Dare to Ask | My experience became my superpower

Nicole shares her journey to becoming a Disability Support Worker, drawing on her personal experiences with disability and the positive impact her support can have on the lives of people who need just a little bit of support to achieve their goals.

Complete video transcript below: 

Interviewer: What does a support worker do at Castle?

Hi, I am Nicole Capper, I am a disability support worker for Castle Personnel.

Nicole: So, I help a lot of my participants with social skills, trying to gain skills to gain employment. Each can be different, but a lot of mine are social or employment. I do social groups where I get the guys all together and they can have chats amongst themselves. We might even just do a simple go out to dinner just so we could all mingle.

Interviewer: What does disability mean to you?

Nicole: To me, disability is just a medical term for someone that may require extra support in their life, whether that be mentally or physically. Trying to access the resources that are available to them can be sometimes hard, and I feel like that's what we are also there for to help.

Interviewer: Do you have a shared experience with disability?

Nicole: Yeah, so I have a nearly 14-year-old son who has been diagnosed with autism, ADHD, sensory processing disorder and ODD. So, we've been doing it for a long time. He was first diagnosed when he was four.  

Interviewer: What was it like finding out your son has a disability?

Nicole: At first it was a struggle. He's my third child, but things were a lot different not knowing what help was out there. I was also a young mom, so I didn't have a lot of friends that had, had kids even yet. I'm usually quite a strong person, had a little bit of a breakdown at the school and a case manager seen me, and she pulled me aside, and she actually was a wonderful, and helped us go in the right direction of where we needed to go and what resources we could find to help us. And that's where that put me on the path of learning what to do and why I became a support worker myself later on.

Interviewer: Do you remember the first time you had a positive impact on someone's life?

Nicole: So I have got one participant that I noticed the changes of when I first met him, he was very quiet, very closed in, didn't want to talk very much. Just in the time that I've known him this year, he's just come leaps and bounds and he's reaching a lot of his goals in trying to find a job and get his license and doing all that stuff.

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Interviewer: What is something people should know about the industry?

Nicole: People seem to think it's a, can be an easy job at times, sometimes not because it is overcoming our own challenges and the participants' challenges. But I think some people think that, like, in my sense, that it might just be simple of, "Oh, going out to lunch for the day," not realizing that we are actually building up skills, but we are building up readiness for their future.

Interviewer: What is it like working at Castle?

Nicole: I really enjoy working at Castle. I find everyone there is accommodating and gets along, and we all work really well together. If you've got an issue and you are not sure how to deal with it, you can quite easily contact somebody else and they will be there to support you, even. Everyone's just very supportive of each other and of the participants as well.