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All smiles as Sommer receives NDIS support

Dec 04 2019

With support from the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Varsity Lakes local Sommer Buckley is building her independence, meeting new people, and safely accessing her community.

Sommer, who has Down syndrome, is supported to work five days a week at the Endeavour Foundation.

“I work at Endeavour. I have been there 13 years. I pack bottle tops sometimes as well as spoons and serviettes and make wax boxes,” she said.

Sommer has support workers in the morning and evening to help her get ready for work, prepare meals, and build life skills.

“I like all my support workers. They pick me up in the morning and take me to the bus stop in the car.

“When I get up in the morning they help me with my hair and to get ready. We go shopping and I love to do cooking with them,” she said.

Outside of her busy work schedule, Sommer receives support to socialise and access the community.

“I like going to the disco. I like doing a lot of things like knitting, looking at photos and playing with beads. I love watching TV or going swimming. On Wednesdays I do Zumba and I love meeting new people.”

Sommer’s mum Denise said it was exciting to see her daughter have control over her own life.

“Sommer wanted to get some more independence and be safe in the community.

“Now Sommer has funding, we can look at all these new ways of supporting her,” said Denise.

“She has support at work, which helps her reach her goals and learn new things. She is always learning something new. She has support at home and socially.”

Sommer, 41, had never received any form of funded support prior to the arrival of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Denise said that NDIS funding has allowed her to step back from a direct caring role.

“It has given me such a feeling of relief. When we got it I was so grateful I cried. To finally get some help and support and to know that my daughter can be safe in the community and access it without fear of being taken advantage of,” said Denise.

“It has given me a bit of freedom as well in my own life. I love Sommer to bits but we have to be our own people as well. I am so happy that we have some support. This is Sommer’s life and she likes to lead it independently from me.”

Denise, who has worked in the disability support industry for 35 years, said the NDIS was giving people with disability more choices.

“I fully advocate for the NDIS and what it’s done for us and other people who have fallen through (the cracks) and haven’t been able to get the funding they deserve,” said Denise.

“It’s great that Sommer has a choice of who supports her. That never existed prior to the NDIS. It’s completely different. The client has the power to say what they need and they want. You have much more flexibility and choice through the NDIS.”

Carers Queensland can support you to find out more about the NDIS, to apply for funding and help you get started with the NDIS.

If you have a disability but are not eligible for the NDIS, Carers Queensland staff can also help you identify and link to options for support in your local community.

To find out more about how the NDIS and Local Area Coordination program can work for you, visit Carers Queensland NDIS Local Area Coordination Partner in the Community Program for the Gold Coast region, 207 Suite 10, Currumburra Road, Ashmore or call (07) 5671 7600

You can also contact Carers Queensland on 1300 999 636, or cq.enquiries@ndis.gov.au