National Disability Insurance Scheme participant Andrew Farrar-Pugh is achieving his goals with the help of Living My Way’s Support Coordination services.
Andrew was a passenger in a car that had collided with a tree, which left him legally blind. He is completely blind in his left eye and sees out of a portion of his right eye, but this hasn’t stopped him from living his life to the fullest.
He works at a call centre, is able to pursue his love of driving on a race track, and with the help of Living My Way, has managed to secure a guide dog to help him get around.
“Now that she’s here, she’s a marvel,” said Andrew. “And as I say, I couldn’t have asked for a better dog or certainly any better support from Living My Way”.
Andrew’s guide dog is Rihanna, a black Labrador. Although the state lockdown delayed the process of getting her, she’s been a huge help ever since she was partnered with Andrew. She’s been helping him get to work, to the shops, and around the local area.
Mia Patterson is Andrew’s Support Coordinator at Living My Way, which means that she helps Andrew implement his plan, monitor his budget, and makes sure that he’s using the right mix of support to reach their goals. She was also instrumental in helping him secure Rihanna.
“Living My Way’s part in getting the guide dog was just helping link with the provider, making sure that his goals were correct for it, and also just following up with the NDIS to process the application along and participate in the review meeting to explain why the guide dog was necessary for him in line with the evidence that Vision Australia provided,” she said.
Together, Andrew and Mia have had plenty of success with Andrew’s NDIS plan. Not only did they manage to secure a guide dog for Andrew, but the NDIS agreed to fund all of the dog’s training and ongoing maintenance costs.
“He got everything that he asked, and that’s so rare,” said Mia. “We were just over the moon. Those kinds of things, they make your whole week, they make your whole year”.
Andrew says that being a Living My Way Member has helped him discover all the options that are available to him.
“Living My Way has been extremely forthcoming, very professional, and very suggestive for what I was able to do and obviously what couldn’t be accomplished,” he said.
“I have restrictions, and obviously, with the help of Living My Way, these things have been able to be overcome, or at least finding some workarounds to assist on ‘If I can’t do Choice A, there’s certainly Choice B’”.