Writing disability stories and the NDIS (including VOCAT and other support service funding agencies)

Why life storytelling is important

Storytelling is how we connect. It lets us share the things that matter to us, and helps others take a ‘walk in our shoes’, to understand our histories, our longings and our way of being. Writing our stories down can also have profound benefits in helping us work through ideas and emotions, making sense of our lives.

In the disability sector story writing is also a powerful model for advocacy, helping to shift perceptions, shape conversations and effect change. Life stories can elevate the understanding and acceptance of differently abled people for the purpose of advancing inclusivity and equality.

Depending on NDIS goals, it may be possible to apply NDIS funding to writing coaching. Please check with your LAC, support coordinator or plan manager as to what is possible.

What I bring

There are many ways I can support people to bring their stories to the page.

  • Coaching for professional guidance and companionship along the writing process.
  • English and editing skill development, improve written communication skills and /or to support expression where written/communication skills are not possible/developed.
  • Interviewing, researching and drafting material as a ghost writer (on behalf of client).
  • As an adjunct to other therapies where journaling/story writing has been suggested as beneficial for self-care and agency.

A personal story is a legacy.  A clear, well written, easy to read story can be inspiring.

Using your funding

NDIS goals can include a statement about documenting a person’s life for the purpose of sharing and connection.

The activity of coaching can meet the criteria for Social and Community participation, and learning new skills, and goals can include publishing a book at the end of the process. This may be particularly valuable for people with reduced life expectancies or in end-of-life care.

Once we’ve talked about what is needed, I will prepare an individualised quote.

What do you need?

If now is the time to acknowledge and honour you or a client’s story let’s chat about working together. I provide a flexible service, personalised to client needs. From a long form book project, to a series of shorter stories, from editing existing material to coaching clients to help them write, I provide a sensitive service and can work with verbal and written source material.

I can also assist in preparing other documentation such as impact statements etc for Plan Reviews.


This is Lindy

I am based in the Yarra Valley, but I am able to travel. I can also provide sessions via Zoom, telephone or similar.

I have a few qualifications under my name [Grad Dip Arts (Writing), BComm (Marketing, Management), Dip Professional Writing and Editing, Dip Counselling, Dip Art Therapy, Equine Therapist] but I’ve learnt the most through lived experience and from the amazing clients that have trusted me along the way.

I’ve been supporting NDIS clients as an Equine Therapist, and as the parent to a teenager who is an NDIS participant, I’ve also had years of experience on the client side as well.

Please note: I don’t provide a transcription service but can recommend my Life Stories Australia colleague Sally-Anne at On Time Typing, Editing and Proofreading for transcription and other writing/coaching support. Email info@ontimetyping.com for enquires and quotes. Sally has also written a comprehensive blog about NDIS funding for writing, which I share with her permission here.

Writing is usually considered a solitary practice and there’s an unmistakable truth that sitting alone at a computer for hours is the only way to truly get those words down. But not all of us are designed for solitude and the rushing sounds of our own thoughts. It might be time to consider a writing coach.

Sometimes we need to speak out loud to drill into what we really want to say, to hear our thoughts and make sense of them, develop insights and truths in our writing that make whatever we are working on authentic and in our own voice.

Many writers seek out the support of writers’ groups, or a writerly friend, and this can be a significant act of self-care and support. But often the things we need support with as writers aren’t always clear, or aren’t always in the ‘scope of works’ of our trusted writerly friends.

When people abandon writing projects its usually or one of two reasons (sometimes it’s both).

  1. They lose confidence and tell themselves they lack the skills needed to keep going or even finish.
  2. They arrive at difficult material that is perhaps triggering, or they need help to make sense of.

This is particularly true for starting-out writers, and for people writing their own stories (memoir or autobiography).

There is a reason why writing a journal is considered an essential tool in the healing arts. The simple act of turning our swirling thoughts and timelines into words requires us to go further, dig deeper, find renewed honesty and to own our stuff.

Writing, like many other endeavours ­– creative or otherwise, cannot be taken for granted. The support of a professional can be a life-affirming, word-affirming choice that sees you to the project end with a measure of grace and perhaps even a better person for the process!

