The NDIS isn’t about tax hikes, levies or shopping. It isn’t about political debates, or the methods of how it happens. It isn’t about the politicians involved, nor about personal agendas. It isn’t about CEO’s or their profit margins.
It isn’t even about Myer, or the PR and social media case study they are creating as I type with their thoughtless comments and actions.
It’s about empathy.
It’s about understanding that a life changing disability can happen to you at any time. Maybe a car accident, maybe a violent attack, maybe giving birth to a child with a genetic disorder, or one who contracts a life altering illness. You might not have one now, you might not know anyone with one, but it could happen. At any time.
Empathy is being able to put yourself in their shoes and understand how hard that would be. How incredibly gut wrenchingly exhausting and debilitating. How when you start looking into what support is out there, your heart breaks as you find nothing.
I can’t comment on the cost of a wheelchair, but I know it costs a stupid amount of money. I am not a position to comment on physical disabilities, or acquired injuries, but I can’t even imagine the toll, both mentally and financial they would bring.
But I can tell you from first hand experience that occupational therapists, speech pathologists, psychologists, specialist doctors, aides (both physical and teacher types) and carers are expensive. Fucking expensive.
I can tell you how hard it is to know that a therapy that you need for your child, you may not be able to afford. To know that you need to scale back, because there is no help. To know that they didn’t choose this, you didn’t choose this, you just want the most support to help them be the best member of society they can be.
That’s the thing, common sense, common decency suggests the more support we give members of our community with disabilities, the more they can participate. The less likely they are to be relying on disability support pensions and charity. The less likely we are to see them living on the streets, or below the poverty line. The more likely they are to become wage earner and tax payers themselves.
Who knows, they, or their families might even have more slightly disposable income to spend to keep our economy ticking over, instead of spending every single cent on therapy and basic supports.
But somehow I don’t think anyone will be going out of their way to shop at Myer.