Childers mother Larissa Watson is looking forward to further improvements thanks to the NDIS
Childers mother Larissa Watson is looking forward to further improvements thanks to the NDIS SImon Young

Mum says signing up for NDIS is simple

CHILDERS mother Larissa Watson is waiting in hope of new supports, as the NDIS prepares to roll out in her town.

Mrs Watson - who has a disability herself - lives with her partner and three children, two of who have disabilities, as well as her mother who she cares for.

Since moving from Emerald to Childers, things have improved: the family can now access occupational therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists and speech therapists in the Bundaberg region.

"Because of how rural we were the supports that we had were constantly leaving and coming into town, so it was hard to get consistency. Since we moved to Childers things have been a lot better,” she said.

With the addition of the NDIS, Mrs Watson is anticipating more opportunities closer to home for those in her family affected by disability.

The NDIS first came to Larissa's attention through a school newsletter, and then again in 2017 through the IWC.

Over the last six months, she has attended information sessions and workshops, compiling folders of information to pass on to her friends and family.

Mrs Watson did this to give people in her family and community the best shot at a positive first plan with the NDIS.

"People are nervous, because it's new, it's unfamiliar ... they're wanting to see others go through it as such and make sure it's working before they put themselves through it,” she said.

"To people needing to get in touch, I'd say there's nothing to be afraid of, everything has been helpful and positive. You've got nothing to lose, only to gain.”

She was one of the first local residents to call the National Disability Insurance Agency on 1800 800 110, applying for access for herself, her mother and her two boys.

"They were great. To inquire about access for four people I was on there for 45 minutes,” she said.

"It was very straightforward.

"They asked me for things like date of birth, residency details, CRN (Centrelink Reference Number) ... they went through disclosure statements to make sure it was OK to contact people on our behalf, any specialists ... It's a lot easier than talking to Centrelink.

"(Later) I received access request forms in the mail for myself and my mum. I didn't receive anything for my boys but I was called to let me know it wasn't necessary because our information had rolled over.”

Larissa continues to attend local support groups and has an ongoing connection with Childers' NDIS lead co-ordinator Jenny Nicol.

The IWC will begin to contact participants to organise planning conversations in July.

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