I have been an NDIS Participant since July 2017 and have been living with the challenges of Multiple Sclerosis since I was diagnosed in 2003. Originally, I did not have Support Coordination in my initial NDIS Plan, but I wish I had!
After a debacle with my first Plan (with another provider), I then engaged with Karen Cupitt (featured above) of Ability Options as my Support Coordinator. This was a masterstroke in assisting me with navigating the complexities of the NDIS. I developed a swift rapport with Karen, as she supported my trust in sharing open and frank health matters. Karen has also developed an understanding of the impact of MS on both me and my family. As my family live the same journey (particularly my wife who is my primary carer) Karen’s empathy and insight has been critical. Key examples where Karen’s support has been invaluable, include:
- Assisting me to articulate NDIS Plan Goals
- Assisting the service provider selection process
- Facilitating a face-to-face meeting with an NDIA Representative to resolve a funding complaint about an Occupational Therapist assessment
- Educating my Plan Manager on NDIS line-item codes for invoice administration and claim purposes
- Involvement in Plan Review meetings with the NDIA (both face-to-face and virtual meetings)
The support I have received from Karen was a key factor in allowing me to exercise choice and control in moving to Ability Options as a participant. I provide voluntary peer support to others with MS who are also NDIS Participants, and I recommend they include Support Coordination funding in their NDIS plans.
I have demonstrated an increased capacity in the selection of appropriate service providers to meet my needs and plan goals. This has considerably built my independence, as I do not use Support Coordination as much as I used to. However, I still advocate for appropriate NDIS plan funding levels towards Support Coordination assistance in future plans.