Adventures Without Limits: Respite & STA
Growing up in a wheelchair did not discourage my adventurist side, and I have often explored it. When I was traveling in my twenties, I would often miss out on experiences because they weren’t wheelchair accessible.
NDIS has made domestic travel more inclusive for all kinds of disability, including specialised respite accommodation for people who require more individualised support within their funding.
I recently went to Cairns for a week on respite and was staying in Short-Term Accommodation (STA) called Spinal Life. I was impressed by how much they understood my needs and desire for respite. Knowing that my room was completely accessible gave me more freedom to enjoy Cairns.
For me, travelling with my progressive condition means that I am always struggling with new environments. It was refreshing to not be worried about the inaccessibility of accommodation. Spinal Life even had their own gym on site, and exercise physiologists available for those who needed it.
I was surprised to learn that Spinal Life had their own support workers there for those who required them; as well as having their own physiotherapists and occupational therapists nearby. I was also informed before I arrived that they had their own hydrotherapy pool and podiatrist.
While I did not use any of these allied health amenities during my stay, it felt good to know I had supports ready if I wanted them. I was more focused on hanging out with friends for the duration of my respite. Spinal Life never put pressure on me to use any of these onsite professionals.
Going snorkelling at The Great Barrier Reef was something I had really wanted to do, and I was able to achieve this during my respite in Cairns. Not only were the Quicksilver boats wheelchair accessible, but I found I was able to breath underwater with the full-face snorkel I bought online.
Another highlight for me was visiting Mossman Gorge, where we made our way through the most luscious rainforest on an elevated boardwalk. Before my recent respite I almost forgot how beautiful the Australian landscape is.
I hadn’t known how much I needed a break before Cairns. It helped me realise what my main daily stresses were. I personally know many people that would benefit from STA who aren’t aware that their NDIS funding includes respite.
I found my accommodation in Cairns to be dedicated to the wellbeing of their clients, going beyond what I expected of them. One thing I noticed was the use of the phrase ‘staying stronger for longer’, it was so unlike any other respite accommodation I’ve stayed in.
To learn more about STA, you can visit the Housing Hub website here. If you’re looking to stay in STA, you can use the search bar located on the Housing Hub homepage and use the filters to refine your search for STA that is right for you.
Jamie-Lee loves to challenge stereotypes surrounding disability; her lived experience of someone growing up disabled motivates her advocacy. Having studied journalism at uni, she uses her writing skills to her advantage. Shining a light on independent living options available to people with a disability is how we can create change in our society. She hopes to help other people with a disability along their journey, encouraging vulnerable people to find their voice. She believes that diversity will pave the way to equality for all.
The Housing Hub currently lists over 3,200 homes for people with disability to rent or buy, including individual apartments and group homes. Search for a home that is right for you today!
Call our NDIS Housing Advice line
For people with disability, families, and supporters. Monday – Friday 10.00am – 3.00pm AEDT. You can also email us anytime at email@example.com.