Tuesday, 9 August 2022

    Revolution gives more options

    Fathema Anwar’s parents thought she was joking when she told them she was moving out of the family home, ABC News reports.

    The 23-year-old, who came to Australia from Afghanistan as a refugee a decade ago, didn’t have kids and she wasn’t married.

    “It is not normal [in] Afghan culture to move out before you are married, especially when you have a disability,” she said.

    She and her younger sister live with spinal muscular atrophy.

    “Back in Afghanistan my sister and I talked about one day making a chair with wheels and our mum told us to work hard and then we could invent it ourselves,” she said.

    “When we arrived in Australia when I was 13 we realised it already existed, so when we got wheelchairs it was like all our dreams came true.”

    But a decade on, Fathema dreamed of something more — a place of her own in Sydney.

    After some initial research, Fathema was disappointed to find the accessible accommodation prospects for people living with a disability in Australia were still limited, with nursing homes and group settings the most common options.

    Recently she started accessing Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) funding in her National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan, which made it possible for her to explore a new kind of housing.

    Under this new housing model, multiple apartments in a complex are built with features such as reinforced concrete for wheelchair hoists, voice recognition technology to open blinds and doors, and accessible bathrooms.

    There’s also a concierge with an on-call support worker to assist residents when their own carers clock off.

    Residents can choose their own support workers and use their NDIS funding to pay them.


    Quiet housing revolution slowly giving Australians with disabilities more options (ABC News)


    Fathema Anwar recently began receiving Specialist Disability Accommodation funding which made it possible for her to live independently in a specially built apartment.(ABC News: Brendan Esposito)