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Use your NDIS funding to build your business

Close up portrait of handicapped student wearing glasses at desk in garden.

Recently, our Mable request of the week featured a client who was looking for a support worker to support them in setting up a market stall. It’s not the first request we’ve had from clients who are seeking some support to undertake studies, create a small business or further their career. But how is the NDIS set up to support participants in career development, or to create a business of their own? We take a look.

Finding and keeping a job

JobAccess is a government agency that exists to provide information or support to anyone who is interested in disability and the workplace. Regardless of where you are in your career journey, you can use your NDIS funding to get support that will help set you on the right path.

Maybe you’re still figuring what you’re good at? Someone can support you to work it out, or help you develop skills in a particular area. What if you have a specific goal, but need support to get there? Perhaps you can engage someone who can help you craft a resume, or prepare for an interview. As long as they align with the goals as outlined in your NDIS plan, you can use your funding for Capacity Building to do this.

Community Participation funding can also allow you to engage someone who can assist with vocational activities that help you build skills important for employment, like catching public transport, meeting new people or learning how to manage your money.

Creating a business of your own

The NDIS is designed to support participants to live independently. A huge part of that is financial independence. But a job working within a company under a boss is not for everyone. For some people, the desire to carve their own path is too strong. One of these people is Thomas Banks, performer and entrepreneur who established the Centre for Access in 2015.

The organisation calls itself Australia’s leading training business around disability, access and inclusion. It has delivered training and consultancy to big name companies including Jetstar, Melbourne Football League, QUT and the Melbourne Theatre Company. The company offers workshops that are designed to be fun and highly engaging, but deliver an important message about how companies can be inclusive and tackle issues like unconscious bias. Thomas’ journey with the NDIS got off to a false start, after initially being told his application was unsuccessful. Following a successful appeal, he used his funding to engage a team of supports who supported him as he established the business. He says he was driven to build the business by the belief that training about inclusion should be facilitated by people with disabilities; and that they should be at the helm of these companies, too.

Know where to start

If you have NDIS funding, being self managed or plan managed can create greater flexibility to enable you to build a team to support you in different ways. When thinking about your NDIS plan, consider what your goals are – professional or otherwise – and what barriers you might face in achieving them because of your disability. There are a number of plan-management organisations who can help you to create your plan, including those who can help you to determine what support you need if you’re interested in developing a business or micro-enterprise. Once you know what you need, you can use your NDIS funding to search for and directly hire your perfect support crew.

Do you have a burning business idea? With Mable, you can build a team of supports who can help you realise your vision. Search for workers in your area today.

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