Contributed by Ugly
Hawkesbury resident Gretta Serov campaigned passionately for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), but feels let down, because the version that has been applied, she says, has taken her independence away.
Gretta has Severe Athetoid Cerebral Palsy and is confined to a wheelchair. She cannot speak and communicates via an iPad. Gretta needs help getting around and she lives on her own. However, through her own efforts she has been able to achieve considerable independence and no longer lives with her parents.
Before the new scheme she was granted money that she could use to access wheel chair adapted taxis. This allowed her to get on with life, including attending university and having a social life.
The problem is that the NDIS sets strict limits on what the money it provides can be used on. There is little flexibility and therefore lacks concern for the needs of the individual.
“Without access to my core funding for independent transport I have been left in the debilitating situation of being totally stripped of my independence,” she says.
“I am now 26, I was hoping to be living independently by this time but my dream of independence has had to be put on hold because without access to a reliable taxi service I can’t live independently.”
Gretta has raised her problem with NDIA personnel, but found no one was listening, had her compliant dismissed and was expected to jump through hoops, providing mountains of documentation that got nowhere.
This is typical with so many government provided services that come across as having processes, designed to hinder access rather than meet needs and be much more concerned with red tape than respectfully treating people as human beings.
The NDIS was supposed to make life easier for people. Instead, it seems that it has been turned on its head to act as another agency to limit what it provides to its clients.
By standing up once again, Gretta has brought the problem out into the open and as a result is helping others as well as herself to get a better deal.