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20 Jul 2021

News

On the road to success and independence

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Adam driving his new car.

With the support of SSI’s Local Area Coordination Services (LAC) and his driving instructor, Adam has now gained his licence and purchased a modified car of his own.

Obtaining his driver’s licence has already given Adam newfound freedom and independence.

He is now able to access grocery essentials easily, has joined more social activities, and is able to independently visit his friends for the first time. Adam is also hopeful that having a driver’s licence will open new doors to mainstream employment.

It has been a long and challenging journey, but Adam’s determination and positive attitude has been key to reaching this important milestone.

In late 2015, Adam started receiving support from the National Disability Insurance Agency through the LAC program to assist him in accessing specialised driving lessons.

SSI’s Local Area Coordinators helped Adam to access his driving lessons and other forms of transport.

To Adam, gaining his licence was an opportunity to expand his independence and increase his chances of gaining employment.

Adam originally attempted to get his driver’s licence when he was 21 but was disheartened when his first instructor told him that even with car modification, he would never be able to drive.

“As a person, I don’t like being told what I am or am not capable of and what I can do —because only I know that,” said Adam.

“Getting people to give me a fair go is one of my biggest challenges in life.”

Peter Karkoulas, Adam’s second driving instructor and owner of Driver Heal, was one of the people who have truly given Adam a fair go.

For the past six years, Peter has worked with Adam to gain the skills, confidence and practice he needs to drive a modified car.

“It has been a long process, but he has now got his license and is driving, and it is brilliant,” Peter said.

Adam now has his own car with all the modifications, such as specialized hand controls, he needs to drive.

With his licence and new car ready, Adam is now planning on moving out of his family home, where he lives with his mother and siblings, and move up to the Central Coast to live independently.

Adam’s Local AreaCoordinator, Phonesavanh Souvanthong, is excited that he has got his licence and is now eager to support him in achieving his next goal of living independently.

“With Adam’s long-term goal now obtained, we are focused on supporting him to achieve other major milestones, including returning to mainstream employment and living independently,” she said.

Adam hopes his story can inspire others as an example of the power of perseverance in achieving your goals.

“I want everyone to know that you should never give up on your goals or dreams no matter how long it takes. Never say never, try your best and never let anyone stop you,” he said.

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