andrea who is 11 years of age.
In recent times I have been asked a lot about how I manage my care support at home. This, together with thinking about the NDIS National Disability Insurance Scheme) and how support can be much more individualised, spurred me to write about my experiences. I hope it will explain some of what I do and what I have learnt along the way to those of you who might be looking at self-directed supports at home.