Matthew is a busy Rockhampton local who loves going to work, being outdoors at his community garden and going out for dinners with his wife and friends.
The 34-year-old, who has Down syndrome, accesses the community and continues with his employment thanks to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Since May, Matthew has been working on a 12-month government program employed at McDonald’s, using support workers to help him with the job for three days and up to 12 hours a week.
“They (support workers) teach me at work,” Matthew said.
“I clean tables and do the bins and sweeping the floors and mopping, the windows; everything that needs cleaning. I like working there with the people.”
Matthew’s dad, Kevin, commends the restaurant, staff and a local service provider for helping Matthew achieve his NDIS goals of employment.
“The good thing about McDonald’s is the training. It’s all really extensive, and Matthew’s service provider has been very good at making sure he has all the video training he needs to do the job,” Kevin said.
“His co-workers have really taken him on as well; they help him with so much. When he has to do something he is not sure about, like clocking on and clocking off and knowing what time to do that, he’s not aware of those sort of things, so they help him.
“While they give him suggestions on what needs to be done, Matthew is very good at being able to do things himself.
“At the end of the program, it is up to the employer as to whether they think it’s worthwhile to keep him on. At this point in time, I think it’s going to happen because they are asking him to do extra hours already.”
When Matthew isn’t working, he is building on his other NDIS goals, including increasing his social activities.
Matthew and his wife Mynissa, together with his younger brother and his wife, go out each fortnight with a support worker to dinner, the movies, dancing and ten pin bowling.
“Ten pin bowling is very good. I go with my friends and I am getting better at bowling with more strikes. I can score 120,” Matthew said.
Every Monday, Matthew also accesses supports to go to his local community garden, helping to grow and tend to strawberries, garlic and tomatoes.
“I like being out in the sun,” Matthew said.
Matthew also has support in his NDIS plan for shopping and his support worker takes him swimming and they go for walks.
Kevin said Matthew is the cleaner in the household.
“They do have a person come once a week to clean the house, but if you saw the house you’d be amazed. Matthew does a really good job making sure everything is clean and in its place,” he said.
Matthew received assistance to apply for and implement his NDIS funding from Carers Queensland’s NDIS Local Area Coordination Partner in the Community Program for the Rockhampton region.
Kevin said the NDIS has made a big difference in Matthew and the rest of his family’s lives.
“As far as Matthew is concerned, his life is way better. He has got so much more to do. It keeps him busy and it keeps him active,” he said.
“Carers Queensland has assisted with so much. They’re good with information so if you need anything, I’d go straight to them.
“They have said they are always available, and I have found that to be very much the case. I recommend people to hook up with Carers Queensland because they are very helpful.”
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.
You can also contact Carers Queensland on 1300 999 636, or firstname.lastname@example.org