Vlogger with MS shares NDIS tips, insights into life with disability on social media
Wollongong's Nina Crumpton is hard to miss.
With fiery red hair, a big voice and a mobility scooter, she says it is not unusual for strangers to approach her in the street and tell her something about a video she made more than a year ago.
Her channel It's a Wheely Good Life is on Facebook and YouTube and was established to help people with a disability improve their lives through the National Insurance Disability Scheme (NDIS).
"It started because, at the time, I was working for the MS [Multiple Sclerosis] Society and I was noticing a lot of NDIS users didn't know how to use their funding correctly and didn't know how to access things in the community," she said.
Videos leading to success stories
The channel is now just as much about lifestyle as it is education but, through her sense of humour and positive outlook on life, it has become an inspiring resource.
Ms Crumpton was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis in 2013 — a condition that has worsening neurological function from the onset of symptoms.
She says she wanted to show the community what can be achieved by someone with MS, and wheelchair users broadly, particularly when it comes to quality of life.
The videos have since sparked success stories that people are keen to share with her.
"I think for me, one of the most enjoyable aspects is when people contact me and say they've watched my blog six months ago where I talked about how to get a good NDIS plan or shared a tip on a mobility scooter and they did the same and had a great outcome," she said.
Workplaces encouraged to employ someone with a disability
Nina Crumpton says one in five Australians has a disability, but they are twice as likely to be unemployed and are under-represented in workplaces, schools and sporting groups.
"I was diagnosed with MS in 2013 and, as I became a part of the disability community, I started to feel that you become invisible," she said.
She says she wants to see people with a disability in a workplace or sporting group normalised.
"Inclusion is my main message, to include us in all levels of your life and all aspects of someone's community," she said.
"Embed people with a disability into your community in an accessible way."
Using humour to illustrate life with a disability
Nina Crumpton says her videos started out as a "political stance" to show someone leading a happy and fulfilling life with a disability.
Her videos are honest and revealing but usually come with a dose of humour.
"One of my favourite people I follow is Tim Ferguson from the Doug Anthony All Stars, who also has MS, and he often presents his stories in a very funny sense, so my style is a spin-off from that as well," she said.
"Humour is a safe way for people to be able to touch upon topics that may be a bit confronting, like disability."