A writing coach can:

  1. Keep you accountable, and support you with check ins
  2. Provide editorial support and problem solving along the way
  3. Help you finetune your manuscript (for publication)
  4. Help you with tips for overcoming procrastination and other blocks along the way
  5. Be an important and independent sounding board for your ideas and developments
  6. and even more…

But when it comes to life story writing, a writing coach who has the appropriate training and skills can also support you on an emotional level as you process difficult memories, problematic relationships and all the other rumination that sometimes tries to derail us (hello Imposter Syndrome!).

The unique combination of writing coach for the words, but also for the emotions, is a space I have been developing for the past three decades.  And it feels like the heartland of what I am here to do. I help women (and men) tell their stories, and I do it from a place of empathy, wisdom and the belief that you have a life story that needs to be told. And I do it anywhere (virtual, face to face, hybrid) but I most love to have nature guide our way.

There’s a bunch of qualifications under my name [Grad Dip Arts (Writing), BComm (Marketing, Management), Dip Professional Writing and Editing, Dip Counselling, Dip Art Therapy, Equine Therapist] but I’ve learnt the most through lived experience and from the amazing clients that have trusted me along the way,

How can I help you? Send me an email so we can set a time for a complimentary, no obligation chat about your project and how we can work together.  I have capacity now.

Email lindy@lindyschneider.com.au

Lindy is an accredited Full member of Life Stories Australia 




Here is a collation of my every-so-often observations of life in lock down.

25 March

1. Today I cracked out the hoodie. I own two, both are hand me downs from Tex, and both needed a wash after floating around the boot of the car for the past 2 years. Possibly one of the most flattering garments I have ever worn…not. One says “Nerd Power” on it. Im owning it.

2. Incoming children are more annoying than incoming phone calls.

3. I am mostly heard to say ‘Stop, don’t throw out that jar.’

4. Old University habits die hard. In a world of changes, it’s so reassuring that The Bold and the Beautiful stays the same.

5. Jonahism of the day: Life is a mind game.

26 March

1. It will take 56 minutes and 38 seconds to get your Analog parents hooked up for a family zoom call. (Thanks to our family IT department Lisa Schneider)

2. No the dog does not want another walk today.

3. Googles most searched term today is ‘two minute noodle hacks’. Seriously my mum used to make us this dish that was two minute noodles+tomato sauce+mayonnaise+a can of tuna and grated Kraft cheese.If we were lucky she added optional corn kernels. Dinner sorted for you.

4. Why is everyone posting pics of them home schooling when it’s school holidays in VIc?

27 March

1. It’s impossible to do 5:2 when you’re home 7:0 and can see the fridge from your workstation.

2. I will need to be in lockdown until 2024 to complete all the webinars and free online courses I have registered for.

3. My SCOBY died today. However I’ve kept it alive longer than any houseplant I’ve ever owned so I guess that’s a win.

4. Dining room chairs are shit office chairs.

2 April

1. It is impossible for four people on a Zoom call to sing Happy Birthday in sync. Im not buying that 500 strong choirs can do it.

2. The most common grammatical error on FB is spelling aloud instead of allowed. Nutters!

3. I predict the return of the kaftan (ok, I would like to buy a kaftan)

4. I got emotional when I saw the Aussie Post guy pull up outside the house. He is a new form of God.

7 April

1. Without outside influences, my natural diet appears to be 99% Italian.

2. I’ve almost completed Netflix. Is there a prize?

3. Nev-be – is a new word that summarises the things I said I would never let my kids do and how quickly they are becoming maybes.

4. My daily wardrobe is being styled by the bedroom chair. It’s a real LIFO approach to fashion.

5. Pell is so fucking guilty.

9 April

1. Handy social distancing measure. 1.5 metres is the same as 5 wine bottles end to end.

2. We are now effectively barricaded in our home by all the bags of clothes we will be sending to the op shop after this is over.

3. Several times this week I have mistaken my ugg boot for the cat or hmmm…was that my cat for an ugg boot?

4. My contribution to glass recycling has increased significantly(see pt1)

12 April

1. My post covid19 super power will be yawning.

2. I am now taking life instructions from my cat

3. Pissed posting on Facebook is up 56% but there appears to be no strategies to flatten the curve.4. Red wine is my kind of Easter egg.

15 April

1. Yesterday I had an up close and intimate conversation with my dad’s ear hole. Thanks FaceTime.

2. Today’s most googled phrase – ‘when does term 2 end?’

3. You can type ‘Pew pew’ into a text message and send to the friends you want to impress most. (But not your 12 year old son who will think it’s super lame). You’re welcome.

