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Jay is kicking goals with the NDIS

Jul 03 2019

Bracken Ridge man Jay Nardi lives for his footy.

He loves watching his hometown team the Broncos, but his mum Sue will tell you he really supports whichever team is winning.

“He will be at games with a flag in each hand if need be,” Sue said.

Jay is also a keen athlete, representing Queensland across the country in national basketball, soccer, ten pin bowling and swimming competitions.

One day he dreams of competing at the Special Olympics World Games.

Aside from sport, Jay is also somewhat of a local radio celebrity, appearing daily on 98.9fm to talk football with host Jamie Dunn.

“Every morning he is on the radio with Jamie, talking about the football tips. When it isn’t football season he just gets on and chats. It has helped him a lot with his confidence,” Jay’s dad Keith said.

Jay has an intellectual disability, autism and anxiety. His family helped him apply for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) when it rolled out in Brisbane in 2018.

Prior to the NDIS, the family received just four hours a month of support to help Jay access the community.

Since his NDIS plan was approved last year, Jay has become one of the busiest men in Brisbane; getting out and about in the community and building his independence.

In any given week Jay takes part in cooking lessons, multiple social outings and attends a pub group on a Friday night, all while maintaining his work and radio commitments.

“It has helped Jay so much. Jay is a lot happier. It has been really great. He is meeting more people, making more friends to have a chat to. Everything is improving,” Sue said.

“Last week Jay arranged on his own to meet a few of the guys from work to see a movie on the weekend, which has never happened before.”

Jay also has a support worker pick him up from his four-day-a-week job in the warehouse at Help Enterprises and take him to sporting practice.

In several short months, Keith has noticed huge differences in his son’s confidence and independence.

“We now go away as a couple for a few days every three weeks. We now have carers pick him up from swimming or sport, they bring him home and help him get his tea, have a shower and make sure he is comfortable. In the morning we have found that Jay can now get himself up and on the bus to work. We can have a few days away and Jay can be happy here on his own.

“Before the NDIS Jay refused to try to cook and now he is starting to learn. Life is a lot less stressful now because we are getting support.”

“Since the NDIS has come through we are able to offer Jay more chances to do much more. We don’t have to say ‘no mum and dad are too old for that’,” Sue said.

“Now Jay is doing more challenging things and doing what he loves.”

Jay is now supported by Carers Queensland Local Area Coordinator Paul Crowe, who has helped Jay and the family understand his NDIS plan and how to use it.

If you have questions about the NDIS or how to access it, please contact your local Carers Queensland office on (07) 3215 9600.