NINA Crumpton is unstoppable not because of her challenges and doubts, but because she powers on despite them.
Above: Nina - be sure to visit her YouTube Channel
Five years ago, at age 38, the Wollongong woman was delivered a devastating diagnosis: she had multiple sclerosis (MS), an incurable condition of the central nervous system.
Even as she was forced to use a mobility scooter and later a wheelchair, her thirst for life only intensified, from “glass half-full” to “glass overflowing” (she even launched a YouTube channel called ‘It’s a Wheely Good Life’).
Ms Crumpton returned to TAFE NSW in 2015 and in quick time, had completed a Diploma of Community Services and a Diploma of Counselling.
Last year, the qualifications earned her an opportunity to return to work as an NDIS support co-ordinator with the MS Society.
She is now encouraging others in the disabled community to use their lived experience as a platform to gaining employment in the booming NDIS sector.
TAFE NSW is leading the education charge in helping train people with disabilities to support others and help realise their professional potential.
“It’s actually an advantage to have a disability if you’re working in this field because you have a greater empathy and understanding,” Ms Crumpton said. “The NDIS is a social revolution. I’ve personally gone from having to beg for the odd skerrick of help to becoming the consumer and being able to buy services. The disabled community has the power now and it really is intoxicating.
“There’s also a huge opportunity for jobs.”
The NDIS commenced its roll-out in the Illawarra on 1 July, 2017 and will ultimately equip about 10,000 residents in the region with NDIS plans.
TAFE NSW Head of Skills Team – Health, Wellbeing and Community Services, Anne Barrow, said qualifying to work in the NDIS sector didn’t just open up myriad of job opportunities, but it offered genuine work satisfaction.
“There’s been a seismic shift in thinking in how the disabled community accesses help and you can be a part of that,” Ms Barrow said. “You can play a part in really changing another person’s world.”
She said TAFE NSW in the Illawarra offered a number of qualifications to work in the disability sector, including a Certificate III in Individual Support, a Certificate IV in Disability, a Diploma of Counselling and a Certificate III, Certificate IV or Diploma in Community Services.
Ms Crumpton remains philosophical about the future, despite the nature of her condition.
“Whatever comes is whatever comes. Either way, it’s going to be a good ride, it’s going to be exciting.”
If you’re interested in upskilling and working in the community services or disability sector, contact TAFE NSW on 13 16 01 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au