The Good Life Newsletter September 2015

The Good Life Newsletter goes online!

Isaac and I decided that it was time to put his newsletter online. We felt it might be a good way of celebrating the good work that his supporters have been doing and it might help other people to learn more about what is possible for people with disability.

I asked Isaac if it would be ok.  Here is a video of me helping him to make the decision.  Of course I can’t be 100% sure if he understands but at least I have given him the opportunity to decide and to learn how to decide.

Isaac’s afternoon adventures

Isaac now has a support worker to pick him up every afternoon from college and has been doing some fun stuff like going to the zoo, checking out some of our museums and going swimming.  Isaac is learning to say where he would like to go so he can be in charge of his adventures.

He loves these adventures but he’d really love to have the company of friends too.  He recently went with a support worker and a bunch of mates down to the lake for a walk and to feed the ducks and everyone had a blast.  If you’d like to go on one of Isaac’s afternoon adventures with him just get in touch and we will organise it.

Isaac turns 18!

Isaac celebrated his birthday with family and friends with a lap around Canberra in a stretch Hummer and a party back at our house.  He and his friends had a blast in the hummer.  It was everything that Isaac loves – music, lights, friends and driving.  Everyone was beaming when they arrived back from their Canberra lap.

Back at the house we had lots of music and more lights and everyone partied on.  Connor gave a lovely speech about how he had realised even though Isaac didn’t talk he was actually quite smart and was a good listener.

The presents Isaac received also showed how well everyone is getting to know Isaac and he loves them all.

Thanks everyone for coming along and sharing Isaac’s important milestone.hummer

Supported Decision Making

Now that Isaac has turned 18 we need to think about supporting him in how to make decisions in his life and make them clear to everyone.  He needs to learn about voting, deciding where he will live, opening a bank account and having medical treatment.  We are not sure that he will be able to do these things but we like to give it a good try as we don’t really know what he can do or what he understands.  His teachers are working on teaching him how to do a signature!

The plan will be to learn more about supported decision making.  ADACAS do some great work around this so it would be great to get some of Isaac’s family, friends and microboard members involved in helping Isaac to be able to make his own decisions.

Work Experience

Isaac’s teachers have been providing him with the opportunity to learn mail pick up and delivery skills and he has been doing very well.  It is expected that he will then move to doing mail delivery outside of the school environment in September.   The work experience coordinator at Isaac’s school has arranged some work experience practice sessions at Belconnen Community Services in Kippax.

I wrote to The National Health Cooperative asking if he could do some work experience with them and they have enthusiastically welcomed the opportunity which is fantastic.  So this will be the next step if all goes well at Belconnen Community Services.


Keeping everyone on the same page around helping Isaac to achieve his goals is a challenge.  I’ve set up an online site using an app called PODIO to try and share information and ideas amongst those who work with him.

We will be able to:

  • Share documents such as support rosters and his NDIS plan
  • Share a calendar to keep up to date with microboard meetings, training sessions, conferences and other events.
  • Share photos and videos to share ideas about supporting Isaac and also to celebrate his achievements.
  • Record his goals, our strategies to help him achieve them and track the tasks that need to be done.
  • Contact each other via email or sms.

Some of Isaac’s support workers have already been using it to share ideas about how to support Isaac and the places he loves to go.  I’m planning on doing a little training session for everyone so that we can get the best out of it.

My Ambition Campaign

Isaac has been invited to participate in an ACT Government community campaign to help him achieve some of his goals. It will work on the same principals as the state of ambition campaigns in the United Kingdom – where young people describe their goals and ambitions and the support they are looking for to achieve them on a website. Community organisations and businesses then respond and offer support.

Isaac’s ambition is to start up a mail pickup and delivery business that involves:

  • collection of mail from post office boxes located in the Belconnen area and delivery to businesses located in the Belconnen area
  • collection of out-going mail from businesses located in the Belconnen area and delivery to the post office in the Belconnen area to be posted.

Isaac’s Great Grandma and his Grandfather worked in the post office so being a mail man runs in the family.

mail box deliveries

Isaac loves to ride in the car and listen to the latest hits on the radio.  He is very good at remembering routines, greeting people and carrying things.

We feel this ambition is:

  • based on the things I like doing and what I am good at
  • important to and appreciated by the local community
  • involves being out and about in the community
  • provides him with an opportunity to learn and grow
  • Allows him the opportunity to meet people and make more friends

In 2012, nearly half (47.3%) of all working-age people with disability were not in the labour force.  So we are hoping this project will make sure Isaac doesn’t end up another statistic.

He has been doing lots of work experience including feeding animals, watering plants, collecting mail, doing letter box drops, helping in the kitchen, delivering magazines and being a door man at a disco.

To achieve his ambition Isaac needs assistance with:

  • writing a business plan
  • finding and purchasing a suitable delivery vehicle
  • designing business processes and related artefacts
  • creating marketing materials such as a web site and logos
  • designing and purchasing a uniform
  • identifying and purchasing equipment
  • identifying and purchasing suitable insurances
  • recruiting a fabulous driver/ assistant
  • identifying and onboarding clients

If you know anyone that might be able to help with this campaign get in touch with us.

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