disability

True Stories: Jade Morrison – I learn something new everyday!

Jade MorrisonI sort of just ‘fell’ into the disability industry. I was 17 years old and wanted to help people but I didn’t know how. TAFE recommended I commence my Certificate III in Disability Welfare and see where I went to from there.

It wasn’t long before I started working in group homes and day programs. I was even lucky enough to represent the industry at Canberra House and meet with John Howard (PM) for Disability Awareness Week. At the time, I was one of the youngest people in the field and was able to take some residents from the Group Home for a BBQ on the lawns. It was an amazing day.

True Stories: Steve Smith – helping people to achieve their goals

Lawn mowing and landscaping in the IllawarraSteve Smith

I entered the disability sector after many years in the motor trades and heavy industry, basically doing the same thing day in and day out.  I started to think that there must be more to life and a friend of mine was happily working at Illawarra Vocational Services (IVS), so I enquired with them.

I ended up starting as a casual and soon after I became a full time staff member – that was more than 17 years ago!

My day to day role at IVS is to take a crew of 4-5 supported employees into the open work environment to do lawn maintenance, landscaping and general maintenance jobs for different companies in the Illawarra area. I am one of 8 supervisors who work with our 44 supported employees – a few of whom have been working at IVS for 20 years.

When we are out for the day I teach the employees new skills in completing the jobs we need to do and I also help to hone the skills they already have. These kinds of jobs include lawn mowing, line trimming and general garden maintenance, with an emphasis on safety.