Nissa always wanted to learn to play the guitar. She is interested in drawing too.
Through a support group, Nissa found out about Mable and how she could find workers who had these skills.
Finding support to do what she loves
Nissa shares, “I found the Mable website quite straightforward and found someone quite quickly who was a good fit for me.”
“Playing guitar, gardening, drawing, learning about art, these things all help me stay healthy and connected,” Nissa says.
She has a demanding job as a community development worker. “It’s important that I keep accessing the community and maintain my employment. Following creative pursuits helps lift my mood.”
A support session for Nissa might involve going through art books with her support worker then drawing and, as she says, “playing with colour”.
Another session might include practising chords on the guitar and learning music theory.
“Sometimes my support worker also helps clean my room and helps me get organised and we might walk my dog together.”
Nissa loves her garden and enjoys pottering around, growing veggies and herbs. “I love expanding it, making it more beautiful. It’s a functional garden and it’s good for the days when I don’t have energy.”
My kind of independence
While Nissa lives with family, she says her needs are better met through getting support via Mable.
“Having support workers improves my quality of life. For me, independence means being able to live the life I want to live. My MS is ‘relapse/remitting’. Sometimes, I’m highly functional, sometimes I’m really tired. I need to plan around my worst days.”
Nissa adds, “Having a support worker to keep me creative really helps with feeling independent.”
A message for others
Nissa knows from personal experience that people with disability must aim to “live their best life”.
She hopes that as disability awareness grows in the community, barriers will be removed and people with disability will have improved access to the community, resources and activities.
“There are so many different kinds of disability,” she says. “And having an invisible one makes it difficult in a different way.”
Nissa encourages people to gain a greater understanding about the kind of support they access.
“If you can, get help to garden, learn music, go on adventures. Don’t just go to shopping centres and out for coffee. Build your resilience and capacity beyond just survival. Get into nature, there’s so much healing in accessing nature.”
She says she initially found it challenging to know what support she could access and what she was allowed to do with that support. “I learned from peers about how others have navigated it.”