NDIS funding helps WIRAC score big win for inclusion
FOR WIRAC assistant manager of aquatics Karen Peters, winning the Australian Swim School Association's National Excellence Award for Inclusion is proof of how NDIS funding can help those in need.
The award was presented to the recreational centre last Tuesday night in Cairns due to its long-time work with those with disabilities .
"We've been a NDIS provider for 18 months now and it's just made our services more available and what we can do even bigger and better," Mrs Peters said.
For the assistant manager, a desire to help those with disabilities came from seeing her own brother, who lives with a disability, face everyday challenges.
"I've got a soft spot for sure," Mrs Peters said.
"He definitely got me on track and made me feel passionate about helping others like him."
WIRAC client Andrew Maulch, who has Spina bifida, said WIRAC's NDIS programs has meant he has been able to start getting in shape.
"They've really made me a lot stronger and fitter," Mr Maulch said.
"They push you pretty good.
"They give me a hard time and I give them a hard time back."
Five months ago, the centre also hired its first disabled employee, Shane Lamb.
"I spotted him when he was with his school's program and I remember thinking 'he's nice, what's he going to do when he finishes school'," Mrs Peters said.
Now Mr Lamb helps out with the sports ability program and even has lifeguard qualifications.
"He can't read and write so we have a task sheet he can tick off," Mrs Peters said.
"He's so smiley and happy and patrons love him.
"I love seeing that joy on faces as people become more mobile and social.
"It really does wonders to their well-being to be able to participate in that way."