Hearing loss no impediment to disability career

VCOSS CEO Emma King presents Anne Donovan with her certificate

The first hearing impaired student to complete FSSI’s Certificate III in Individual Support (Aged Care and Disability) says training for a career in disability is a great option for those with a disability.

Anne Donovan, 55, who was born with 90 per cent hearing loss, applied for a FSSI scholarship to complete the course last year as the first step towards a career change.

‘I wanted to work with like-minded people who were caring and passionate about making world a better, fairer, kinder place. The kind of work where you get to experience the best of humanity,’ Anne said.

Anne grew in up a hearing world and relies heavily on lip reading. Whilst finding studying challenging at times, she says FSSI was very supportive.

‘The teachers were amazing and he students were lovely and that really helps when people are understanding and inclusive.

‘I did have a couple of challenges at the beginning. I found it difficult to hear in class…but a lot of the homework involved research online.

‘(FSSI teacher) Michelle McCann also has a hearing impairment and she was very aware of making sure she faced me when she talked and used the microphone and made sure when they showed videos that they put on the subtitles.

The work placements were ‘an eyeopener – they taught me so much’, Anne said.

People with a disability can struggle to find and sustain work but it made sense for them to work in an area they were familiar with, and be able to use their intimate understanding of the issues faced by those involved in negotiating the disability sector to help their clients.

‘I think it makes sense in a way that there is a good opportunity for them to be able to work and contribute and feel valued for their contribution.’

For more information on the Certificate III in Individual Support, which provides an entry level qualification to work in the disability and aged care sectors, click on futuresocial.org