Link August 2017 - Page 41

the magic of travel T ravel can be an amazing experience for people with disability and their families, and the NDIS has a role to play, writes Simon Crethar from Aspire Supported Holidays. sport, leisure and travel mindset and free ourselves from the stresses and strains of everyday life. that ‘support’ costs – the professional carers who support our travellers In my experience, many people Our extensive experience shows with disabilities (and their families) – make up 50-65% of the cost of don’t think that travel is a viable a holiday. By viewing an assisted options for them, that it’s beyond holiday as genuine respite, and them. After all, the occasional group- drawing on funds from the relevant us, it’s simple. We just have to. It’s an home outing eases the stresses and NDIS core-support cluster, the ‘gap’ urge. Those itchy feet get the better strains, doesn’t it? Shouldn’t we just payable by a travelling client can be of us and we’re off to do something settle for that? Well, actually, no. And surprisingly small – cheaper, often, new, to break the routine of life. That surely respite, as we know it, is more than the cost of traditional respite. combination of rest, indulgence, affordable than a proper holiday, escape and excitement broadens right? Again, no. We see travel, of supported holiday types – the mind. Home is boring, and most taking a holiday, as 21st-century international, domestic, cruising, of our problems are local. Travel respite. Not just for people with short breaks, longer journeys, helps us put some distance between mobility issues and disabilities, but you name it. The one thing that is ourselves and the everyday. for the community more broadly. common to all of them is that our travellers challenge themselves, Why do we travel? For most of The wonder of travel is change It’s not my position that the NDIS We take people on a range – change from our routines, seeing should pay for someone’s holiday, learn, expand their perspective, new places, trying new things, rather the ‘reasonable and necessary’ reconnect with themselves and make meeting new people. By changing modifications required to make a new friends, have an adventure, our surroundings, we can change our holiday possible: the care and support. escape, relax and rejuvenate. Our assisted holidays create extraordinary experiences like taking wheelchair-bound travellers swimming with dolphins in Bali, or riding an elephant in Thailand, even simply swimming in the ocean for the first time in more than 20 years – an act that so many of us take for granted. When we travel domestically, we’re often taking people to places that are significant in their family history. The NDIS provides for so many transformative improvements to people’s lives. The opportunity we’ve found to access funding to provide support for an assisted holiday, opens up a world of experiences to enrich them in ‘reasonable and necessary’ ways. sport, leisure & travel 39