Anyone with a disability knows that an important part of your life is support. A lot of us, including myself, need support with daily living. We need support to get out of bed, to prepare meals, to get back into bed, etc. It’s an intimate part of our lives. It’s vital that we have support that we are comfortable with. Can you imagine having to have a person you’re not comfortable with helping you in the shower? I don’t want to think about that!
Each SDA property has a model of support that goes with it. But if you’re not comfortable with what is offered there, it doesn't mean you can’t change it.
When I first got my SDA apartment, I had to agree to a model of support where one company did both my daily living (one to one) support and shared backup support. At first I was ok with this. However, I learned quickly that I didn’t like this support company at all. The support workers were great, but how my support hours were managed was terrible. And I had to fight to get the support workers I wanted on my shifts. Constantly they tried to put support workers on my shifts that I didn’t know at all or weren’t comfortable with. No one should have people they don’t know, or aren’t happy with, help them with very personal needs. The anxiety this situation created for me was immense.
What did I do about this? I had to fight to get control of my own supports. I went through the company’s complaint system and then I went to the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission. The commission told me that I didn’t have to agree to that model of support, and helped me to negotiate with the SIL company and SDA provider a way to get my daily living support back in my control.
I’m much happier now. I don’t use a support company for my daily living support – I manage them myself through a combination of support workers with their own ABN and companies like Hireup. Not everyone will want to manage their own support, but it's important that you get to choose the provider you want for your one to one support. The best way to make sure that happens is to get all your support funding in your core budget of your NDIS plan. That way if you aren’t happy with a company, you can easily end the service agreement with them and access another.
Remember: It’s your house and your life. Only people you authorise should ever be giving you support. Live your life how you want with the support you want.
Belinda has worked as a Lived Experience Facilitator at the Summer Foundation Housing Hub Team since June 2020. She brings the experience of navigating her own housing journey which sees her now living in an SDA apartment. Belinda has a Bachelor of Commerce from Deakin University.
Belinda is passionate about people with disability having a voice and a say in their own housing journey, which will lead them to having the best support, choice and flexibility in how they live.
Call our SDA Housing Advice line
For people with disability, families, and supporters. Monday – Friday 10.00am – 3.00pm AEDT. You can also email us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.