What is a statement of Lived Experience?
A Statement of Lived Experience is a document often developed by participants when applying for NDIS funding, have a Plan Review, or are going through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Similar to a Carers or Impact Statement, it’s a document used to prove to the reviewer what the personal day to day impact of having a disability is on oneself.
This Statement is a great way to take a step back, and break down in simple terms how having a disability affects your daily life. It walks the reviewer through what things on a daily basis are made harder and more difficult as a result of having a disability, thus proving support is needed to function in day to day living.
How should I write a Statement of Lived Experience?
A great way to format this statement is to break it down into each category. Outline what parts of your life are affected due to having a disability in that specific setting.
Areas you can focus on are: (you don’t have to focus on all of these – they are just suggestions for areas that may be affected by your disability)
- Choice and Control
- Activities of daily living
- Participating in the community
- Mobility out of the house – do you require additional support to get out of the home?
- Informal supports
– Friends and family
- Heath supports
- Therapy supports
- Equipment you rely on
Don’t worry about writing paragraphs, it is about your experience so you can use statements like:
- I am
- I need
Write simple statements that are too the point and don’t downplay the affect this has on your life. Don’t be afraid to state that you need help, If you dont emphasise how difficult it can be, it will be harder to get the appropriate level of funding you require.
If you are writing this statement on behalf of a loved one use their name for the statements and how they access supports or have supports organised for them.
Remember to use frequency as well to help demonstrate how often you require support for your disability.
If you want to get further evidence to assist in setting your goals and pushing for the support you deserve you can also gather impact statements from informal and formal supports. You can find out how to write an effective Impact Statement here: https://about.tappon.co/blog/impact-statement
See the below example to help prepare your Statement of Lived Experience.