Accessible bus gets Kayla moving
My name is Kayla Gibson and I am almost 20-years-old. I have been a part of Oak Flats Northcott for a little over a year now, but Northcott has always been a part of my life since I was two-years-old and living in Sydney. I have known everyone here at Northcott for so long, they’re like family to me.
I have a rare congenital bone disorder called Kniest dysplasia. This disorder can cause all sorts of other conditions including arthritis, scoliosis, dwarfism, blindness and deafness. Sadly, I have them all.
Last year I finished Year 12 and now that I have graduated I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of Northcott again through their fun Everyday Life Skills program. I love it so much as I’ve never been sociable before because of my disability and being in a wheelchair. So when we heard that a disability van was coming to Oak Flats, I was jumping with glee – well, as much as I could in my wheelchair at least.
Ever since we got this van I definitely feel like I’ve changed for the better and even my mum agrees. Before Northcott, I was a hermit staying in my bedroom every single day only leaving for school and now I’m rarely at home and my bedroom is completely covered in dust and cobwebs. Not really, but I’m sure you know what I mean.
Before the van I was limited to public transport or where my mum could take me. This meant if venues or planned activities weren't accessible via public transport or if the weather was bad I had to miss out.
Since we've had the van I've been able to go to Little Big Shots Sydney, Sweet Expo Sydney and the filming of the new TV show ‘Game of Games’. I have also been able to go out Saturdays with a support worker which I've never done before. The van has meant that I have been able to be more independent and more involved in activities while providing my mum with a break from driving me around. I'm already looking forward to future events that have been planned.
I want to say another big thank you to everyone that helped us get the van. You all might not know it, but you have truly changed the lives of me and my family for the better. Thank you for reading this and I love you all, my Northcott family.
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