I found what I love to do and who I am as a person thanks to projectABLE!

I was first told about projectABLE through a friend at school who wanted someone to go with her. She knew what she wanted to do after school and I had no idea. I decided to go so that my friend was not alone. I couldn’t see the harm in going. It seemed like something I might be interested in.

I didn’t know what I wanted to do after school, so it seemed like a good idea!

When I was told about projectABLE, I really didn’t know much about disability at all. I knew some different types of disabilities but really that’s all I knew. The workshop encouraged me to start learning about different types of disabilities, ones that I have never heard of before. I was motivated to find out about what causes the disability and what the effects are on the person with the disability.

Katie participated in projectABLE back in 2011 and now works for  Cerebral Palsy Alliance

projectABLE taught me a whole lot about myself. projectABLE helped me find my career.

 I found what I love to do and who I am as a person thanks to projectABLE!

The workshop and the training days really enlightened me to what I am passionate about. From the workshop and the training days I decided to embark on a two year school based traineeship, so that meant during year 11 and 12, I went to Cerebral Palsy Alliance one day a week. This traineeship counted towards my HSC and counted as a subject. The traineeship involved completing a certificate 3 in disability and also completing Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s  compulsory training days. So by the time I had finished my HSC I had completed a Certificate 3 in disability and had vital skills working in disability.

A typical day in the life of Katie:

I’m a full time community educator working in a Community Access Service (CAS) with the Cerebral Palsy Alliance in Liverpool.

  • So a typical day for would be, starting my day at 8am by picking up a bus (van) where the bus can hold 3 clients in wheelchairs, I then set off and pick up  the 3 clients from their homes and that’s when the day starts.
  • Myself and the clients then either go back to base for some morning tea and a visit to the bathroom or we hit up the community access. It all depends on what the clients want to do. It could be bowling, the movies or even just going to the shopping centre to shop.
  • Then while we are out at  lunch, medication is given to the clients and after the clients are done with their activities it’s either back to Community Access Service for afternoon tea and a visit to the bathroom or I drop the clients home after a long day.

But two days are never the same here. We are always changing it up and trying new things!

nicloe and katie ..

Katie along with one of her clients,Nicole

To other students, if you are interested in working with people with disability or studying disability then do it!! It’s something that I never knew that I was going to be in, because I thought it was for older people and people with nursing degrees. But it’s not –  branch out and if you are passionate about working with people with disability then do it!!

The choice I made to work in the disability sector is the greatest choice that I have made so far in my life. I get to spend my days with people who are so passionate and caring and they are some of the happiest people I have met.

projectABLE is a great workshop I recommend that everyone should go and participate!


Meet Max

How did you find out about projectABLE?

I found projectABLE a fantastic & life-changing experience that enabled me to gain further understanding of working with people living with disabilities & an overall insight into employment in the disability/community sector. Fortunately, my school coordinator Head of Social Justice, told me about this voluntary excursion to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance in Allambie, partnered with projectABLE.

What was it that attracted you to do the program?

The attraction to the program was that I wanted to know more about understanding the needs of people with disabilities. It frustrates me that in this multicultural country, we commonly forget that it includes people with disabilities.

How did projectABLE challenge your perception of disability?

ProjectABLE dramatically challenged my perception of “disability”. Initially I wasn’t sure what to feel, whether to have sympathy or to be empathetic. Although I learnt that just because you might have a disability, you still should be treated with dignity and be given respect just as you would anyone else. People with disabilities have passions and interests & you should always view the person before the disability.

Would you recommend your friends to take part in projectABLE?

I would definitely recommend my friends to take part in projectABLE as it enables oneself to try to understand what it’s like having a disability and understand what jobs there are in the disability sector, although it might be challenging it is so rewarding. large file-174

Did you learn anything new about yourself?

projectABLE allowed me to use my skills, particularly that of communication in order to actively participate in the care and assistance to the people in this sector. I think if you wanted to work in the sector, it would be a great starting place.

After doing projectABLE, what are the next steps for you? Would you consider working or volunteering in the sector?

From working with projectABLE, it really has increased my awareness of  the opportunities & employment in the disability sector, especially since I’m completing my HSC. I would definitely consider working in the disability sector, perhaps even studying speech pathology.

 What was the overall highlight for you?

The overall highlight of the projectABLE experience was leaving the practical workshop with a great sense of achievement and knowing that I had made someone smile for that day. I might have not been the best dancer, but I might have given a few people a good laugh!

What was the hardest part of participating in the program?

The hardest part of the program was keeping within the guidelines of the work relationships with the clients. It is very easy to become attached to the people that you work with. However, if you were unsure how to handle any situation, there are always trained people to speak to if you feel uncomfortable.

 Where will projectABLE take you in 2014?