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Caitlin is a 20-year-old young woman and like any other person of her age, she enjoys a variety of interests and activities. “I love cooking, art – especially painting and drawing, swimming and dancing, and hanging out with my pets,” says Caitlin.
A day in the life of Caitlin
Caitlin, who has Down syndrome, engages Ruby, an independent support worker on Mable, to assist her with the day-to-day and accompany her on activities. “I wake up and meet my support worker and get ready for the day. I go to different programs and activities most days, and when I get home, I like to relax by watching YouTube videos on my laptop and playing games on my phone. I also go to the shops with my support worker to buy things to cook dinner for me, my mum and my sister,” Caitlin shares.
Caitlin also engages support workers to help her pursue her hobbies. “I love doing art and I’m currently taking pottery classes. I’ve already made a few pieces themed around my favourite band, KISS! I also see support workers who do fun art activities with me to learn about new ways to do art, and go to weekly dance and performing arts classes to practise for concerts and shows.”
Caitlin is a confident, energetic and talented young woman. But a lack of awareness and exposure to people with disability means she sometimes ends up experiencing unpleasant situations.
“I think I’m as talented and as smart as anyone else, but because I sometimes find using the right words difficult, people can be impatient or rude, which hurts my feelings,” she shares.
Finding choice and control with Mable
The theme for International Day of People with Disability this year focuses on the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world. How does Caitlin think Mable has supported empowerment and inclusion for her? Caitlin says, “Mable has helped me find support workers who I like and feel comfortable around, having these support workers lets me go to all the activities and programs I like to see my friends, and gives me the opportunity to live as an adult how I would like to.
Read some of our other incredible stories for IDPwD 2022:
1. Kathy: IDPwD 2022: “Autistic adults are everywhere, they are creative, have relationships, and run businesses”
2. Penny: IDPwD 2022: “I’m a person with disability — not a disabled person”
3. Tim: IDPwD 2022: Tim Ragg on how sports rescued him