Christopher, a 23-year-old young man, with Down syndrome, is working hard and establishing himself as a young independent adult with the assistance of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Christopher is a huge Titans fan and through his involvement in the team’s Disability Inclusion program, he has secured a part-time job with construction company ADCO.
As Site Assistant, at a local sports hub, Christopher provides assistance and support for administrative and site staff.
“I love helping ADCO,” Christopher said. “I'm doing a good job. On my sheet each day I do paperwork, a site safety walk, meetings and odd jobs, and sometimes I get coffees for everyone.”
ADCO Construction Manager, Michael Duckett said he is impressed with the way Christopher has gone above and beyond his duties to positively impact morale on site.
“Working in construction is one of the most demanding jobs, with many workers putting in long, tiring days,” Michael said.
“For site staff to universally report Chris has lifted morale on site is truly a commendable achievement.”
For Christopher’s mum, Linda, this is the result of many years of advocating for her son and his sister to ensure they achieved the independence they needed, starting with their schooling.
“I think as parents we get very caught up in the whole school thing,” Linda said. “Instead of getting bogged down with 12 years of school, concentrate on the end game, which is life.
“What skills we can build up at school that are going to do us well in life?”
With the assistance of support workers, funded through his NDIS plan, Christopher shares a home with his sister where he does his share of the housework, such as laundry and cooking.
Christopher works one day a week at ADCO’s Pimpama site with the help of his support worker, as well as getting along to Titans games, socialising with friends and continuing to build his independent living skills.
Linda is proud of the changes in her children and the individuals they have become. While most nights Christopher and his sister Abigail have support workers, three nights a week they spend on their own.
“I came in on a Saturday night, cooked dinner, and then I was kicked out,” she said. “Abigail turned around and said, ‘we don’t fight anymore Mum, we are fine’.
“They are absolutely beautiful to each other. Rather than argue, they support each other, and now we’re getting to see this lovely relationship they have. I just walked out the door and got into my car and I was just so full of joy,” Linda said.
“They’re living in this beautiful house, with a whole village around them. You could take me out of the equation now and they would survive. Without NDIS funding none of this would have been possible.”
Christopher received assistance to implement NDIS funding from Carers Queensland’s NDIS Local Area Coordination Partner in the Community Program for the Gold Coast region.
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.
To find out more about how the NDIS and Local Area Coordination program can work for you, contact Carers Queensland on 1300 999 636, or firstname.lastname@example.org