Red tape thwarts 'true love'

Will Procter and Jaymi Ferguson say red tape is preventing them living together.
Will Procter and Jaymi Ferguson say red tape is preventing them living together. Contributed

FINDING that special someone is hard enough.

Making the connection in a world of wheelchairs, physical disabilities and carers is even more extraordinary.

Now Will Procter and Jaymi Ferguson want to take the next step and move in together but they say red tape is holding them back.

Their love story is like any other.

Jaymi, 21, developed a crush on Will when they were playing soccer together four years ago but Will, 20, did not find out until this year.

They have been seeing each other for almost eight months, talking every night on the phone and meeting for dinner about once a week.

That alone can be a logistical and physical nightmare because Will lives in Maroochydore and Jaymi lives in Caboolture, although their carers have done everything they can to accommodate them.

Their carers even send their texts for them, which can be a little awkward during a new romance, Jaymi joked.

But living together is proving much harder.

Jaymi said she wanted to see her boyfriend more often and live together but this situation "sucks".

Will said while their care was funded by Disability Services Queensland, they were supported by carers from two different organisations.

"I'm a young man with cerebral palsy who lives a very active life in the Sunshine Coast community," he said.

"I am confined to a wheelchair but that doesn't stop me from wanting to achieve everyday things like living independently, which I do in my own housing commission unit in Maroochydore.

"Jaymi and I are currently trying to live together like every normal able-bodied person has the right to do when they fall in love.

"But we have to contend with red tape and policies and procedures from different organisations.

"My organisation is saying because Jaymi is not with them she cannot receive care from them because of legalities, which was fine because then we thought Jaymi could bring up her own support worker to do the work.

"But now her organisation is saying because her equipment is not up here, her staff cannot look after her while she is here.

"I use the same equipment she requires but the equipment is not prescribed for her. She has to have her own specialised equipment.

"What able-bodied person has to go through this?

"We're just trying to do a simple thing and we're having extreme difficulties."

The Department of Communities is looking into the situation.

Topics:  disabilities rights special needs sunshine coast

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