Ibby accomplishing his goals in leaps and bounds
Look up determination in the dictionary and chances are you’ll find a photo of Gateways Support Services participant, Ibby. The Newport man, who lives with a rare brain condition called agenesis of corpus collosum, is so set on building his life skills that he calls in with new personal goals almost every day.
‘He has really run with the idea of using his individual supports to achieve his goals in his NDIS plan,’ says his individual support coordinator, Rachel. ‘He calls me most days and tells me new things he would like his support worker to assist him with.’
Although COVID-19 has forced some of Ibby’s true passions – footy and socialising with friends – to be put on hold, he is looking forward to getting back into the community when restrictions eventually ease.
But, not being one to sit around waiting, Ibby has made the most of the restrictions by identifying areas for skill development and self-improvement.
In the past few weeks alone, Ibby has asked his support workers for help to create a budget, get a roster going in the house and learn to be more independent filling out forms. He’s also keen to extend his cooking talents, after developing a taste for it through Gateways Support Services’ online Cooking Safari classes.
‘He has suggested these things himself and he is really proactive now that he is aware that his NDIS funding is linked to him working on achieving his goals,’ Rachel says.
‘He is also a great self-advocate, and this leads him to want to achieve great things.’
A diehard Richmond fan, Ibby was very excited for the AFL season to start back up again last month as well as looking forward to getting back to playing sport – footy, cricket and basketball – himself down the the track.
He also enjoys a range of social activities through Gateways Support Services adult recreation groups and has also attended Gateways’ Healthy Living health promotion programs, where he learned about the importance of exercise and a healthy diet.
An engaging self-advocate, Ibby sees the importance of talking about his condition and checking in to make sure staff are equipped with the appropriate knowledge.
‘I have a rare condition that’s called agenesis of corpus collosum. It’s needed to connect the left and right side of the brain, that they need to communicate with each other. It affects me in learning new skills, reading and writing, things like that,’ Ibby says.
‘It is very rare. I’m still looking for someone who has the same disability as me.’
Rachel says Ibby has come a long way since starting with Gateways Support Services in 2015 and that seeing his social skills, confidence and independent living skills develop has been inspiring.
‘He has built many lasting friendships, attended many three-day camps where he has gained valuable skills in managing his own time, money, personal care and decisions,’ she says.
‘The even better part is that he is hilarious! He has really funny sense of humour and loves nothing more than good banter and positive relationships with people.’
Ibby says that while he can’t wait to get back together with his friends and out on the sporting field, he has been grateful for the support and programs available through Gateways Support Services during lockdowns.
‘Without Gateways, I would have been very bored through coronavirus.’
To find out how Gateways Support Services can help you make the most of your NDIS plan and meet your goals, or to find out about our recreation activities, contact your support coordinator or nearest Gateways Support Services office.