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International Day of People with Disability was recently celebrated across the district and the theme was ‘United in action to rescue and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for, with and by persons with disabilities.’

The important day aims to promote community awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability.

RNSH occupational therapist Elise Kerle is an advocate for recognition, which is exactly what the day is all about.

Elise was born with a vision impairment that has given her a unique perspective in her role as an occupational therapist

I often work with patients who have just acquired their disability, so I have to remind myself that this isn’t something they’ve had since birth like me, and they’ll need time to adjust.
RNSH occupational therapist Elise Kerle

“I’m able to share what I know about processes and services available, which someone who doesn’t have a lived experience might not be aware of.”

“It’s about saying ‘hey, we see you, and we know the world isn’t always built for you’ and acknowledging us as people and the value we bring to society,” said Elise.

“I encourage workplaces in all industries to take part in this awareness day because being seen is a powerful thing.”

Elise’s manager helped her to obtain a 27-inch monitor, a laptop with built-in magnification software, a large print keyboard, and handheld magnification devices. Workplace adjustments like these, and many more, can be accessed by contacting your people and culture team or visiting the Public Service Commission website.

The support Elise has received has allowed her to help more people in need.

“I have been able to help people return home happily and safely, which is what I love the most about my job,” said Elise

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