A National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant has shared his story at the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety hearings, with this series focusing on young people in residential aged care facilities.
James Nutt faced the Commission yesterday and spoke of his experience being forced into aged care for several years due to a lack of appropriate services.
Left with a significant disability following a serious assault at only 19 years old, it took Mr Nutt 14 years to find suitable services and accommodation with Summer Foundation and supported by disability support provider, Ability Options.
“I believe every Australian should have choice, control and independence to make our decisions,” Mr Nutt explains.
“I want everyone to know my story as it should not happen to anyone else.”
Travelling from Newcastle, in New South Wales, to Melbourne to share his story in person, he was supported by two disability support workers who both submitted a statement to the Royal Commission and attended the hearing at an additional cost to Mr Nutt.
Chief Executive Officer of Ability Options, Julia Squire, hopes these extra considerations will be made to help support those intending to share their stories at the Disability Royal Commission as well.
“Even though James’ flights, transfers and accommodation have been taken care of by the Royal Commission, he has had to dip into his NDIS funding for the additional hours required for support coordination as well as, two 24/7 support workers for the visit,” Ms Squire says.
“We hope this can be addressed and also by the Royal Commission into Violence Abuse and Neglect in Disability to help everyone who wishes to tell their story.”
Manager of Support Coordination at Ability Options, Danielle Hazelwood, says it took about 20-25 hours of coordination hours to plan the logistics of Mr Nutt attending the Commission.
Ms Hazelwood explains, “James is really passionate about appearing before the Royal Commission, so we contributed by proving supports to James to travel to Melbourne from his home in Belmont.
“The main focus was to ensure flights and accommodation were suitable for James’ complex support needs and for him to have the support of the disability support workers he has chosen.”
Ms Squire says Ability Options is incredibly proud of their client.
“James’ story could help change services for people with a disability forever and we are proud to be part of his efforts.
“He’s a very determined gentleman and we are doing everything we can to help.
“The Commission has also been fabulous in enabling James to be there in person.”