Jessica’s experience working with people with disability
I had my first experience working with people with disabilities when I was 13 years old. I spent 6 months doing work experience at a local school for people with special needs. This is what sparked my love and interest in this field and set me on the amazing career path I’ve been on for most of my working life.
Fourteen years ago, I first stepped foot into paid employment as a disability support worker. Back then, the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) wasn’t active yet, and the way people with disabilities received funding and support was different from how it is now. Throughout the years, I navigated through the ever-changing landscape of supporting people with disabilities. During this time, I had various roles like Support Worker, Team Leader, Site Manager, and Operations Manager until I finally found my most fulfilling position, which is as an Independent Facilitator at Enliven Community.
Throughout my career in the sector, I specialised in managing teams that provide support to individuals living in traditional Supported Independent Living (SIL) or group homes. In this setting, the individuals often lacked the opportunity to have a choice or say in how they received support. The providers would inform the agency about the support they believed was necessary, and then deliver it based on the participants’ NDIS budget. Providers will then determine the roster allocation, leaving the residents with little control over their own support.
Independent Facilitator role
In my current role at Enliven Community, I believe that I’m making a positive impact on the lives of people with disabilities. We follow a cooperative-type governance model, which ensures that participants have access to the platform, information, and support they need to make independent and well-informed decisions about where and how they live.
In my role, I support individuals in their tenancy and represent the Cooperative. I bring together a group of people who share supports but don’t necessarily share the same home, to have conversations about their shared supports and how they want them to be shaped. This ensures they understand their rights and the available good practices and support within their home. The group of individuals are empowered to voice their opinions and collaborate with the service provider and Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) provider to meet their individual needs and the needs of the Cooperative group they are a part of.
By participating in a Community Cooperative, a group of people can share the cost of supports. This sharing helps make their funding go further, sustaining the NDIS Scheme and ensuring they have a say in how they receive good value support for the money they contribute.
I’m now part of an amazing initiative that prioritises putting the person at the forefront of all decisions. It aims to ensure that each individual’s voice is heard, and it empowers the people who truly matter—the individuals themselves.
Stay tuned for more information and stories from our amazing team at Enliven Community!!!
If you’d like to know more about the Enliven Community, contact us at email@example.com.