Trudi Krenske always craved more words to be able to use to express herself, and since using her National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funding for an interpreter, her language is expanding in ways she only dreamed.
The Sunshine Coast local was born deaf and learned to lip read and sign. While her Mother could sign well, her family knew only a small amount of sign language.
“I used to get so frustrated, there was just not enough language for me,” Trudi said.
“Communication is so important. I want to know everything that's going on, I don't want to miss out or be told with little words and everything cut down.”
Trudi had hearing aids until her mid-twenties when she was fitted for a cochlear implant, which increased her ability to hear and receive more audible information.
However, there was still so much she couldn't hear or understand.
“I joined a fitness group and, oh my goodness!” Trudi said, “I just did not realise there was so much talking in the workouts. There was so much information they were giving out. So I thought, I'm actually going to put interpreting in my NDIS (plan) – something that I need.”
“When I was getting ready for the NDIS, I had in the back of my mind the things that I wanted. I had a look at the NDIS planning booklet and I added things as I went along.”
“Having an interpreter, it's such a completely different thing. The interpreter clarifies everything so that I'm not really missing out on anything.”
“With the NDIS I can organise support so that my family can actually learn some Auslan signs, and learn more about me, my identity, who I am as a person, my culture, my value. That's really important to me.”
“At the gym, the interpreter says exactly what the trainer is saying and it is like, ‘Wow!'. Before, in those first few weeks, I'd been doing everything wrong. But now, it's slowly all fitting in, I've got the picture now.”
“I had my first interpreter at a therapy appointment and I asked the interpreter to try and unpack what was being said so I can understand what it means. The interpreter was clarifying these different words that I was hearing. It was really good, really good.”
Trudi received assistance to apply for and implement her funding from Carers Queensland’s NDIS Local Area Coordination Partner in the Community Program in Maroochydore. She met recently with her Local Area Coordinator, Kate, to get a better understanding of how her funding and payments were itemised.
“I'd had a bit of an issue with it and I was thinking ‘Am I doing something wrong?'.
“I thought, I really need to do a face-to-face meeting with Kate so I can understand things better. And it makes a lot more sense to me now that I've had things clarified.”
“With the NDIS I'm learning so much more. My vocabulary has improved at an amazing rate. I'm feeling more equal. In the hearing world, I'm starting to break down the barriers that I previously had, so that's really good. I feel like it's helping to build my self-confidence.”
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 staff can also help you identify and link to options for support in your local community.
To find out more about how the NDIS and Local Area Coordination program contact Carers Queensland on 1300 999 636, or firstname.lastname@example.org