Special Needs

True Stories: Sarah Delaney – learn valuable skills in community work

Sarah Delaney editedI work with the Australian Foundation for Disability (AFFORD) as the Team Leader for the Community Participation Program at Jamisontown.

The Community Participation Program gives adults living with disability the opportunity to learn valuable life skills such as cooking, shopping and using public transport, whilst also having a great time with music, art, sport and community activities. Each person in the program is encouraged to be the best they can be and to have fun while achieving their goals. Jamisontown has 20 clients and 6 staff.

I haven’t always worked in disability. When I left school I went to Business College and became a secretary, progressing after 5 years or so to the level of executive secretary in a company which manufactured metal cutting tools. While I really enjoyed the work, I was over the office politics and felt I needed to try something new.

Growing up, my grandmother had lived with us all my through my childhood and we had cared for her,

True Stories: Jason Ballerini – Life change after accident

Jason Ballerini_editedI know for me it feels like I did not chose this line of work, I believe it chose me. As a fit and active 16 year old, with my life ahead of me, social work was the last thing on my mind. After a diving accident in 1996 left me a quadriplegic, not only did I lose the ability to walk, I felt as though all my options, dreams and aspirations washed away down that creek as well.

True Stories: Danielle Wright – surrounded someone with disability

wright_danielle editedAll my life I have been around someone with a disability. My father was diagnosed with Post-polio syndrome before I was born, and in my later years of high school he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. My mother is my father’s carer and she is a big inspiration to me. When I left school I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was working Part Time at Woolworths and completing a Cert 3 in Tourism and Travel, however that didn’t interest me. I wanted to do something more to help people, just as my mum helps my dad.

I thought about doing nursing but I was worried about whether or not I would like it, so I decided to go for a job as a care worker for ADHC. I didn’t know a thing about looking after someone but I got the job! The first time I showered a client with MS I had to brush the client’s teeth. After the job I cried as I hadn’t thought before how lucky I was even to be able to do things that seem so little but mean something major to someone else. I then started do more high care work and it really opened my eyes to the different types of disabilities people can have.