Group 3

Connor is now living in SDA

We first met Connor during the more than 2 years he waited to get the right SDA approval in his NDIS plan. Late last year Connor finally moved in to his own apartment.

Tell us about yourself

My name is Connor Brookhouse and I am 19 years old. My disability is called Friedreich’s Ataxia. I love animals and video games. I am now living independently in an apartment, but I was living at my mum’s house before I got SDA funding.

How long did you have to wait for the NDIS to approve SDA in your plan?

I had to wait 2 years, roughly 730 days, to get the correct SDA in my plan. I was originally funded to live in a share house, which is not very accommodating for a young person, especially in Canberra. We were all very nervous about the future, where I was going to go. The process forced me to face my disability all over again -it’s a progressive disability so this was very difficult.

How did that wait affect you and your family? 

The process was emotionally exhausting and I struggled a lot with my health and mental health. Money also became an issue with my mum unable to work because she was dealing with the NDIS. Because of this she had to sell her house.

Do you have any advice for others waiting on NDIS decisions?

Hang in there…Also make sure you have a lot of people who can provide evidence as to why you need SDA. The NDIS will definitely want a lot of reports.

What are you enjoying most about living in your SDA home?

I love the freedom and the independence – being able to go out and to have people around when I want them around, and in my own home. I’m also excited to be able to design what my house looks like.

You shared your story as part of the Down to 10 Days campaign – how did that feel?

It felt good to talk about the process and tell my story. I really wanted to make a difference and the best way I could help was telling my story.

Connor’s profile is featured in the Summer Foundation’s 2022 Annual Report. You can read the full report here

If you would like to share your experience, please contact us on: peersupport@summerfoundation.org.au

Check out our other stories from people with lived experience of disability here

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