Upon meeting Amy Hogan, one thing becomes apparent very quickly, she is a force of nature to be reckoned with.
In her 29 years, Amy has held more roles than some do in a lifetime, including conducting seminars, advising government policy, volunteering for the Mobility Assistance Dogs Trust, public speaking, guest lecturing and advising on disability in prisons. Currently, Amy works as a researcher and a writer for the Cerebral Palsy Society of New Zealand and is completing her Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology. Just rattling off the list of Amy’s accomplishments is enough to leave one breathless.
Why does she do it? “I enjoy campaigning and I enjoy politics. I’d like to think that human beings can change things.”
Her most recent piece of research involves looking into the lived experiences of adults with disability; a topic Amy has first-hand insight into.
A vibrant, stylish young woman, Amy has cerebral palsy. She receives Individualised Funding through Manawanui to support her in managing her disability support services in a way that suits her. Amy credits this unique funding system for enabling her to keep up with her busy schedule. “I have a primary caregiver that comes over on weekdays and helps me get dressed, prepares my meals for the day and helps me with all kinds of essential basics. Even when I have three or four meetings in a day, I know I can have my lunch prepared and I can have all my notes prepared. It takes away a lot of the stress that comes with being disabled,” she adds.
Amy says that one of the greatest benefits of Individualised Funding is the autonomy it gives her. “The best thing about my life now is how much control I have. I have a great foundation for independence now. I feel like I can expand my life in ways I would’ve never thought I’d be able to, like travelling, going to conferences, etc. I feel like I’m far more independent than I have ever been and that’s not because I’m physically independent, I’m not doing things on my own, but I’m able to present myself to the world as very independent because I’ve got support services around me for all those things I have historically found challenging,” she adds. “I can get dressed on my own, but it would take me three hours a day. I want to spend those three hours doing something that’s more meaningful to me.”
In her spare time Amy enjoys reading and going to the movies and “hanging out with my menagerie of rescue animals.”