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NDIS funding is not only a one-way road – it helps members safe work and provides again to the economic system

Wheelchairs could be costly, and eight years in the past when Janelle Armstrong wanted a brand new one, her solely possibility was to purchase it second-hand off Gumtree.

“It was a bit daunting, as a result of they’re meant to be custom-made, I used to be apprehensive that it would not meet my wants,” she mentioned.

“I might at all times used a wheelchair because the age of ten to entry the group and I am unable to with out one.”

I really feel Ms. Armstrong’s ache.

I’ve used a prosthetic leg because the age of two, my present one is over 15-years outdated.

Like wheelchairs, prosthetics should be custom-made and price some huge cash.

Elizabeth Wright has had her present prosthetic leg for over a decade-and-a-half.(ABC Information: Brendan Esposito.)

Once you’re on a low or common earnings getting new mobility aids to entry the group and dwell your life can appear inconceivable.

Ms Armstrong, 41, lives with spina bifida, and is a swimming teacher.

A Paralympic gold medalist from Atlanta in 1996, Ms Armstrong works as much as 5 days every week educating 4 to 7-year-olds to swim.

She first utilized for the Nationwide Incapacity Insurance coverage Scheme (NDIS) three years in the past so she may get a brand new wheelchair.

She was surprised when she was knocked again.

“I form of discovered it just a little bit humorous that I used to be disabled sufficient to really qualify for the Paralympics, however not disabled sufficient to qualify for any help on the NDIS,” she mentioned.

A woman giving a swimming lesson to a small child
Janelle Armstrong is now working as a swimming teacher in Sydney.(ABC Information: Billy Cooper)

Being within the pool is one thing Ms Armstrong and I’ve in widespread – we had been on the Australian Paralympic swim crew on the similar time.

Swimming opened up alternatives for each of us, together with the roles we’d do later in life.

“I am obsessed with educating kids these life abilities that they want within the water,” Ms Armstrong mentioned.

Like me, as she’s grown older, Ms Armstrong’s mobility has declined, impacting her capability to work and keep an lively member of the group.

A woman sitting in a wheelchair in front of a trampoline in her backyard
Janelle Armstrong certified for the Paralympics twice however a couple of years in the past was instructed she wasn’t “disabled sufficient” for NDIS assist.(ABC Information: Billy Cooper)

Earlier this yr, she utilized for the NDIS once more, with assist from the spina bifida clinic on the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney.

This time she was profitable.

Quickly, Ms Armstrong will obtain a brand new, custom-made wheelchair because of her NDIS funding.

“The longer I can keep cell, the extra I can work, the extra I is usually a contributing particular person in society,” she mentioned.

NDIS funding permits members to offer again

For Ms Armstrong, the NDIS has been “life altering” and he or she’s involved the advantages of the scheme have been forgotten in latest dialogue about its value.

“I am a taxpayer too. I’ve labored. I at all times have. I at all times need to work,” she mentioned.

“This NDIS funding truly permits us to do this, which signifies that in flip we may give again to the group.”

The NDIS was conceived to supply funding for folks with probably the most profound and extreme impairments to achieve larger independence and enhance their high quality of life.

That included serving to those that wished to work to get into the workforce, earn an earnings and pay tax.


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