Stephanie Berick and Dianne Monaghan have been talking about their experiences of the NDIS at Endeavour Foundation Information Forums around the country since 2013. They’ve been in the Hunter Valley trial site for almost three years now and enthusiastically share with other parents how they set up a share house for their adult sons with a disability, with the assistance of the NDIS.
Their two sons house share with another man with a disability, using their disability pensions to pay rent and bills, while the NDIS funds the support workers that allow them to live independently.
Steph said they were trying to find somewhere for their adult sons that was a viable home that would remain in place after they were gone.
"And that is the concern of most parents of particularly adult disabled children,” she said. "Particularly as we’re getting older.”
The boys are happy in their home and have come on in leaps and bounds, doing things their Mums never thought they could, like their own food shopping, their own washing, volunteering and cooking.
"Before the NDIS came into existence we had decided on the plan about the housing but we had no funding," she said.
"If the NDIS had not come into existence, the house would have been actually unsustainable in the long-term for the boys, because the NDIS provides all the money for the support for the boys in the house."
The compelling 5 minute documentary of the boys’ story can be viewed here.
It’s a great watch and demonstrates that, for many, the NDIS brings much greater opportunities for independence.