A catalyst for change

International Day of People with Disability is held on December 3 each year. It aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability and celebrate their achievements and contributions.

Baptcare is proud to celebrate one our employees, Natasha Street, Local Area Coordinator Community – NDIS based in Launceston, on this Day.

Natasha has lived with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy since birth. She uses a range of mobility aids including a powered wheelchair. Her aim is to be a positive role model and catalyst for change in society.

Natasha joined Baptcare in February this year, and works within a team to build community awareness of the National Insurance Disability Scheme (NDIS) and helps to provide linkages and build capacity for those living with disability.

A trained school teacher and social worker with two degrees (one in Social Work and one in Early Childhood Education) and a Certificate IV in Assistive Technology under her belt, Natasha found it incredibly challenging to find employment.

“A lot of workplaces in Tasmania aren’t wheelchair friendly. Baptcare and its flex model has made it possible for me to work at home, work in the office, work from coffee shops and co-locate from various places. I also have an assistant dog called Biscuit who joins me in the office who has been welcomed with open arms,” said Natasha.

“A flexible environment has allowed me to manage my wellness appointments and manage my fatigue levels to ensure I keep well, and most importantly it has allowed me to work,” said Natasha.

Natasha says her lived disability experience has also contributed positively in her role.

“Everybody’s experience with disability is unique however when I am out in the community and people with a disability and their family members share their experiences with me, they only have positive things to say about my employment. They say things like ‘thank goodness they have someone that has a disability working in the NDIS”. There is a mutual respect we have for one another,” said Natasha.

Natasha’s wish going forward is to continue to help others to achieve their goals.

“Some people are more impacted than others with cerebral palsy and with disability in general. You see challenges and you don’t want other people to go through the same challenges you have been through. I’ve always wanted to push the envelope and break down barriers. And in my role at Baptcare and with the NDIS, I believe I am doing this,” said Natasha.

Baptcare is committed to building a respectful and inclusive workplace, appointing the best person for the role and supporting diversity. Baptcare welcomes applicants who may require adjustments.