DisabilityCare Australia, the national disability insurance scheme, has passed the parliament, but it's vital all of the states do their bit too so that every Australian who needs support through DisabilityCare Australia can get it. Jodi Hocking, whose son has a disability, explains what it means to her family.
Angus was born prematurely and suffered kidney failure. At four-days-old Angus had a brain haemorrhage and at two-months-old he was diagnosed with severe-to-profound hearing loss and was fitted with hearing aids. He also has impaired vision.
It was a scary time for Adam and I. We didn't know what would happen to Angus and thousands of questions plagued us: would Angus ever go to a mainstream school? Would he ever be able to get a job? And how would we ever be able to afford everything he needs?
But our biggest worry was what would happen to Angus if we weren't around.
Thankfully, the Shepherd Centre has helped Angus develop age appropriate speech and language skills with intensive therapy over the past four years, and this year he'll be starting school with the help of a hearing support teacher.
Angus' story is special, but it is not unique. On the 21st of March 2013, the national disability insurance scheme, DisabilityCare Australia, passed the parliament.
DisabilityCare Australia will give us peace of mind that Angus will have access to the services he needs without having to worry about the financial pressure.
Without the scheme we would have to pay for a private speech pathologist if he fell behind at school, which we simply could not afford. We survive on one income as supporting Angus' needs has been a full-time job and I haven't gone back to work since he was born.
No Australian deserves to be left behind, and every Australian deserves the chance to be their best. Thanks to Labor's DisabilityCare Australia, Adam and I are confident we can watch Angus grow up with all of the opportunities he deserves.