Group 3

Moving Forward with COVID

The Summer Foundation’s Information Service and Lived Experience Advisor, Emma Gee, again chats with one of the organisation’s Lived Experience Facilitators, Shanais Nielsen, about coming out of lockdown and planning to live in the new ‘COVID’ world.

Shanais, it’s been a few months since we last spoke, I feel there is a lot of confusion about how NDIS participants can use their funding to access PPE and what are the best ways to navigate this new world. It would be great to hear how you’re doing, tap into some of your strategies and experiences. I think this could be helpful for other people with an NDIS plan to hear. 

How have you been going since we last spoke

I have been very well! Even better now that restrictions are easing! 

How do you get COVID information, like what PPE is available in your NDIS plan? 

One of the organisations that I use for my support workers actually told me about this. 

How do you tell others in your support team about this? 

This is something that I usually talk about with my workers 1:1, so they can ask questions if needed.

Vaccinations are a very controversial topic at the moment. How do you go about having a conversation about COVID vaccinations? 

This is a tricky one. I am vaccinated and I’m very grateful to be, but I do know some people that choose not to be yet. I am a very open minded person and respect if someone doesn’t want to get the vaccine for their own reasons, however I do ask usually, as I think it’s important for me to know as someone that is immunocompromised. I think it’s important to remember that some people have different opinions when it comes to the vaccine and to listen to other’s opinions, even if I don’t agree. I believe that having these open discussions helps to understand others’ beliefs more. 

How do you have a conversation about using PPE and vaccinations with your support team? What do you think is important to ask? 

My support team and I are all very close and open with each other (thankfully). All of my support workers are great and want me to feel comfortable, so they are always checking in to make sure I feel safe, as I am with them. It’s always just been easy for me to talk about with them. 

Life entering into the new COVID normal is certainly unpredictable, do you have a contingency plan in place? What does it look like? 

At the moment I am hiring more staff to ensure I have enough support, but I am very lucky to have on-site support if I am short staffed! Some of my support workers have also offered to isolate in my apartment with me if we go into a tier 1, which is so amazing of them.

Thank you Shanais for sharing your experience with us. 

Click here for more COVID19 Information. 

Keep a lookout for the upcoming Reasonable and Necessary podcast series discussing ‘How people with disabilities can stay safe as Australia learns to live with COVID19’ with Dr George Taleporos.

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