Kaitlan joins Woolworths Toormina for work experience

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Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 29/05/2022 - 6:20am

Kaitlan Carmady working in Woolies Toormina – with a name badge she’s very proud of.

WOOLIES Toormina has a new recruit.

Her key task is stocking up the shelves, doing her work experience like any other young person.

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But Kaitlan Carmady is not like other young people, she’s not like anyone else in the world.

This eighteen-year-old young lady has a rare chromosome disorder which affects her speech and mobility.

Focusing on Kaitlan’s ability and not her disability, her Nan Chris Davis told News Of The Area, “We surround her with like-minded supports who also focus on what Kaitlan can do, not what she is limited by.

“We encourage support workers to challenge boundaries and allow Kaitlan to experience activities outside the square.

“Kaitlan has been given the opportunity to be a part of Woolworths Toormina team to do work experience which she absolutely loves.

“Daniel Graves, the manager and Sophie and the store staff have been so welcoming to Kaitlan, making her feel a part of their team.

“Daniel made Kaitlan a name tag and she wears it with pride.”

The customers have been really kind and supportive of Kaitlan, always acknowledging her.

“If we have concerns about Kaitlan’s safety but still want her to have the experience, we double up on her support to keep her safe and meet her needs.”

Due to Kaitlan’s inability to communicate, Chris and her supports have tried many options and have watched to see what she enjoys and what her interests are.

“We don’t assume that due to her ability, she may not want to do some things.”

There is always a way of communicating and understanding what Kaitlan is trying to communicate, says Chris.

Chris’s philosophy is that by including Kaitlan in the community, it encourages inclusivity, encourages understanding and allows others to positively interact with someone with varying abilities.

“Giving Kaitlan opportunities to choose her activities is very empowering for her,” said Chris.

Kaitlan attends Surfing for Disabled, she has been assisted to ride her modified bike to raise funds and awareness for autism Australia and Heart Kids.

A sporty girl, Kaitlan is also assisted and encouraged to participate in triathlons and fun runs.

She represented Toormina high school at Anzac Day services.

Kaitlan also loves the activities at the Big Banana.

“Her favourite ride is the toboggan; she particularly enjoys bossing others around and has a wicked sense of humour,” said Chris.

By Andrea FERRARI

Kaitlan, dressed up and ready for her year twelve formal.