Anita joined The Deaf Society under the SLES (School Leaver Program) through NDIS funding where she was mentored for employment support and to assist with building her confidence in the community and workplace. Anita joined many different courses through The Deaf Society such as AUSLAN (sign language) and took an interest in this along with joining the Healthy Living Skills course, Driving Skills Course for Deaf and Hard of Hearing to empower and give her independence.
Anita rarely missed any of her sessions, she always gave everything a chance. She did work experience in a cafe where she learnt to work in a fast paced environment, taking orders from customers, deal with different accents and make sure the orders she had were correct. Although she did not make coffees whilst doing her work experience, she was very interested in learning and understanding the many different coffees and the art involved.
Anita was diagnosed from birth with a moderate to severe hearing loss and has cochlear implants however this did not stop her from learning how to communicate with customers in store. She learnt to read and pronounce different coffees so she was able to quickly take orders from customers. Anita also did work experience at Westpac in the office administrative area and got involved with International Day of A Disability and walked away with more confidence then she did walking in.
Anita’s family struggled to have a positive relationship with Anita prior to joining The Deaf Society, part of this was that Anita felt isolated, alone and had no confidence within herself, was extremely shy and did not speak to many people. She felt disadvantaged by her disability and did not see her worth and struggled with her identity as a person with a disability.
Since being mentored by Sharon Xabregas (who is also moderate to severely Deaf) she was able to see that there was nothing she could not do in life and allowed herself to face her fears with communicating with people, believed in herself, accepted who she was and that she was worthy of being employed. She met others who also had a hearing loss, she was able to be inspired and see her potential. Her family saw such a change in her in the coming months that they even started to have a better relationship with their daughter.
Anita now has a part time job working at BankWest Stadium in a hospitality role for special events which she loves and also has a part time role working as a barista for The Rehab Management within their office building and participates in special events such as TEDX.
Anita would love to continue building her knowledge and skills in the hospitality sector and to learn how to drive a car, to continue learning AUSLAN which she has embraced, gain formal qualifications in hospitality and travel the world.
If you know an outstanding learner why not celebrate their achievements and nominate them for an ALW scholarship.