International Day of People with Disability 2006 Presentation
International Day of People with Disability
Victorian Department of Education
Good morning everyone and I am here today to tell you about the disability that I have in Asperger Syndrome along with a few other community based projects designed to promote awareness of disability related issues.
What is Asperger Syndrome?
Asperger Syndrome is one of five neurobiological pervasive development disorders that have distinct characteristics particularly in the skill areas of social and communication skills. It was named after the German physician Dr Hans Asperger who made initial observations in 1944, but it wasn’t until 1994 that it was recognised by health authorities in the USA as a disability.
What was it like growing up with Asperger Syndrome?
Growing up with Asperger Syndrome was definitely one filled with many challenges and there were times where I was often very frustrated with not just myself but also those around me because they didn’t understand my behaviour. As I have gotten older my peers have accepted me for who I am and not judged me based on my actions which are sometimes not exactly what you could call correct or mainstream.
Challenges in TAFE, what were they?
As a student at RMIT TAFE the challenges I faced were quite mixed but there are two in particular that gave me the most trouble. These were time management and correct behaviour in class. The Disability Liaison Unit at RMIT were able to organise a note taker who acted as a buddy for me and helped me achieve better behaviour so as to ensure that no one in my classes became annoyed or angry with me. Time management is still an issue for me, although I do have trouble prioritising things and will need to do some work on this in the future.
What helped at TAFE?
Having the Disability Liaison Unit as a resource definitely helped me to overcome the challenges of being a disability student. The DLU were and still are a great source of information/inspiration for everyone who is a student with a disability at RMIT. Being involved in projects such as recording the Aspirations CD as given me confidence to be a vocal advocate and speaker on disability related issues.
Another project I was involved in the creation of the “E Team” which is a number of current and past students with a disability who have volunteered their team to act as advice givers/sources of information to those with a disability who looking to commence study. It was launched mid way through this year and everyone involved in confident that interest in the program will pick up as plenty of new students with a disability commence study early next year.
Currently, I am on a Disability Support Pension and do have aspirations to get some part-time or casual work in the future. During the winter time, I am work as a statistician for the Werribee Football Club who competes in the elite VFL competition. I have applied to commence a degree in either journalism or communications at RMIT, so fingers crossed when offers are made in January. Netball is another passion of mine and I write match reports/news pieces for a sports website. I am responsible for coverage of both Melbourne Phoenix and Melbourne Kestrels home matches along with Australian international matches played in Melbourne.