Showstoppers Ability Services, Scone, celebrates 2019 International Day of People with Disability

CREATIVITY: Lizzie, Cassie and Gypsy with some of their creative works at the Showstoppers Ability Services Scone Open Day on Tuesday. Photo: Patricia Taylor
CREATIVITY: Lizzie, Cassie and Gypsy with some of their creative works at the Showstoppers Ability Services Scone Open Day on Tuesday. Photo: Patricia Taylor

WITH over four million Australians living with some form of disability, breaking down barriers in society and having an honest discussion about inclusiveness is extremely important.

Tuesday, November 3, is International Day of People with Disability - a day all about raising public awareness, understanding and acceptance.

It's also about celebrating the achievements and contributions of people with disabilities.

One man who has achieved more than most can dream of is Newcastle's Kurt Fearnley. That is why he is Australia's International Day of People with Disability ambassador for 2019.

Having won three Paralympic gold medals, two Commonwealth Games gold medals, and more than 40 marathons, including the New York, Chicago and London marathons, Kurt is using the platform as "a launching pad for further action".

In the Upper Hunter, disability service Showstoppers Ability Services celebrated the day by opening its doors to the community to showcase what they're all about.

Founder Jill Hamling said the Open Day was about creating awareness about inclusion in the community and showing people what their participants can do and what they're capable of achieving.

"Everybody does have the capability," she said.

"We all have some sort of disability - whether that be emotional, physical or mental - we all have something, no one is perfect."

With a focus on inclusiveness and integration into the community, Jill explained the organisation's bright view for the future which includes plans for a local cafe run 75 per cent by people with disabilities and further plans to launch their own fashion and modelling agency.

Regular client Cassie Fisher has also been launched into her own business, Cassie Fisher's Designs, and there are further plans to launch other clients into their own businesses too.

"Gypsy has indicated that she would like to launch her own business, she has a passion for animals so we would head along that line," Jill said.

"And Lizzy, with the help of her mother, we will do it through her diamond dots and her art."

Cassie, Gypsy and Jill Hamling, Founder, Showstoppers Ability Services Scone.

Cassie, Gypsy and Jill Hamling, Founder, Showstoppers Ability Services Scone.

While funding is a set back for the organisation, who are currently only financed through the NDIS, Jill explained how important it was to continue to promote inclusion.

"It's (International Day of People with Disability) is celebrated in many different ways, it's great to have ambassadors like the 2019 patron Kurt Fearnley, because they're out promoting inclusion and promoting work opportunities.

"I would love to next year get involved in the Scone Chamber of Commerce to promote inclusiveness in the workplace, because that still continues to be a hurdle."

Showstoppers has done lots of work in the community to try to break down those barriers and overcome hurdles through community involvement such as developing stage performance skills disciplines like singing, dancing and acting for public performances and local work placement opportunities.

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