The overwhelming message from the Fresh Futures Market yesterday was that the future is looking brighter under the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The NDIS puts people with disabilities in control of their own lives. However the NDIS is not really about people with disabilities. The NDIS is about society, and the inclusion with disabilities in the community.
Next week is Disability Action week and our theme is inclusion. The NDIS is about providing people with the support to be able to fully participate in life. This includes independence; study; training opportunities, work or community work, politics, arts, sports, travel, and getting married. It is about our lives reflecting those of our peers.
People with disabilities are not sick and do not need caring for or protecting. These people are often abuse because their control has been taken from them and those in control of their lives have taken advantage of them. Australian society has brought the lie that people with disabilities have nothing to contribute and we are a drain on the public purse. That is a lie people with disabilities stood up against in the Every Australian Counts campaign.
Whether its in the fields of science, education, transport, arts, television, communication, tourism, or business people with disabilities have skills and wisdom to contribute. Society has allowed us to put people in boxes and define what society thinks their roles should be.
This has meant the potential of tens of thousands of Australians has been limited and resources gone untapped. As individuals our abilities and skills are as different as our disabilities but it should be our abilities that defines who we are not our disabilities.
My hopes for the NDIS is that being offered choice and control of our supports and the way we are support means new opportunities are created across the community and the bridge of understanding is finally completed. However now that final step is up to us living with disabilities, we must raise to the challenge and cease this olden opportunity. We must not give away our power to chose. By making excuses and being lazy.
We must cease the day and claim the life we want!