My son has a home of his own, as every young person should. It's not big and it's not grand, but he's put his stamp on it and it's his.
Now you might think that this has been an easy process when I say it 'just like that'. But you would be wrong. The hoops we've been made to jump through to get to this point would make a strong man weep.
One would assume in this enlightened day and age in a civilised culture such as we have here in Australia, that when a young person with a disability says that want to live independently, the corporate and government processes would wholeheartedly support them.
You would be wrong.
Because it's not just the physical 'roof over the head' for many of these young people. It's finding a way for them to live a supported life with the assistance of many others, who, by way of their involvement, need to be remunerated. In other words, you need paid support workers.
And for someone like our guy, that support does not come cheap.
Now, in some countries, this paid support is indeed a 'given'. It's just there. Not here in Australia, although that is changing. My husband and I have had to lobby politicians on all sides of the track relentlessly, doggedly and persistently for 5 years.
But finally it's happening. We've had word that a funding package has been approved for our guy, for him to be funded for the maximum amount on a permanent basis. The feelings of relief for him and for us are immeasurable.
Sadly there are many families like ours, who do not have the determination, werewithall or internal strength to do what we've done.
So please, when the time comes, support the introduction of the NDIS or the National Disability Insurance Scheme here in Australia.
For this is the only way that people with a disability and their families can seek to live out their lives with the dignity and choices that the rest of us take for granted.