The following article featured in Tauranga’s Weekend Sun newspaper. Thank you to Sherryl and Terry Phillips for sharing their story:
Sherryl and Terry Phillips can now enjoy each other’s company in their retirement years, with the freedom of holidaying together when they want to and their son Corey is realising his dream of independence.
Riding along on a bike, with the wind in your hair, has got to be one of the most freeing sensations that we can experience.
It seems to engender that feeling of not having a care in the world, perhaps it’s because it gives you a different perspective on it, as it whips past you in a blur; cold air hitting your body – it’s hard not to feel alive. It’s an experience that we probably take for granted, but most of us have done it, even back in childhood.
However, for Allan (pictured) – who as well as being both severely intellectually disabled and autistic, is unable to communicate verbally – this is just one of the many experiences that had never been a possibility for him.
We are excited to announce that we are rolling out a new self-determining online and cloud-based program that allows people with disabilities to have control of their personal information. People with disabilities want control over their choices and what their lives look like, and with this in mind, the system has been custom developed for ConneXu so that we can facilitate person-centred facilitation to empower individuals to live their lives, their way.
At ConneXu we like to celebrate and appreciate a person’s individuality. However, part of what makes us all unique as individuals is the culture we were brought up in, or identify with. To understand us as individuals, we therefore need to be able to appreciate the different cultures of people in our organisation, as well as within our community as a whole. With this in mind, we are running a series of cultural awareness days with the people we support, with one very successful day already held earlier this year (see photos), and another one planned later this month.
Corey Phillips (pictured, with Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman, former Minister for Health) is 27 years old, has a job and lives in Te Awamutu with his flatmates. This probably describes many people in our community – so these facts alone do not communicate the astounding achievement that they deserve. You see, Corey – who is a member of our community – is diagnosed with ADHD, severe Epilepsy, Asperger syndrome (a type of high functioning Autism), as well as other disabilities – and for 25 years, these achievements did not seem remotely possible.
This is a photo of a proud man. Kevin McNae has finally done it – he has put in the hard work and now owns his own scooter which he drives to work independently. This seemed a far-off goal months ago, but due to a group effort from Kevin himself, Levanne and Bryce from ConneXu, and strongly supported by his family, Kevin is able to enjoy the independence of not having to rely on others to get where he wants to in his life.