We are family

Jose Asscencio is a man in his late 50s. He has thining curly grey hair.

We are family

We hope you had a chance to pause to celebrate the International Day of People with Disability (#IDPWD) on Sunday. Today we’re continuing the celebrations with a reflection from one of our disability support workers, Jose, who shares his insights on what it’s like to work with Uniting under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). As you can see from his photo, Jose is a person who is full of life. He brings this infectious joyful attitude with him to work each day. Here’s what he has to say about his job…

Why I love my work

There were a few things that made me come to Uniting, but the main one was the social approach. I’m a social worker. When I worked in hospitals my role was to empower the patients and give them a voice with the doctors. Coming to the disability sector gave me that opportunity again; to empower the client. I think Uniting is one of the most progressive organisations around. Maybe that’s because of the multicultural approach – people come to Uniting from different places and we all evolve into one.

My job? Well, I started as a case manager, but now I work as a support coordinator. It’s all to do with the new National Disability Insurance Scheme or NDIS. People now have more choice and control over their services, so we no longer ‘case manage’ people, we ‘support’ people. And to me the difference is vital.

Every client touches my heart. Each is unique. They have different goals, different wishes, different desires and objectives. Take Harry, for example. He’s an older man who has been with Uniting for years, and was born with a genetic condition called hereditary dyspatic paraplegia. When he reached his 40s Harry started to lose the strength in his muscles, and is now fully dependant on a wheelchair.

What do I do for Harry? Well it’s actually not about what Uniting does for Harry; it’s about what he [Harry] wants and what he does for himself with our support. He doesn’t want to be dependant – that’s the most important thing. Part of understanding independence is knowing that it’s about normalisation – going to the shopping centre or the club and not having to depend on someone pushing him in his chair.

When I’m not at work, my granddaughter brings me a lot of happiness. But I think we’re all a family. Everyone here on this planet, regardless of their colour or their language, they’re my brother and my sister, so they’re my family. That’s why I work at Uniting. We all see the world like that here. ‘We welcome everyone exactly as they are’ is not just a slogan. There’s a profound meaning to those words and in the name, Uniting. It means a lot.

Learn more about disability services at Uniting

For more information about our services for people with a disability or how Uniting works under the NDIS, get in touch on 1800 864 846 or email us.

Uniting is a registered provider of NDIS supports and operates independently from Uniting Local Area Coordination (LAC) Transition Services.

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