For Mahmood, 29, who has muscular dystrophy the NDIS has given him increased independence and a motivation to help create change in the community.
Mahmood worked with Local Area Coordinator (LAC) Laura in March 2018 to develop a plan that addressed his goal of gaining independence.
Prior to the NDIS, he relied on family members to help him get ready each morning, waking up early to ensure there was enough time for them to help prepare him for the day.
“My disability is progressive, and I was struggling to access supports,” said Mahmood. “Before the NDIS I felt like I was chasing people to help me,” he said.
Now, he receives assistance from a support worker who visits seven days a week for three hours to help Mahmood with his everyday living.
“I can wake up and feel relaxed knowing a carer is there with me, I also have more freedom each day,” Mahmood said.
He now wants to use his experiences to assist others with a disability and support the community to be more accessible.
Finding social media an important platform to connect and create conversation about disability, he hopes to soon launch a blog of his own to share his experiences, particularly around accessibility.
“Melbourne was the world’s most liveable city, let’s work to make it the world’s most accessible city,” Mahmood said. “There is a lot more we can do in the community to make sure people with disability feel included,” he said.
“We have to ask, what could be better for people with disability? How can our services and community be better to allow people with a disability to get out more?”
When it came to his experience with the NDIS, Mahmood admits it was daunting at first, but the more he understood it the more he saw the benefits.
“I was nervous before my planning meeting, now having the knowledge I do makes it easier to talk with my LAC and ask questions.”
His advice to people about to have their NDIS planning meeting?
Preparation is key.
“Every person with disability is different, so what they will get from the NDIS will also be different,” said Mahmood. “Take some time to understand what the NDIS is about before your meeting, it may take time, but it’s definitely worth it,” he said.
“The NDIS has just made life easier, I can go to sleep happy and wake up happy,” he said.
The Brotherhood of St Laurence is the local Partner in the Community in the delivery of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) across the North-East Melbourne, Hume Moreland, Bayside Peninsula, Western Melbourne and Brimbank Melton areas.