Annette is getting back in the classroom with NDIS support
She only took her eyes off the road for a second, but that second changed her life.
Annette broke her talus bone, an important part of the ankle joint, in a car accident in 2014. Just ten weeks away from finishing her Bachelor of Learning Management and becoming a high school teacher, the long-time teacher aide went from an active member of the community to “a prisoner in [her] own home” due to ongoing pain and mobility restrictions from her injury.
“The accident changed my life completely, but I haven’t given up and I won’t give up,” Annette says.
Annette only applied for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) because her pedorthist – a specialist in medical footwear – suggested it might be a way to reduce the cost of the specially built shoes that provide splinting and support for her injured ankle.
To her surprise, Annette’s NDIS funding opened up a whole new world for her, including the opportunity to get back in the classroom.
Annette’s NDIS funding has allowed her to get in and out of the house easily and with a wheelie walker, she is now able to get around more confidently on flat surfaces where she can now head out to play bridge, to get groceries, or to visit friends independently.
“I get to socialise with people I haven’t seen for a long time,” Annette says. “Getting back into the community, and being part of the community, talking to people, it’s been opening doors.”
Annette worked with Carers Queensland Local Area Coordinator (LAC) Marie, who supported her through the planning process and helped her understand her NDIS funding and how to use it.
As Annette’s LAC, Marie was an experienced support, introducing her to the NDIS and a guide to what to do next to get the full benefit from her funding.
Marie supported Annette to understand her options and choices she had for using her funding to best meet her goals of getting back in to the community and discussing her employment goals.
With useful new assistive technology and support from her physiotherapist and occupational therapist, Annette is now volunteering two mornings a week in the library at Depot Hill State School.
Annette was a teacher aide for many years before her university studies, and since her accident has missed being in the classroom terribly.
“I enjoy being back working with children, helping them with spelling and literacy – I feel useful again,” Annette says.
“I just love helping kids, and for me that was the hardest part of not being able to get out. But I’m out there now!”
Now, with confidence that she has ongoing support from the NDIS, Annette plans to go back to university and finish her studies, upgrading to a Bachelor of Education. Annette’s dream of getting back in the classroom is a lot closer now she has support from the NDIS.
“I can’t thank the NDIS enough,” Annette says. “The improvements in my everyday life, from going outside, in the house, in the community, have been amazing.”
Carers Queensland can support you to find out more about the NDIS, to apply for the scheme and to help you get started with your NDIS plan.
If you have a disability but are not eligible for the NDIS, Carers Queensland can also help you identify and link to options for support in your 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 Rockhampton region at Level 2, 39 East Street, Rockhampton or call 07 4994 1600.
You can also contact Carers Queensland on 1300 999 636, or firstname.lastname@example.org