"It really puts the person with a disability in the driving seat"

24 April 2017

Dainie Richardson has dedicated her career to the disability sector. Having a relative with an acquired brain injury, and seeing the very real challenges faced by her in her daily life, she was inspired to make a difference in the sector from a young age.

Today, having worked her way up in Endeavour Foundation to her role today as an NDIS Implementation Manager in the Toowoomba region, Dainie shares her experiences to date with the NDIS.

How long have you been with Endeavour Foundation, Dainie, and what’s been your journey so far?

I started with Endeavour 10 years ago as a support worker. I was then appointed to the role of Service Coordinator, then Support and Operations Manager, and now I am working as the Service Development and Innovation Manager for the NDIS Transition in the Toowoomba region, which I am really enjoying.

What’s your experience with the NDIS to date?

Having worked with people with a disability for some time, I was (and continue to be) a big supporter of the NDIS. In my experience so far it has been a hugely positive thing with many families getting much greater support than they were before.

The transition in Toowoomba started on January 1 2017. So far I have helped 25 people transition across to the new funding, and are currently working to support a further 300 people to transition.

How have you found the NDIS so far?

Let’s face it, we’ve all heard of some of the difficulties involved with the NDIS. Despite there being a number of challenges, in my experience, the outcomes and advantages outweigh them.

We’re seeing people who have never received disability support funding before, being granted funding packages that support them to achieve their goals, and to finally have choice and control of their lives. It really puts the person with a disability in the driving seat, which is an incredible and overdue shift.

Do you have any advice you’d give to people in transitioning to the NDIS?

Pre Plan! You can never be too prepared.

What do you like most about your job?

Meeting customers and families that I have never had the chance to meet before. I also love seeing the family’s reaction when they realise their loved one has flexible funding, which is substantially greater than what they ever have received.

Any final pointers you like to share?

Be creative with goals. It doesn’t always have to be something you are likely or able to achieve in one year, but maybe can work towards over a number of plans. It could be wanting to go on a cruise, or to live independently, or something as simple as wanting to join a social group and make new friends, with the right support to do so.

And pre plan! (again) I can’t emphasise enough how important this is, to work toward the best outcomes.

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