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Show respect every day, says Ellen

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If Ellen Buswell could tell the world how to treat people with disability she would say to look straight into people’s faces and not talk over anyone.

“I also want people to show respect to people with a disability when they are participating in everyday activities,” Ellen said.

The 23-year-old from Casuarina, in Western Australia, was diagnosed with Joubert syndrome when she was a baby, and grew up with two older brothers.

They adore Ellen and would do anything for her.

“However, that does not stop them from being annoying,” she said.

“They tease me and want to take my food,” she said.

“They have moved into their own houses now, but they used to play lots of games with me.”

Ellen can walk with assistance but usually uses her glow-in-the dark manual wheelchair – however that doesn’t stop her from living an active and fun-filled life.

“I am very sociable. I like to go out a lot. I like to meet people and to go out for coffee. I like talking and interacting with others,” Ellen said.

Every Monday Ellen attends Qualipac in Belmont where she collates different products for work experience.

The rest of the working week she attends Workpower, in Bibra Lake where she accesses several community programs.

In her spare time she enjoys participating in the performing arts.

“I do dancing and acting and singing with my friends,” Ellen said.

“At the end of the year we will put on a performance for our family and friends at the Kalamunda Performing Arts Centre.”

Ellen also studies music and drama at TAFE, swims, cooks, enjoys working at her computer, plays bowls, participates in community events and on Friday nights she goes dancing at the E-shed markets.

In the future, Ellen hopes to live in a group home to live a life as independent as possible.

She is developing a long-term plan for her life with her My Way Coordinator, through her participation in the WA NDIS trial. Ellen was one of the first to join the trial when it began in the Cockburn-Kwinana area in July 2015.