Christmas has come early for Logan’s Amanda Riley, now sporting a new set of wheels with a giant purple spider attached as her companion.
The 42-year-old, who has an acquired brain injury, affecting her speech and mobility, as a result of a car accident, said now she’s got her independence back, she and her giant spider, Rex, are turning heads zipping in and out of shops, chatting to people, spreading Christmas cheer.
“I love my new set of wheels. It has a canopy to protect me from the weather; a basket to hold my shopping; a lockable compartment to keep my valuables safe, and best of all it gives me much more independence,” she said.
“Now I can enjoy going out when I want to without having to rely on others. If I want to visit friends I can just hop on my scooter and go, or if need anything at the shops I can go and get it on my own. All this may sound simple to some, but to me it’s been empowering.
“This year I’m so proud of myself. I’ve managed to get all my Christmas shopping done. Again, this might sound like a simple task for some, but for me it’s not.
“Now with my new scooter, I can leave the house and go shopping without having to worry if I’m going to manage and it’s such a relief,” she added.
A NDIS participant, Amanda said she uses her funding to employ local provider, Open Minds, who tailor supports to meet her needs.
“Open Minds have been wonderful. I get support with daily living and community access six days a week, for five hours a day,” she said.
“My support workers are great. They come in and help me with all my personal care; take me to appointments; help with my laundry and assist me to cook meals,” she said.
“I also have an excellent occupational therapist who did a functional assessment on me to see if I was eligible for a new scooter. My NDIS goal was to become more independent within my local community and now I’ve been supported to achieve it.”
Amanda said she feels really comfortable with her support workers too.
“They’re like family. They’re a great bunch of people. They help me with all the jobs I have trouble doing, or I can’t do myself around my unit, and the NDIS funding means I can stay living at home and be as independent as possible, and for that I’m very grateful,” she said.