The aim of the Choice Mentor Program is to train volunteers to support people with a disability to express their choice and control of their NDIS Plan. The NDIS plan can be seen as big and confusing. The mentors help participants to work out their goals and help them build their confidence so they can speak up at their NDIS planning meeting.
Mentors aim to provide information to help people with a disability use their human rights. Those human rights have been taken away from people with a disability because they have been harshly judged by the community. The Choice Mentor Program encourages mentors to break down the barriers and community engagement.
One example of a successful pair is when a participant was having trouble talking to their family members and being listened to. The mentor worked with the participant on building their confidence and speaking up. According to the Choice Mentor Coordinator, Josie Cohen, “this is an example of everyday human rights and freedom of speech.”
Another success story involves a participant having a dream to start a t-shirt printing business and through the Choice Mentor Program, the mentor is helping them put the t-shirt business on the map. They are currently working on printing the t-shirts, working out budgets and networking.
Since the start of COVID-19, mentors have been touching base with their participants weekly, sharing meal ideas, activities and their feelings. This has helped participants feel a part of the community despite being in lockdown. “I am also connecting mentors with online training and resources to help them develop their skills during this time,” says Josie. It is important to continue providing providing information and support during this time.
If you are interested in becoming a Choice Mentor or having a Choice Mentor support you, you can get in touch with us here