disability

True Stories: Melissa Pitfield – everyday is different!

Melissa-Pitfield_editedI work for National Disability Services in the NSW Companion Card team. Companion Cards are issued to people with a significant disability who are unable to access the community without the assistance of a carer.

My role is to assess whether people are eligible for the card and I also promote the program to disability organisations, service providers and the general community to increase awareness about the program and to assist people to understand and complete applications.

After high school I completed a Bachelor of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy and I knew I was most interested in working with people in a community setting. At first I wasn’t quite clear on what this would involve and was unsure exactly what area I would end up working in.

True Stories: Katherine Delbridge – Gain work through work placement

Katherine Delbridge_adjusted2My dad has always been very involved in the disability sector so I was exposed to it from an early age. When I finished school I decided to study a social research degree at university. At university took the opportunity with many of my assignments to study disability organisations and disability theory and history.

In my last semester I had to complete a work placement which involved completing a research project. I was very fortunate to be put in contact with National Disability Services (NDS) and was able to complete my work placement with the Aboriginal Resources and Pathways project. This was a great opportunity as I got to meet disability support workers and frontline professionals and hear about their challenges and triumphs. I was also exposed to the many policy areas which disability is subject to. This sparked an interest for me in wanting to gain a better understanding of the different policy areas and how they directly and indirectly effect disability service organisations as well as people with disability.

True Stories: Jillian Black – a family connection

Jillian and Brad Black My brother, who has a significant intellectual disability, has been an enormous influence in not only my life but the entire backbone of my family, making disability advocacy the dominant culture in our lives. But I never realised, until recently I could turn that personal passion into a career.

After completing a Bachelor of Communication in Media Arts I decided to take a bit of a left turn and head to Japan to teach English. I originally signed up for one year but that one year quickly turned into three.

After my time teaching abroad I returned to Australia to work for a disability employment service which saw me supporting individuals with intellectual disabilities in gaining access to the regular workforce.