Being able to experience life in all its fullness is how Bundaberg resident Brian describes his year with an NDIS plan and budget.
The car enthusiast has, in the past few months, been to drag racing, monster trucks and agricultural machinery events with his support worker David. Outings that previously weren't financially possible.
"I've always loved cars but being blind, well you don't know what cars look like," Brian explained.
"Being able to go to so many events and feel, touch, hear and smell the cars, I have these very detailed pictures in my head. I love Mustangs, Chevys and Monaros. They have a special sound.
"At the Agrotrend Agricultural Show tractor shows I felt the width and height of the tyres."
Brian, a total car buff, is now able to attend events outside of Brisbane with the support of Blue Care.Contributed
A team from Blue Care Bundaberg have walked beside Brian on his NDIS journey.
A support worker for the past 16 years, 11 of those with Blue Care, David noted last year as the most rewarding of his career.
"We talk about breaking down barriers in disability and for us, ours was geographical," he said.
"Before the NDIS, Brian and I were limited to Bundaberg."
Brian's NDIS funding package includes support for community access and assistive technology.
Specialised technology, including a talking microwave, has meant more independence for Brian in his own kitchen.
Socially, overnight trips, drag races at Benaraby and Gladstone, the Childers Festival, Maryborough Sanctuary and days at the beach have all been made possible through the supports provided by Blue Care and funded by the NDIS.
When asked how life-changing this has been for Brian he replied: "I am a 52-year-old Aussie who has only just got to feed his first kangaroo."
David said the NDIS had offered true choice and control.
"There's more flexibility in where we can go and when. No longer is Brian restricted by a service and what is offered on what days and at what times," he said.
"Brian has asked for consistency in his support workers and flexibility in his outings and I can see the whole team doing everything they can in rostering, in scheduling, to do what Brian wants.
"We all are proud to be part of this transformation our service is going through and the difference it is making in people's lives. It is exhilarating."
Brian said his weeks are now full.
"I'm able to make the choices if I want to go away over the weekend, what hours I want support for and my outings.
"Looking back I guess for me that freedom of speech was missing."
"While people and services in Australia may have meant well, they haven't before now really been able to put people with disabilities' needs first.
"Sand beneath my toes, a kangaroo nuzzling food from my hand and the roar of a Chevy. This is life in all its fullness. I have a normal life now and it is amazing."
Blue Care is a registered NDIS provider and can provide a wide range of services and supports in the Fraser Coast region to help people with disability live life their way.
"I'm able to make the choices if I want to go away over the weekend, what hours I want support for and my outings. Looking back I guess for me that freedom of speech was missing."BRIAN, RECEIVER OF BLUE CARE SUPPORT SERVICES