These are some of the most resilient people you’ll ever meet. Their stories of perseverance and love will inspire. These families deserve to participate fully in the community. They are our why.

Meet Will’s family

Will’s mum Cheralee Kemp shares her hopes and dreams for her son, and explains why accessing the community opens the world for not only Will but her whole family.

We’ve never been bowling as a family, and we don’t go to the movies… Our daughter Lana has often said: ‘I wish we could do things as a whole family, like my other friends do’ or ‘I wish Will was here with us’. We wish the same, always.

Read Will and Cherlee’s story here

Meet Paige’s family

Life is an emotional roller coaster for Paige, who has Level 3 Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and her family. All her mum Michelle Young wants for her daughter is acceptance and to be out in the community.

“After Paige has been in the community with a support worker, she returns home a different child. She doesn’t hurt her siblings, she doesn’t kick the dog, she doesn’t break glass or slap or bang her head.”

Read Paige and Michelle’s story here

Meet Quinn’s family

Navigating the disability world and accessing the community is a constant juggle for nine-year-old Quinn’s family. To date they’ve made it work, but this family deserves so much more.

We holiday separately and rarely go anywhere together as a family. My husband and son went to Samoa on a rugby tour. I would have loved to have gone too but Samoa is not wheelchair-friendly.

Read Quinn and Sasha’s story here

Meet Joe’s family

Helen shares why community access is a must for her son Joe. Like most children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Joe likes to keep moving.

“Joe doesn’t like to stay at home. Joe’s always putting his bag on his back, his shoes on his feet and walking around the house with the car keys. These are signals he wants to go out.”

Read Joe and Helen’s story here

Meet Imogen’s family

Sandy Golder explains the health benefits of community access for Imogen and the entire family. Imogen’s access was limited when the  family was forced to self-isolate as Imogen was identified as a close contact during a recent COVID cluster.

“The two weeks isolating at home with Imogen were tough. She would throw herself at the screen door and cry, not understanding why she couldn’t go outside. How do you explain a concept of an invisible virus to a child with Autism

Read Imogen and Sandy’s story here

Journey For Jake 

Jake Coops Blume is an aspiring wheelchair athlete and Indigenous artist, Jake was left a quadriplegic when he was 14 years old following a spinal cord injury from a motor cross accident. He shares his journey.

I’m proud to be a part of What Ability and would like to see the Foundation assist all kinds of people with a disability.”

Read Jake’s story here

Meet Logan’s family

Klair Bayley, mother to Logan, who has a Duchenne, says that as her son has grown up, his world has got smaller. For many families with Duchenne, she explains, accessing the community as a family often ends up in the too-hard basket.

“We have to check if there’s wheelchair accessibility which takes time and means premium tickets usually sell out before we can book. It’s always stressful… No one gets back to you about disabled seating and when they do, you rarely get to sit together.”

Read Logan and Klair’s story here

Meet Dylan’s family

Nikki Hopkin’s son Dylan loves the outdoors. When he’s housebound he gets anxious and acts out. With stay at home orders, lockdown for Dylan and his family was challenging and then the unthinkable happened… Dylan and his whole family got COVID-19!

“When Dylan gets home from school, he instantly asks to go out again. If there’s no activities for him on a weekend, his whole demeanour changes. You can see the anxiety on his face as he realises he has to be at home with mum and dad and his sisters. We dread rainy days and school holidays are always hard.

Read Dylan and Nikki’s story here