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Meet Karen, a member of the Health & Disability Team at Lifewise and a keen advocate and user of Individualised Funding. This is her story. 

The power of choice is a cornerstone in the lives of individuals like Karen, a dedicated mother navigating the world with a visual impairment.  Within disability support, Individualised Funding stands as a means to empowerment, granting individuals like Karen the autonomy to shape their support services according to their unique needs and preferences.

As the International Day of Persons with Disabilities approaches, Karen’s story illuminates the transformative potential of choice through Individualised Funding.

Karen, a vibrant advocate, and member of the Health and Disability Team at Lifewise, keenly shared what Individualised Funding has enabled her to do.

“It’s not just about having funds allocated to you; it’s about having the freedom to decide how those funds can best serve you,” she explains.

“For me, it’s been a game-changer, allowing me to make choices that truly impact my life and the life of my daughter.”

The ability to exercise choice became profoundly evident in Karen’s quest to partake in her daughter’s dance performance. With the help of Individualised Funding, Karen sought the support of an audio description service provider, enabling her to experience the show through real-time audio descriptions—a deeply enriching moment that wouldn’t have been possible without the flexibility afforded by the funding.

"Individualised funding eliminates barriers that might otherwise restrict life experiences. It liberates us from tasks that could consume valuable time and energy, allowing us to focus on what truly matters."

Karen on the invaluable, value of Individualised Funding

Central to Karen’s narrative is her role as a Disability Outcomes Coach at Lifewise—a testament to her commitment to pay forward the support she received. Her mission involves guiding individuals, much like herself, to leverage their Individualised Funding grants effectively. “I’m passionate about helping others navigate this empowering system,” Karen asserts. “I’ve experienced firsthand the transformative impact of having choices, and I want others to benefit from this too.”

"I'm passionate about helping others navigate this empowering system. "I've experienced firsthand the transformative impact of having choices, and I want others to benefit from this too."

Karen on helping othersDisability Outcomes Coach

The Disability Team:  Natalie, Makasini, Karen, Moana, Michelle & Faza

The importance of choice in Individualised Funding transcends mere financial assistance; it resonates at the core of human dignity and empowerment. Offering choice isn’t merely about financial allocations; it’s about recognising individuals’ autonomy and agency, acknowledging their right to shape their lives according to their desires and aspirations.

For many individuals like Karen, the ability to make choices brings a profound sense of dignity, instils confidence, and fosters independence. It empowers them to actively participate in shaping their own destinies, irrespective of disabilities or limitations. Through choice, they transcend barriers, access specialised services, and engage more fully in societal activities.

Moreover, the impact of choice isn’t confined to the individual alone; it radiates across families, communities, and society at large. When individuals are empowered to make choices that improve their lives, the collective benefit is immeasurable. It creates a more inclusive and equitable society—one where diverse voices are heard, valued, and given the opportunity to thrive.

Learn more about our Disability Support Services at Lifewise

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