I believe that psychological aspects of disability and rehabilitation are not given enough focus. It often falls upon the therapists who are providing the physical rehabilitation services, like occupational or physiotherapists, to provide psychological support to their clients. However, the support they provide is minimal as they do not have extensive training in this area. Individuals with disabilities typically are only referred to a psychologist after a deep psychological disorder has set in. The development of major disorders like depression and anxiety could be avoided with professional psychological support during the rehabilitation stage of their treatment as a preventative measure.
Any view on the NDIS?
I believe the NDIS is great in theory, but will fall short on its promises when, or even if it is actually delivered. The issue is that in the current political and economic climate, the NDIS is being made unnecessarily complicated, and in the end, the people who need the NDIS the most will unfortunately be the people who will receive the least from the scheme.
The most challenging things about your life?
Trying to function at a high level in a world designed for sighted people. I often joke that I have a ridiculous amount of paperwork on my desk throughout the year for a person who can’t see past his nose. All jokes aside though, it is incredibly frustrating that many government and support agencies like Centrelink and respective State Government transport agencies rely on paper based forms to be filled out in order to apply for or receive their services. What’s more ridiculous is that an organisation like Centrelink, which has the online structure available already to bypass the use of physical paper forms, still forces those on the blind pension to fill out paper application forms by disallowing the online lodgement of forms pertaining to blind Disability Support Pension payments. This just makes life as a blind person that much more unnecessarily difficult.
Which living person would you most like to meet and why?
Elon Musk, of PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla fame. He is one of the world’s best innovators, and most successful businessmen so I would love to spend time learning about what motivates him to constantly push the limits. How he maintains that high level of motivation to actually follow through and complete the projects he has done so far, projects that had never been done by anyone before.
What makes you laugh?
My Guide Dog Ice. Getting crash tackled every morning by my big slobbery Labrador always puts a smile on my face. It doesn’t matter how early I wake up to start my busy days or how long my days are, receiving that raw, unconditional affection from my dog every morning means that I start every day with a laugh and a smile on my face.
In your spare time you love to…?
Hit the gym, relax at a nice café, or just go for a walk to smell the roses.
Your most treasured possession?
My Guide Dog Ice again, but I can’t really count him as a possession can I? Probably my MacBook Air and iPhone as I would not be able to function without them.
The next big thing in your life will be…?
Graduating with my Masters degree at the end of next year and beginning my career as a registered psychologist and working in both the public and private mental health sectors in pursuit of my clinical psychologist accreditation.
Mac is currently undertaking a Masters in Clinical Psychology at The University of Queensland. He graduated with honours and as valedictorian last year with a Bachelor of Psychological Science, also at the University of Queensland.