How I found a voice with My Choice Matters

10 October 2017

My Choice Matters has made me understand more and made me think about my skills for applying to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). It has really helped me find my voice.

By Hannen Abdullah

I heard about My Choice Matters through a friend. I also saw it on a flyer and somebody read it to me. I wanted to get involved because I thought it was interesting.

I have been on the Advisory Group for My Choice Matters and I have also done the leadership course in Parramatta. The leadership program has helped me because it’s opened a new door. It’s taken me down a new path of life.

I’ve also done some of the Get More Skills workshops. There are two ways I’ve been involved in the workshops. One is going to the workshops and getting information. The other is speaking at the events. Get More Skills has made me understand more and made me think about my skills for applying to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). So I think it has really helped me.

I have done a Run Project and I’ve shared my story through Shared Stories. I know a lot of people don’t have enough knowledge and awareness about how to treat people with disability. I’ve always wanted to run my own support group and panels so through my Run Project I did that. I think it’s important for people to share their stories because you learn from others and gain more knowledge. As they say ‘information is power’, if you learn from somebody you can learn something new!

People should get involved with My Choice Matters because it is an organisation for people with a disability to get more skills, have control in their life and to learn to have their own voice and choice.

Before My Choice Matters existed a lot of people with disabilities were too scared to choose. I know many people with a disability and they’re always getting somebody else to make their decisions but I think people with disabilities should have a voice and they can do that through getting involved with My Choice Matters.

I think My Choice Matters respects everybody with a disability. They treat everybody the same way, they understand a lot about all the different disabilities. This is important because if I go somewhere and meet somebody that respects and understands me, I will go back.

I want to write this blog to speak to people. I know a lot of people with disabilities, they’re not scared but they don’t know much about My Choice Matters, so that’s what I want to talk to people about. I want to get the word out to everybody.

A little bit about me

Well, I’m a female and I was born in Australia but my parents are Lebanese. I work full time at a workshop in Seven Hills, I used to volunteer at the Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association of NSW, and I’m on the board of Self Advocacy.

I live with my parents and I’m one of 8, I have two younger sisters that have a disability, both have vision impairment.
Some of my hobbies are dancing, listening to music (one of my fave bands is ACDC), going out, going for walks, meeting new people, and I love travelling. I have a vision impairment and a mild learning disability.

With my learning disability sometimes if people say something I don’t understand I need them to repeat it twice and sometimes if I’m learning something it’ll take me three or four times to get it. And that’s what I understand of my learning disability. I hate it when people say jargon words because I don’t understand what they’re saying!! People just need to listen to me and I’ll listen to them!

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