Mary’s story- promoting independence and inclusivity

My name is Mary Micevska. I’m an employee with ConnectABILITY Australia. ConnectABILITY was established in 1990 when a group of community members and families came together to meet the needs of people with significant disabilities. Today we offer community based resources, facilities and services to people requiring high levels of support.

I started as a Community Support Worker when we were still known as Newcastle Community Access. Over my many years of experience within the disability sector I have enjoyed supporting some of the most marginalized members in our community.

Within our services we are able to provide participants with individualised day programs that address their needs and wants. Some programs include arts and craft, drama, cooking skills, living skills, travel training as well as a variety of other recreational activities. Our services provide access to parts of the community most people take for granted.

Initially I was employed in administration before becoming a community support worker. I started out with a good foundational knowledge of the disability sector. However I have also sought further educational and specialised training opportunities.  This helps me better respond to the growing number of participants requiring support services in the community.

I grew up as a person viewed from the community as a minority. This made me realize early in life how little information and education was available about living with disability. Had my family, school or peers had access to programs, services or information that highlighted the importance of independence and inclusivity, I know it would have improved my quality of life as a young person.

The most rewarding aspect of my job is building a relationship with the participants and having the opportunity to see them succeed in a variety of activities. The services we provide enrich all parties involved, support workers, participants and the wider community.

The least favorable aspect of the work I do is the lack of appropriate funding and resources allocated to meet the needs of the disability community.

My participation in projectABLE has come through ConnectABILITY. High school students become better educated and informed about issues relating to people with disability in our community. Through the program participants with a disability share their stories and break down any antiquated stigmas or barriers between the mainstream and the disabled. We feel valued and empowered after sharing our experiences and try to motivate students to be the voices against discrimination in society.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.