Jackie is a certified counsellor and is vision impaired. During her second year of studying counselling, she was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa—a defect in the retina. Despite this obstacle she was able to successfully graduate and receive a Diploma in Counselling.
Through the Blind Foundation she learnt to use adaptive technology, found work opportunities and connected with Pasifica groups. Jackie was determined to move forward and felt she needed support with her everyday needs to do this. So a referral was sent to Taikura Trust and a few days later, she was face-to-face with a service facilitator in the comfort of her own home.
“She’s a darling and very patient with me. I find her voice gentle and for someone who is blind, that matters,” says Jackie about her facilitator.
“I felt that my facilitator listened to my needs and understood that I needed confidence and the agility to keep going. Taikura’s support helped me focus on other aspects of my life, including my goal of starting my own counselling business.”
Jackie has high disability needs and Taikura helped her access Individualised Funding (IF) so she can manage her own disability supports. Her support worker helps her go to her appointments, meetings, trainings and with household work.
In 2017, Jackie achieved her goal of launching Jackie’s Heavenly Counselling at Family Start Manukau.
“There are lots of supports out there and it was great that they all worked together for me. My plan in my life is to reach out and support the people in my community. I do believe that if there is a will there is a way and I am optimistic about what the future holds.”