At 37 years old, all Kathryn Rodwell wants is to further her independence.
Ms Rodwell has spent the past six years living in a local Abbeyfield facility, which provides assisted independent living for adults with mild intellectual disabilities. She is one of the original residents, but wants to move on. ''I'm actually going backwards here,'' she said.
''I'm not getting the independence I'm looking for. I just feel that I'm a bit under the hammer. I do want to leave.'' Ms Rodwell receives training from Advocacy for Inclusion to help her maintain an independent lifestyle, which she hopes to further by finding work and her own place.
''Then I'll change in a big way … on my own to freeze my meals, make them up when I get home - that's the experience I want.''
A budding chef, she disapproves of guardianship orders and said while her family and friends might not always agree with her choices, they were her choices to make.
''I don't need forced opinions, I make my own decisions and I stand by them,'' she said. ''I'm capable of doing my own things.''
Advocacy for Inclusion general manager Christina Ryan said the ACT government should be putting more emphasis on training people with cognitive and communication disabilities, rather than resorting to guardianship orders.
''These are people we've been told will never be able to do anything - they can't leave the house on their own and they certainly can't make any plans for their lives,'' she said.
''What we find is these people are very much interested in and capable of doing that, they just need to learn how.''
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.