NDIS support changes everything for the Mockler family

January 15, 2024

Four years ago, life looked very different for the Mockler household. Without support via the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) they were managing, but only just. Adult siblings, Andy and Sarah who live with intellectual disabilities were relying entirely on support from their ageing parents, Mary and Denis whose own health issues were beginning to step in the way. 

When our Disability Futures Engagement Manager, Desley came into their lives and advocated for Andy and Sarah to be accepted into the NDIS, “everything changed” says Denis. Today, Andy and Sarah receive daily help from support workers and Mary and Denis are able to enjoy short getaways, knowing that their children are being supported. “It’s impacted our life in every way,” says Denis.

“Andy does so much more with his days now and it’s really had an impact on him socially.” Asked to describe himself, Andy says that he enjoys watching TV and travelling. “I also work at a law firm as a mailman,” Andy says, with Desley adding that his unofficial role at the law firm is to entertain everyone. Andy takes the train to work in the city and one day when the trains were down, he walked all the way there from Pennant Hills!  

Now that Andy and Sarah have NDIS plans, they have a support worker accompany them into the community five days a week. One of the highlights of their week is mass at St Agatha’s on a Sunday morning, followed by breakfast. Now that they receive support, Andy and Sarah can go to their own church service on a Sunday morning, rather than with their parents on a Saturday night. Such a simple change has been instrumental in helping them form their own connections independent of their parents.  

“I met Mary at St Lucy’s school through my work with a parent group,” Desley says. “I realised that the family had never received support. We discussed ageing and went through the application process together. Now, Mary and Denis get to go away on weekends and see shows in the city.” 

Through the NDIS, Andy and Sarah have also been able to receive cleaning support. The worker has taught them how to make their beds, how to do odd jobs at home and how to follow a routine. Desley asks Andy how many towels he should use per day, to which Andy promptly responds, “one!” Desley notes that this is a vast improvement on the usual six towels. 

For Sarah, accessing the NDIS allowed her the opportunity to volunteer at a café. Denis says that one of the greatest benefits of volunteering has been the community connections she has formed. “When Mary collapsed at the shops the other day, Sarah instantly knew three people in the vicinity,” Denis says.  

One of Sarah’s favourite things to do with her support worker is to go shopping, “either for handbags or groceries,” Sarah says. Soon, Sarah will start volunteering at a pizza shop, which she looks forward to with great anticipation.  

“What we’re building towards is independence in the home and for Andy and Sarah to eventually live independently in this house,” Denis says. “All this is possible thanks to Desley’s hard work. Our family’s relationship with Desley is everything.” 

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