For me living my best life means surrounding myself with people who have simular passions to me. My passions are about embracing life and helping others to do the same. I love art and see it as key to addressing issues of social inclusion. I endeavour to be compassionate and try to treat others the way I want to be treated.
However that's about me and what I value, this may be very different to what your . . . . . best life might look like. I am celebrating that this conversation is on the table and people living with disabilities and their families can at least begin to imagine some sunshine coming into their lives as the National Disability Insurance Scheme is now being rolled out across Australia.
I do not think the NDIS will solve all my issues with the world or be ever able to provide me with a even playing field. Besides I like being the odd one out!
Yet! The fact the NDIS finally acknowledges we are individuals and surprise, surprise we don't all want to hang out together; we don't all have the same goals. I hate golf and putt putt golf, but my friend Helen loves it. Under the NDIS many people and their families loving with disabilities are being asked for the first time what they want and what the would like life to look like.
This unlocks a hold range of emotions. Especially in Queensland, many families living disability, just survive and they will tell you they can not comprehend the freedom that choice provides. To be given a choice of what time they like a shower will move them to tears, but NDIS choices are far greater.
We're talking choices around schooling and early intervention programs, were talking lifestyle choices, being able to move about the country without fear of losing supports. A choice between living of the coastline or the beach; We're looking at accommodation options and being able to chose who you want to live with or the freedom to marry. Or a choice to have your own pad without housemates to fight with. Or your little brother eating all the chocolate cookies.
For some the choices they make will be very simple - maybe their might try a new service provider, for others they are content with life the way it is and its not our roll to judge or question that or any other choices people will make about there own lives.
Now others are bursting out of the skin eager to tackle the world with the energy of an eight week old puppy. Sure their maybe a few bumps and burses or pieces of humble pie to be eaten. But hey that's what happens when we try new things. Not everything will be as cool as we imagined or as easy as other make it look.
However now people have the freedom to dream bigger and live bigger too! People are experts in limiting themselves and others. We live by assumption, it you use a wheelchair you can't walk or if you have a disability you can't work in the disability sector.
There's part of me that beliefs we do not know what people with disabilities are capable of because we have never allowed them to try. We as a society have cared for the people, instead of letting them grow and develop and make mistakes along the way like everyone else. When we limit others we deny them the change to shine. We assume failure. Failture is success inside out.
In order to enable ourselves and others to live their best lives we need to remove limits and give people the freedom to be themselves. Outcomes are the result of choices we make. Regardless of the choices their will be consequences. This is what people with disabilities and families have said the wan
Letting people live their best lives is about giving them the freedom to chose and learn from their mistakes. My best life will look very different to yours and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!!!