Making the transition from school to adult life is always challenging, even more so if you need to consider how to allocate your NDIS funding.
It’s always best to go into your NDIS planning session with the goals you would like to achieve firmly in mind. Better still, having a pre-planning meeting can ensure you are armed with a complete list of activities you would like funded.
But how do you decide the goals you would like to receive funding for?
As we have discussed before, it’s a good idea to think about what activities and services you have used in the past and then decide if they are the right fit for you now.
If you’ve just finished school you might want to think about what you want to achieve over the next few years, knowing that you can always change your mind later on. Also, consider daily activities you could do if you had some extra assistance.
Another great way to come up with ideas is to have a look at what others have done with their NDIS funding. Here are just a few of the activities Challenge Disability Services clients have undertaken.
Build your independence
Living independently has been Rheanne’s top priority since leaving school. Her first step to independence was to move away from her family home in Port Macquarie and settle in Tamworth. Rheanne used her funding to enlist the support of Challenge’s Connexions support workers to help her prepare for her Learners License test, which she passed early in 2018. With that under her belt, she turned her attention to finding a job and used her time with a support worker to create a resume and pound the pavement looking for work.
Independence was also a top priority for Clare. She enlisted support to help her move out of the family home into shared accommodation. Her love of the water led her to further training to become a swimming and water safety teacher and she also completed a certificate in hospitality. Clare uses her NDIS funding to pay for a Challenge support worker to help her with her studies, assist with transport between her many regular activities, and check in on her and her flatmate to ensure their living arrangements are working well.
Create healthy habits
Healthy living is a high priority for Glen, so he uses his funding to engage a support worker to help him create good habits. Together, they create a meal plan each week and learn how to cook new healthy recipes. Then Glen takes his meal plan as a shopping list so that he can stay focused on his clean-eating goals and ensure he stays within his budget. He balances this with regular gym attendance to increase his fitness.
Bayden loves to surf but at the moment he has to balance his surfboard on his bike to get to the beach. He enlisted the support of Connexions to take part in their Ls preparation course. After two years of dedicated study, he successfully passed his test and is now practising driving before he can apply for his Ps. Bayden is now saving up so that he can buy a car that ie either big enough to fit his surfboard or one that has roof racks.
Pursue your passions
Wendy has always loved horses but it seemed that her disability, which will deteriorate over time, would prevent her from continuing to care for her beloved animals. With her NDIS funding, Wendy has been able to purchase a specially designed scooter with a trailer attached to allow her to feed her horses independently. She also used her funding to pay for Koora Industries to visit her property regularly to clean the stables and tend to her gardens.
Lachlan also shares a passion for horses, with a particular interest in campdrafting. To ensure he can keep enjoying his hobby without his family’s assistance, he uses his funding to pay for a support worker who shares his interests. Now the pair go on regular rides and are networking in the campdraft community to find a career that suits his interests, such as mucking out stables and exercising the horses.
By the time he finished Year 12, Liam already had significant work experience under his belt. He thought a lot about his career choices and decided the ideal next step was to study IT at TAFE. After the success of his first course, he’s ready to take his interest further and delve deeper into the world of computers. He has also used his NDIS funding to pay for a support worker who has helped him increase his independence by gaining confidence to travel on public transport by himself.
Nicole’s primary goal was to find employment, and since leaving school she has dedicated her time, and her NDIS budget, to achieving this task. First, she added to her job search skills through Connexions, undertaking resume building and computer skills sessions as well as Ls preparation training. Then she learnt woodworking at The Shed in Tamworth with her efforts culminating in a job placement at the Tamworth Hospital.
Work with your interests
When she finished school Eliza considered her passions, beauty and animal care, and decided to increase her skills by studying hair and beauty at TAFE as well as getting work experience at Connexions Cafe. She uses her support time wisely, adding to her job skills and interpersonal skills such as communicating effectively with customers.
A visit to the pub was always a joy for Karen and she wanted to find a job that allowed her to meet lots of people. To start off, she decided to study hospitality at TAFE as well as getting her RSA and RCG certificates. To gain work experience, she set up her own cafe which opens every Tuesday at Challenge in Dubbo and then she reached out to her networks to find a work experience position at the Buncha Hotel.
These are just some of the ways our clients have used their NDIS budget to achieve their goals. At Challenge, we want to help make the transition from school to adult life easier. For more guidance on the NDIS and how you can use your funding, download our ebook The School Leaver's Guide to the NDIS.