4. You can read the state of the nation by how many times the word ‘fuck’ is used in posts on Facebook.

20 April

1. Found my generally oppositional kids in deep conversation. So happy they were getting on…until I realised they were complaining about me. (Apparently I am only nice when I drink wine)

2. You know it’s time to take a break from the socials when you actually start rehearsing a Tik Tok of your own

3. Bin isolation outing posts outnumber any other subject matter on Facebook.

4. The dog is hiding from me and the cat is not taking kindly to lead training.

5. Pondering if Lake Eildon is the Victorian equivalent of the Ozarks.

30 April

  1. Tex and I invented a cocktail in commemoration of Covid19 – it’s called the “Yeah-Nah”

2. In order to control alcohol consumption try starting early say 8am and finish drinking at lunch time. Sober by dinner. Yeah good luck with that. (Thanks G for the tip)

3. My pedometers favourite colour is red. My best day yet is 8 steps.

4. Cleaned out the pantry. Best find was arrowroot circa 2006 making it older than my firstborn. What the fuck do you even use it for?

5. A reduction in my obs would appear to mean this whole lockdown thing is somehow approaching normal…Yikes

1 May

  1. The phrase ‘I’m flattening the curve’ is a useful expression that will get you out of just about anything. Try these:
    Are you still in bed at 2 pm in the afternoon? 🛌Yes I’m flattening the curve.
    Do you really need that second piece of chocolate fudge cake? 👏Yes I’m committed to flattening the curve.
    Is that your second bottle of wine? 🍷Just doing my bit to flatten the curve darl.
    See it works.

2. I don’t actually know anyone who has had Covid 19.

3. I have mastered the 3-pair-of-tracky-pants rotation in wardrobe planning. It’s going to be like I have a whole new wardrobe when we get proper dressed again…if anything still fits.

4. For a small town that doesn’t even have an Uber let alone Ubereats, the level of home delivery service now available is miraculous.

5. I’ve been slightly obsessed with home hair cutting videos but no one in this house will give me scissors.

9 May

Today’s obs

  1. Because I talk too much (allegedly), my children have asked the local IGA to continue their ‘no loitering and chatting to people’ policy for me indefinitely.
  2. If COVID-19 was a theme park ride,  it would be the Graviton.
  3. The biggest challenge has been the short-term memory loss.. hang on what was I saying?
  4. Tex spilt my wine just now and Jonah said ‘don’t worry mum we can lick it up off the bench.’ This is proof that iso gets to everyone eventually.

(C) Lindy Schneider


I come from a long line of letter writers. Well my dad, anyway.

He is a supreme letter writer but not in a correspondence sense. 

My dad, to this day, writes letters of complaint, letters of advocacy, truth-biting letters that demand action, or at least a response.

He passed this on to me, partly through osmosis and mostly through involving me from a young age.

Tap, tap, tap his slender pointer fingers would punch out drafts on our beige hard cased typewriter. Always in duplicate, two impossibly thin pieces of typing paper with a sheet of blackest carbon in between.

Then he’d pass it to me for comment. 

I can still  remember the first time he asked me to read one of his letters.

I was twelve years old.

Our Breville Jaffle maker had delivered many a toasted cheese (Sunday night dinners with tomato soup without fail). But it started flaking black pieces of Teflon onto the bread as it cooked. It was 1982. Teflon was the new ‘wonder surface’ but was it safe to eat? My dad was justifiably concerned for our fate…and a little ahead of the times too.

Tap, tap tap, the power of words his mighty weapon. 

Because it was right. 

Because we had rights.

Because what if he was right? 

We loved the Choice program on TV, and hold an enduring value of ‘keeping the bastards honest’.

He got answers, he still does, spending his retirement drafting his concerns to MPs, financial institutions and car companies about the things he finds not quite right. He’s a voice for the people. The one who will actually take the time to sit down and diplomatically state a case – one that cannot be ignored.

There was never any hidden agenda. We weren’t a family that suddenly received a lifetime supply of some flawed product he had  bought to the attention of the maker. He just cared. Enough. For all people.

And the Jaffle maker? We got a letter assuring us all was ok.

He threw it in the bin, followed closely by the Jaffle maker.

In 2006 Teflon was identified as releasing a cancer causing agent at high temperature. 

I am so grateful he encouraged me to have a voice in this way.

Bet he is writing now?

One of the greatest compliments I have ever received as a writer was also one of the greatest revelations.

