Vision for an inclusive Australia

Employment Ambassador Charlotte Bailey shares her vision for a more inclusive society for people with intellectual disability.
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By Employment Ambassador Charlotte Bailey

My name is Charlotte Bailey, I am 21 years old, and I am from Canberra, Australia. I work for the ACT Down Syndrome Association as an office assistant and for Down Syndrome Australia as the ACT Employment Ambassador. I also work in the bistro at the Eastlakes Football Club.

My vision for Australia over the next 20 years is that my country becomes more inclusive for people with disabilities.

This is how we can do that:

I would like more employment opportunities for people with disabilities. As a person with Down syndrome, I want to go to work each day and work hard to do a good job. I want to earn money that will support me to live in the community like everyone else.

We also need more support in learning and training so that we can build skills that will help us be successful in a job.

I work in hospitality and also in an office. I have been trained to make coffees and to serve people at the same time. I have also learned to answer phones, use a photocopier and scanner, type documents and many other things in a busy office. 

Working is important to me because I like to work with other people and make new connections. I like the environment that I work in at both jobs. I like learning new tasks and I feel proud when I learn something new that I can do independently.

I want to work so I can earn money so I can save for special trips or special clothes, or to go out with friends and family. That is very important to me because without work, I don’t have money so I can’t socialise like everyone else. You need money to be able to go out and be part of the community, even just to buy a bus pass! If I didn’t have a job, I would have nowhere to go and nothing to do or see or learn. What would life be like if I was just sitting at home all day, every day. I would never experience new things and meet new people.

That would be terrible!

I want to see people helping employers to understand that they can hire people with a disability.

Employing someone with a disability in a meaningful job can make their dreams come true.

We need to make sure people with disabilities have access to social activities like everyone else.

Having friends and being social makes me feel like I am an important member of the community. Having the opportunity to be social also helps with mental health.

Having Down syndrome doesn’t hold me back! I can achieve anything I want to.

This is my vision for an inclusive Australia.

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