Louise’s story- helping people to live life to the full

I went to a projectABLE workshop just after I had started volunteering at Share Care Respite Services. Previously I had volunteered at a special education school in Minto. It was actually one of the staff members at Share Care who told me about the projectABLE workshops. I went home, researched it and the next week went to school and spoke to my Careers Adviser. Our school ended up sending a group to a projectABLE workshop hosted by Share Care.

a projectABLE workshop is interactive ….

The workshop was both fun and eye opening. Although I had some experience in the sector through volunteering, it gave me greater insight into the experiences of people with disability. We played various games and activities where we were put in someone else’s shoes to give us insight into what it’s like living with disability. These were experiences of things we had never done before. We watched videos and learnt how people with disabilities can live independent lives like everyone else. We were also introduced to the types of care, help and support some people with disability require.

… co-led by people with disabilities …

Now I am a Disability Support Worker for Macarthur Disability Services. I work in a day program. Our customers arrive and we assist them with morning tea before getting ready to go out on ‘community access’. The activities vary but they can range from bowling, swimming, tennis, hip hop, drumming, visiting the sensory room or going out to lunch. On other occasions we might do activities in house such as cooking, craft, scrapbooking, massage therapy, music, movies, beauty or outdoor games. After activities customers have lunch, some with assistance and then personal care is completed. More activities are provided so customers can choose what they would like to do. Then the customers travel home.

… and transformative!

On a daily basis we assist customers to work on their goals and follow their interests. These are as varied as the people. It might be getting assistance with personal care, learning new living skills, spending time out of their wheelchair, getting lunch out, going to the car races or making a necklace, the list goes on. Working in the disability sector also allows me to pursue my own goals. Work is flexible enough that I am able to do further studies by correspondence, which helps me in my work.

I love going to work every day and seeing the smile on a customer’s face when they complete one of their goals or are participating in activities they love.  For me I love helping customers with things they thought they could never do and helping them get out into the community.

I have heard people say that they couldn’t work in the disability sector because it’s too sad. I would say to them it’s not sad- it’s great! It’s a wonderful experience to be able to assist another person in living their life to the full. It’s rewarding to see an individual complete their goals and enjoy their life.



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