‘I was sitting in a café, and I picked up a magazine and started reading a story about a tea sommelier, and I got about half way through and thought to myself ‘Lindy wrote this’,” said a friend to me recently.

I was unprepared for the wave of emotion that rippled through me at being seen and known that intimately. Writing is such a public display of an inner reality and when I self-critique I am quick to chastise myself for being too pedestrian.

Yet here was someone who saw into and through the words and saw the part of me, that authentic writer, that had left a trace of herself despite her own recriminations. I had written something that had written me.

It was a beautiful feeling, full of relief, and surrender.

Last year I mentored a young man through a writing project he did for his year 12 assessments. When it came to giving a presentation reflecting on his process, I found myself offering the group – quite unpreparedly – an insight into the real achievement this young man’s year had held – he had found his unique voice. I knew he was the author of his stories without needing to read a byline. He was so young, so tentative, so in need of an editor – but he had voice.

This truth is voice is not easy to master. Too often we attempt to mimic others – a bestselling author, someone we admire, someone who does not know us nor do we know them. Too often we lack confidence in our own ‘way to be with the words’ and fall into the safety net of sameness presented in writing courses and how to books. It can take years to find our writing voices, but I also think it can be a simple moment where we absolutely fall into ourselves and let our writerly way roam free in authenticity, courage and respect.

Write one million words and always sound like somebody else (often nameless) or write one word and be real. Really.

Voice is a relationship between words and rhythm and intention and energy and knowing and vocabulary and spirit and grammar and cadence and tone and presence.

Voice cannot be imitated or forced. I’m not sure we can even truly name our voice, but we can know it and allow it to live its own life through our writing – a kind of muse that brings juice to the page.

If I think about the article I wrote that was apparently so recognisable as ‘my voice’ I am immediately transported back to how I wrote that piece. I was passionately engaged in the topic, I was still humming with the delightful time I’d had interviewing the subject, and I was totally overwhelmed and in that headspace that so often starts my process that screams at me ‘you can’t do this justice’.

Voice then is my Joan of Arc, that force that rescues me and brings an aliveness to my words. I write ‘in the shape’ of this force and the words that follow are distilled from a deeper place in me than ‘thinking’ can form.

I am a voice that is the sum of my lifetime, of that which I have found precious, of words that hold meaning and music that runs underneath the madness that keeps this crazy song going. Voice is what I leave on the page, more than words – although the words I choose are most certainly essential elements in voice.

When I write in my unique voice, there seems to always be someone who is touched, someone who sees me, someone who finds their own meaning within mine. And that is the reward of writing, and why if you just do one thing to ‘be a writer’ it’s the most delicious, heart pumping, act of fortitude to simply write your voice.


The magazine article is ‘The True nature of Tea’ available to read in my portfolio.

©Lindy Schneider www.lindyschneider.com.au

You’re worried what they will think of your writing
A Professional Writer will never judge you for your writing skills, or any attempt you’ve made to get your thoughts down on paper. We applaud you. We know it’s hard. And guess what – we are inspired by the challenge your writing presents us.

You’re not sure if you need a professional? (Aunty Mavis has always been a ‘bit good’ at English)
Would you cut your own hair? Install your own power points? Fix your own brakes? Probably not. Professional skills matter, let the experts do what they do best.

You don’t know how to put in words what you want to say
Thats exactly the right reason to hire a writer. We will help you work through your random ideas and craft it into copy that sings. That’s what we do best. We help you through the confusing bit and put words to your ideas. It will be exactly what you meant to say – promise.

You think you could or should be able to do it all
Outsourcing is where it’s at. Seems like the pressure today is to be a jack of everything. Not only do you have to run your business, make your products and more, you also have to be a social media expert, a writing maven and an SEO and website tech head. It’s exhausting and you can’t possibly do everything well. So outsource your writing tasks and focus on what you do best (and enjoy most).
Busy people need support.
You can’t be all things.
You can’t.

You still think you can write it yourself
You learn to write in primary school so you should be good at writing, right? Kind of. You’re probably better than you think you are, but even so, a Professional Writer has spent extra years in education and honing their craft in addition to primary school or high school English. It’s a special range of skills and knowledge you can’t possibly be expected to know.
And how long have you been meaning to write that piece or freshen up your website? Months? I thought so.

