Achieving what others called impossible
Rheanne has cerebral palsy and was often told she would never be able to get her driver’s licence – so there was simply no point in trying. Never one to turn down a challenge, Rheanne put all her determination into proving the naysayers wrong.
“Every 16-year-old wants to get their Ls. But to me, it meant more. It’s about being able to pass the test and becoming more independent. I’ve always wanted to get my Ls, but it always felt like it was just out of reach,” Rheanne says.
Next on Rheanne’s agenda is upgrading to her P plates, which she says will not only give her more confidence, but greater independence as well.
“It’s a confidence boost, and once I move onto my Ps I won’t have to rely on anyone else to get me around anymore. I can just do what I have to do and do it myself.”
Finding independence with a move to Tamworth
A yearning for independence burns fierce within Rheanne, so it’s unsurprising she decided to relocate from Port Macquarie to Tamworth in order to take advantage of opportunities with Challenge Disability Services.
Since the big move, Rheanne has found her home in Supported Independent Living (SIL), and she is particularly appreciative of the diverse support services available to her.
“The support workers here are amazing – they go above and beyond with the help that we need, which inlude daily living tasks or going out in the community.
“Since moving in, I think I’ve gained independence with learning how to take care of myself and manage things like bills and other responsibilities.”
Rheanne also loves the social aspect of SIL, especially living in a community of like-minded people where there’s always something exciting to do. “We all come from somewhere different. We all have different life experiences that we share. You grow quite close and in a way they become a second family.”
Always looking forward
With her Ls firmly planted on her car and support workers to help her log the minimum 120 hours of driving, Rheanne is excited about what’s on the horizon. Most recently, she has been looking for a local job after deferring her studies for a year.
“Lately, we have been printing out resumes, then I go around town and hand out resumes. I’m waiting to hear back from some applications, but I take the opportunity to hand out resumes whenever I can.”