Jeff Watson is a keen chess player who, with the help of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), has been able to pursue his passion armed with an electronic chessboard and an electric scooter.
Not long ago, Jeff operated a busy company, keeping him on the move day and night, but after a stroke in early 2019, affected his ability to walk and the use of his hands, he began the process of rehabilitation and adjusting to his new life.
“It’s quite a big change,” Jeff explained. “I had my own business chauffeuring people around so I had to close it down because I couldn’t drive anymore.
“Then there were things like just mowing the lawns, helping with the heavy cleaning. I couldn’t do it anymore so it was a change in dynamics.”
With the support of his daughter, Jeff applied for the NDIS and got prepared for his first planning meeting with a Local Area Coordinator (LAC) from Carers Queensland.
In August 2019, Jeff received his first plan and he said he was blown away.
“The plan was more than I asked for, so I thought it was really generous,” Jeff said.
With his NDIS funding, Jeff has been able to buy an electric scooter and electronic chess board, as well as physiotherapy, support for cleaning and staying involved in his interests.
With the onset of pandemic measures, Jeff’s scooter was crucial to ensuring he could still get out in his community, and he’s learning to appreciate the freedom and new pace of life.
“I’ve got the freedom of having that electric scooter which means I can actually hop on the scooter and go to the doctors myself without having to depend on lifts,” he said.
The electric scooter and chess board enables Jeff to continue participating in one of his favourite past times, chess.
“I could play chess four times a week, and I used to do that, but they have one meeting where they meet at a park, in Peregian Beach, and it’s in the open. So that particular meeting I can get there on my scooter and sit in the open and play a few games of chess.
“One time I was going on my electric scooter up to Peregian (Beach) and there was a whole bunch of butterflies that were actually travelling at the same pace as I was.
They were just fluttering along with me and I thought it was absolutely fantastic,” he said.
Carers Queensland can support you to find out more about the NDIS, to apply for funding and to help you get started.
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, contact Carers Queensland on 1300 999 636, or email firstname.lastname@example.org