It’s been five years since the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was rolled out, changing the way disability services are accessed in Australia.
The NDIS was launched in 2013, following calls for major reform in disability services across Australia with the ACT one of the first jurisdictions to agree to participate in the launch.
Now 6,553 people in the Territory access the NDIS and Belconnen Community Service (BCS) group programs have grown since the rollout, as demand has steadily climbed.
BCS Program Manager, Adam said, “before the NDIS organisations were restricted in what they could offer, as programs were capped, but now BCS has the opportunity to broaden its scope and offer more for our participants under the NDIS model”.
The NDIS takes a lifetime approach, providing for Australians under the age of 65 with a permanent or significant disability. Seventy six per cent of participants aged 25 years and over said the NDIS helped with their daily lives.
Molly started coming to BCS after our NDIS Liaison coordinator, Masia, visited her home and encouraged her to try some social and recreational groups. Molly has epilepsy and said she became a lot more confident about her disability after she accessed BCS and started to participate in several group programs.
“There’s been a massive difference since I started coming here. I wasn’t as confident before”.
Every Friday Molly joins in sewing classes held at Belconnen Community Centre. She has an album on her phone filled with photos of all the beautiful creations she’s made during those classes. From beanies and bags to soft toys for children, Molly’s skills with the sewing machine are evident.
But it’s not just sewing Molly takes part in. She goes to art classes, is part of the craft and dance clubs, she does martial arts every Monday, and is part of the Be Active group on Fridays.
Molly said, “these classes help me in a way I didn’t think was possible. I was self-conscious of everything, but now I know it’s stupid to be self-conscious of my disability and the way I walk”.
Before she started coming to BCS regularly Molly said she didn’t have many friends her own age, but on her first day at BCS Molly was introduced to Allyscha and they have been inseparable ever since.
Molly said, “the best part of my day is seeing Allyscha. My favourite day is Wednesday because I get to spend the whole day with her. She’s teaching me Italian and I’m teaching her sign language”.
She juggles all of her classes while working part time as a learning support assistant two days a week.
“I help the kids with reading and writing, listening to them and helping them to improve if they need to”.
Molly said it’s important to “be honest, nice kind and to listen to everyone,” not just when teaching children but with everyone you meet.
“I like how it’s social [at BCS]. It’s friendly. I do love being here”.
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