A little help sets Leigh on his feet
FROM Monday to Friday, Leigh Stacy straps on his boots, gloves and hi-vis vest for yet another day's hard yakka.
He meets his colleagues - some who have become good mates - at the Endeavour Industries site and tackles the day's tasks.
While this may seem like an ordinary day for most, for Leigh this is the place he has been able to build self-esteem, learn life skills and build new relationships.
His father Peter, said the Federal Government's plans to implement the National Disability Insurance Scheme could see more people with a disability enjoy the benefits Leigh does.
Mr Stacy said the scheme would focus on getting more people like his son into the workforce.
Life without Endeavour - or similar assisted employment - would create a very different life for the Stacys.
"He would have to spend all of his time at home with me and I would have to allocate Leigh time on top of farming time," he said.
"I would have to take him with me or make other arrangements because I can't leave him alone for eight hours a day, every day."
During his five years with the organisation, Leigh has learned skills and his soaring self-esteem is evident when he confidently takes control of the household recycling system.
The 32-year-old has also made good mates through his employment and Mr Stacy said that was integral part of being a functioning member of society.
"It is terribly important they socialise and form relationships - that's what makes them a human being," he said.
The doting dad said he is well aware he and his wife Christine will not be around to take care of Leigh forever and hoped his employment was helping him develop the skills and tools he needed to deal with that.
"We have tried - like all parents - to do the best we can for all our children," he said. "It is a parent's responsibility to prepare a child for what comes next, with leadership, guidance and a demonstrable set of standards."
On top of the benefits of employment, Mr Stacy said the NDIS would also help ensure services are being utilised to capacity and it would deliver services to areas they're needed most.
"It will increase awareness in the community that something stands a chance of being done to help people with disabilities," he said.
"Because right now they are left to support themselves."
Mr Stacy said he was not worried a possible change of government would derail plans for the scheme and believed it would be supported and implemented by the Opposition if that was to occur.