You’re not sure if its too expensive for you
A Professional Writer will always work with you on a brief, a quote and a budget. They are the three things you need to ask for, and in doing so you’ll have control. And consider the costs of not having professional words to back you up. People leave websites just because they’ve seen a typo. People can’t get you and what you’re offering if they don’t read a clear message. It’s a distracting world out there and a Professional Writer will bring clarity, direction and focus to your words and business.

You don’t want to look silly, unprepared, and a million other ways we tell ourselves we’re not ok
We get this. It’s almost everyone’s bag. No judgement. We’re all equals.

You’ve just never done it before so you don’t know what to expect or how it rolls
The first step is a baby one – make the call or enquiry. We will figure it out. We’ll take care of you. Every writing job is different and we’ll guide you step by step.

And yes, you can get out of it. And yes you get final say on what is written.

And it will be fun!

(C)Lindy Schneider

Contact - basic

How do you choose a professional copy and content writer who will polish and bring your message to life? Everyone learns to write at school, but not everyone takes the extra step of becoming a ‘professional’.  If you’ve never engaged a professional copy and content writer before, and you think it’s time, here’s a list of quick tips to help guide your search for the right fit.

Local Life 

While you don’t necessarily need to meet with your professional copy and content writer face to face (thank you technology!), knowing they aren’t far away can be reassuring. It also means they understand the area you are operating in, will have strong networks, be in the same time zone as you for instant real-time responses, and will understand the subtleties and nuances of your market. There are ‘localised’ elements to the way we speak and write that come naturally to locals. And local can mean anything from ‘within 100 kilometres’ to ‘same continent’ depending on what you need!

Marketing Acumen 

If your engaging a writer for blog and content writing for your business then it is vital your writer has sound marketing instincts, after all they will be preparing information that presents your precious brand to the world. Look for a writer who has studied marketing and the copy you commission will be insightful and effective.

Journalistic Discipline 

Ensuring people are being quoted correctly, copyright, fair use, even areas of defamation or false advertising all come into play in writing content. It’s also super important to make appropriate  references to people’s gender,  sexuality and abilities to be inclusive, fair and empathetic.  A copywriter should be able to evidence a working knowledge of the do’s and don’t’s.

Real Relationships 

Building an ongoing relationship with your writer is not only efficient, it can bring a sense of ease and fun to the work. When you find a copy and content writer that gets you and your business, the whole process is streamlined and you will both be passionate and eager to do the best work. There is a mutual benefit in developing an ongoing connection and professional writers adore providing service and ‘extra mile’ support to their valued clients.

Across the backend 

if you’re too busy to write, you’re probably too busy to upload content as well. A good copywriter can offer you the additional service of content loading to your website and may even take it a step further and offer digital support across social media channels. Knowing how the backend of your website works is helpful when writing as it can influence how copy is presented (and therefore how it’s written) and how images, captions and other elements can be worked in together for the best possible read for your users.

Editing Diva

A copywriter who has taken the time to become qualified or educated as an editor and proofreader will always provide you with superior copy. High school English lessons only go so far. If you want to be professional, engage a professional who has done the ‘hard’ work of learning there are nine different types of nouns and what a dangling modifier is! And nothing turns people away quicker than a typo.

Deadlines done and dusted 

Copy and content writers need to have superhuman organisational skills. While you might only see the finished copy at the end of the process, the research, drafting, editing and crosschecking of content is often a time-intensive process. Ask your copy and content writer how they approach deadlines, and if they can facilitate quick turnaround jobs and you’ll get an instant feel for whether you’ll be waiting!

Breadth of experience 

An established copywriter will have a broad range of clients in their back story and be highly adaptable across different industries and writing styles. That is what it means to be a professional writer, not just a writer! Copy and content writers over time naturally build up a solid and broad ‘expertise’ base even when they have specialist disciplines they work in. (And what you learn in one industry can be very useful in another.)

coffee cheers

Connected and Creative 

Successful copy and content writers get to meet many different people in their working lives and naturally gravitate to the service providers they encounter that share the same work ethic and values. This means the right copywriter will also have an instant network of other businesses (think web designers, photographers, graphic artists and so on) to connect you with that offer that same quality work – you’ll end up with a team if you choose wisely!

Portfolio and testimonials 

Always, always, always check out the writers’ folio. If a writer is proud of what they do, they will have a dedicated page on their website with samples of their work and testimonials from clients. Check out the socials and see what others say about them.

Lindy X

Please give me a call on 0417 365 697 or ping me a message if you have any questions!