International Day of People with Disabilities serves as a powerful reminder for the need for inclusivity in all aspects of society, particularly in the workforce.
This day, observed globally, emphasises the rights and potential of individuals with disabilities, aiming to break down social barriers and promote equal opportunities.
To show how people with a disability can thrive in the workplace, we recently had the pleasure to talk with Karen, a long tenured employee of Cook + Phillip Park Pool.
Tell us a little about yourself?
Karen: "I was born in Hong Kong, am 34 years old, and have been working here for 13 years. I work as a cleaner from Monday to Friday, doing dusting, sweeping and mopping."
What do you enjoy the most about working at Cook + Phillip Park Pool?
Karen: I really enjoying coming to work. What I like the most is meeting new people and making good friends.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Karen: "My favourite sport is basketball but I also like going to the gym and shopping with my family.
"I come to the gym before work and mainly use the dumbbells and weights."
What are some of the challenges you face at work?
Karen: "Nothing is too difficult for me at work.
"When I first started, I did need help from my family especially Mum and Dad.
"Now I have regular support from Kerry my vocational trainer from Job Support, as well as Luke, the centre manager."
"They both tell me what I can and can't use at work and when I should have help with some tasks so I am always safe at work."
One last question, do you have any plans to retire?
Karen: "I have been working here for 13 years and am looking forward to being here for another 13 years."
Karen has proved herself a dedicated, loyal and valued member of the team. She is a shining example that inclusion and diversity thrive in the workplace, as evidenced by the invaluable contributions Karen has made over the years.