In 2018 Nicole Buffoni, Plumtree Peer Worker, visited Ireland & Sweden to attend the International Initiative for Disability Leadership Conference. This journey created a shift in the hopes and dreams she has for her son Harry. Nicole reflects on her learnings: ‘My son is a profoundly ordinary kid, sharing the same need to feel involved, recognised and loved. As long as I regard his disability as a tragedy, he will be pitied. As long as he is allowed to feel ashamed of who he is in anyway, his life will be regarded as useless. As long as I allow him to remain silent and don’t amplify his voice when I am no longer here, he is going to be told by other people what to do’.
Nicole highlights the responsibility that we have as parents and carers to guide our children to live ordinary lives now and into their future, regardless of their disability. By being strong family leaders and looking to disability sector trailblazers and our peers who are ahead of us on this road, we can help our children to create their own beautiful, ordinary, full lives where they are valued members of our family and community.
Now and Next is proudly incubated by Plumtree.
To learn more about Now and Next or enrol in the program head to www.nowandnext.org