The process of deciding where and how you live and who you live with
One of the first things to think about is the kind of lifestyle you want to live. Next of course, you need to think about your support needs.
You might need to think about how a home could be set up to best meet your needs.
Could your home (or a new home) be adapted to suit you – perhaps with home modifications funded by the NDIS?
Or do you have very high support needs – and would specialist disability accommodation (SDA) be right for you?
It’s important that you find out what all your options are.
Making a choice about who you live with will come down to personalities, and if you are someone that prefers your own company or would enjoy living with other people. For me, it was about having my own home so that I could have the highest level of independence possible within the parameters of my support needs. I chose not to live with anyone else in my home, but instead live in a location where I can be independently connected to the community without always needing transport. My home is not an SDA property and I own it myself, but I did access the NDIS to make the required modifications to my home.
Mel in her wheelchair with her kitchen behind her
Historically, disability accommodation has not always meant that people could choose to live in their own home with whomever they wanted. I think now that we live in a society that encourages people with disability to make independent choices, we can move past simply focusing on the bricks and mortar of getting someone accommodated and move more to a values-based approach of encouraging people with disability and their supporters to choose and implement the kind of home and supports that work for them.
This might mean having increased access to technologies and/or building your own support team. For example, I have an automatically opening front door and video security doorbell, but there are far less limits to technology than in decades gone by, which makes the world a whole lot more accessible to those of us living with challenges.
Most importantly, having the power to choose our living environment means that it can be somewhere we feel happy, safe, confident, connected to our friends and local community as much as we personally choose to be.
Mel has had Cerebral Palsy since birth, but never let that stop her. Mel has worked in various disability roles and has done lots of workshop presenting, mentoring and travelling – both professionally and personally.
Mel has always had significant physical support needs, but credits her parents for helping her believe in herself and never limiting what she expected of herself. Melanie works hard not to let her disability define her.
Mel has worked with the Housing Hub as a Lived Experience Facilitator since February 2021.
If you want to find out what your housing options are, book in for one of our free workshops.
You will learn about many types of housing and you can ask us your questions.