Alberto Campbell may be hard to beat on the running track, but developing his self-confidence to live independently is where he is also thriving.
The Jamaican-born Paralympian is accessing National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) supports to aid in his training, as well as accessing a support worker and occupational therapist at home.
Mum, Julie-Anne Staines, said Alberto – who has an intellectual disability and is currently the T20 400m Australian champion – has been able to increase physiotherapy sessions to assist him to transfer his knowledge and skills on the track.
“The physio has been a vital aspect in assisting his memory and acquisition of how to warm up and warm down safely; this allows Alberto to run at his best whilst keeping his body safe from injury,” she said.
“The physio also has trained Alberto to know which stretches to complete and how to do these correctly.
“Alberto also accesses a psychologist who assists him with social interactions, good healthy mindsets around competition and the events and winning and losing.”
For Alberto, being able to live independently has seen him recently move out of home and into his own place.
“The NDIS has been fantastic at allowing the family to make this transition with confidence of the supports in place,” Julie-Anne said.
“Alberto has a support worker who assists him with planning his shopping and tidying the house; his occupational therapist has assisted Alberto with budgeting and cooking skills which he is learning to transfer to daily living.
“Their guidance and encouragement has made massive impacts on his self-confidence and ability to safely live independently.”
Alberto trains four days a week with his goal to compete in Tokyo at the Paralympics this year.
Helping him get there are Sports Inclusion Australia and international federation for athletes with intellectual impairments, Virtus.
A local disability support service who provides staff to support athletes to go on camps and to travel to national and international events, also supports Alberto with his running endeavours.
“This support has opened up the whole world to Alberto who has experienced travel to multiple world events; this has broadened Alberto’s social interactions, experiences and confidence,” Julie-Anne said.
When Alberto isn’t training, he works part-time as a physical education teacher aide at Citipointe Christian College.
“The college and a local service provider supports him to be able to assist in working with students. This flexibility of hours and work enables him to be able to continue training at an elite level whilst learning great job ethics,” she said.
Alberto received assistance to apply for and implement his NDIS funding from Carers Queensland’s NDIS Local Area Coordinator (LAC).
Julie-Anne said accessing the NDIS has been a huge game changer for the family.
“It has allowed Alberto to blossom with his endeavours of independence and provided a safety net for the family to hold on to whilst this transition occurred,” she said.
“To have competent experts in their field supporting our son has provided the reassurance we needed.
“For our family it would not have been possible financially or physically to support Alberto to live independently without NDIS. It has allowed us to form a new relationship with our son who doesn’t have to view his parents as the managers, bosses and organisers, rather, he can see us as his parents who care for him and support his endeavours and choices.”
Julie-Anne said Alberto’s LAC, Sharon, had been a big help guiding the family with the concepts and accessibility of the NDIS.
“Alberto’s LAC has guided us through our review with ease and confidence that meets the needs of Alberto’s aspirations.”
Carers Queensland can support you to find out more about the NDIS, to apply for funding and to help you get started with the NDIS.
If you have a disability but are not eligible for the NDIS, Carers Queensland can help you identify and link to options for support in your community.
You can also contact Carers Queensland on 1300 999 636, or email@example.com