One of my ndis goals this year was to extend my visual art practise in the Ipswich region and beyond. Through my supports accessed under the ndis this week my piece, My fall into the rabbit whole received a highly commended in the Ipswich Art Awards, which is part of our festival over ten days.
My other passion is to assist in creating a inclusive arts community, here is a post for my timeline.
' . . . I live with disabilities . . . being disabled 'is a state of mind'. Living without barriers has allowed me to accomplish my goals. My highly commended at the Ipswich Art Awards is proof that disability is no barrier to the mainstream visual arts.
It's been a joy to watch the Commonwealth Games on TV this week and see all that inclusion can be. Athletes events in the same venue and the same time. The media has been great at covering all events and interviewing athletes with disabilities. It is time for the rest of Australian society to catch-up with the work of inclusion in the sporting field.
Unlike the sporting field artist with disabilities do not need separate rules for exhibiting their art and competing. I prove that this week. My CP does affect my hand control but not to the degree I can't win prizes in mainstream competition.
The ndis is designed to assist people with disabilities and their families to participate in life. This involves setting their own goals and achieving their own dreams just like I have done in my art practise. I hope other artists with disabilities will follow my lead.
Its time for business, employers and organizations to step up and assess their own requirements in building an inclusive environment. I was out and about yesterday, training my support team to support me in the community, we live in a beautiful historical city, which means physical access is difficult but I said to someone yesterday, 'I wouldn't have it any other way.'
People living with impairments must share the responsibility of building inclusion, it is only through observing and experiencing our challenges that the community can appreciate our access needs.
'Some things can only be learnt by participation!' The Commonwealth Games has highlighted this. My wish is in Queensland is we build on the work the Games have begun!
So what choices can others living with disabilities make under the ndis? The short answer is the same choices as every other Australian resident. Specially to the ndis these are choices around who will support them and how to achieve their goals. The ndis recognizes that participants are individuals requiring individual responses. Not everyone whats to approach their goals in the same way or through the same types of programs.
The roll out of the ndis has presented issues not antiparticpate by the government and these need to be addressed now. However this doesn't mean the scheme has failed, rather it is a recongize we in Australia can do better and the rights of those living with disabilities need to be protected.
This week I have been training a team who will be assisting me to build my art practise moving forward. The ndis has made it possible for individuals like me to direct support. Team Deb will assist me in my studio, to document my art practise, to market on social media; to complete gallery applications and assist transporting my art.
I also had my first plan review and my next plan will reflect this change. My new # 1 goal is to build support team through engaging my own workers, using disability support services as a back up. I like everyone am still learning to use my package effectively. My review wasn't difficult or confusing, but an opportunity to twig things to make them work better. The staff at the ndia know how difficult the first year has been. They are there to support you to make adjustments not to grill you over your expenditure.
Calm down and let the ndis empower you
to live your best life!