Don’t let anything hold you back – Katie’s story by: Faith Valencia
My name is Katie, and I’m bubbly caring, loving and family orientated. I love reading and colouring and I want to make the world a better place for people with disabilities.
I’m the only child in the family with a disability. My parents don’t have any disabilities so my mum was very shocked. My mum calls me her miracle – same with dad.
When I was really little my mum explained to me what I had. I always wanted to be like my brother and sister, who don’t have a disability. I try to fit into the real world, and do what my brother and sister can do, but I have limitations.
I don’t let things hold me back anymore. I do what I like to do. I want my independence and I’m going to get there.
Ipswich has been a really good town for me. I’ve been accepted. Where I was originally from, they were a bit more judgemental about people with a disability. I got picked on, I couldn’t make friends. I found it very hard. I got picked on a lot because I was in special education.
I don’t have to be someone else to fit in anymore.
What I want you to know about having an intellectual disability
People with intellectual disability are not any different from you. We just learn slower.
Like, if you say a big word, some people would be too shy to ask what that means. But some people with intellectual disability are outspoken – like me – and they’ll ask you ‘what do you mean?’, ‘Can you explain that to me?’, ‘I’ve never heard of that saying before?’.
Also, people with disabilities are not all the same. We all have different skills and we can amaze you.
There are people who can do different sports and it’s very magical to see. And then there are people who can read and write really well and learn things a bit quicker than others.
My magical skill is helping others.
I do this by letting people know that we are all the same. I like to include people. We’re not all alone.
Working at Endeavour Foundation
There are a lot of people out there who experience depression and with disabilities. They feel like they can’t achieve things. I’ve been through that myself. There was a time when I didn’t feel like I could do anything. That’s completely changed since I’ve been at Endeavour Foundation. I realise that it’s a good thing to love yourself.
Being at Endeavour Foundation, they treat you like a normal person. That’s what helped. They made me feel normal. They’re family. They’re so nice there. Everyone says hello to me.
My confidence was pretty low when I first started and now it’s just high. I’ve been here for two years.
When new people start I say: “You’ll LOVE it here! It’s like home. It’s a safe place. You feel completely secure, and you don’t need to worry if they’re better than you. We’re all equal. There’s no, this person’s better than me, or I’m better than you, rubbish. We don’t have that here. We’re all a team and that’s how Endeavour Foundation works. Oh, you’ll love it.”
What I think about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
The NDIS will mean my dad can relax and not worry about his little girl anymore.
My goal is to have someone that checks up on me morning and night, and live on my own. That’s my plan. It’s my little surprise. I’m very excited. I live with my dad but now I’m getting to the age where I just want my own space and I want my own place to call home.
People are suffering and going nowhere and the NDIS can give them the help they need. Help like getting someone to come in and check up on you and give you the guidance for showering, cooking, going places and helping with money.
It will give people opportunities that they have been dying for to succeed.
It’s all happening and I think it’s great. I’m all for it. I’m really happy. If people say otherwise, then that’s their choice, but I think it’s wonderful.