How a Polish-Australian Found Her Voice and Confidence with Maple
Karissa, a Polish Australian woman living with intellectual and mental disabilities, exemplifies Maple Community Service’s commitment to assist clients coming from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Karissa’s relationship with Maple has been signified by a sense of compassion, empathy, and acceptance that she believes is lacking in society in general.
Karissa’s cultural and religious traditions are important to her as she belongs to Christian community, and she celebrates Christmas and Easter with her family and friends. They have nice lunches and family dinner gatherings and loves doing some festivities around the year where all the adults in the family get together and the children play with each other and have a time of their life.
Karissa faced a difficult time navigating social norms and expectations. She struggles to meet these expectations that she felt were placed upon her by living in Australia, leading to feelings of inferiority and vulnerability. One of the major aspects Karissa has struggled withis social isolation, which can be a common issue for people with disabilities. On top of that, she has faced discrimination around it as well. There is often a stigma attached to disabilities that can lead to discrimination and a lack of understanding from others. This can make it difficult for individuals like Karissa to feel accepted and respected in society. Amplify this with differing cultural values and a strong CALD heritage, and it is easy to understand just how Karissa has not felt accepted.
With some passage of time, Karissa has found solace in Maple, particularly because of the Maple support workers, who have gone above and beyond to help her navigate the challenges of daily life. With the help of Maple Support Coordinators and Plan Managers, she was able to overcome the barrier of accessing the NDIS as well.
Despite of the challenges Karissa has faced; she is determined to be a better mother to her son and to learn more about early childhood care. Karissa has seen progress in her daily life routine, and it has become easier since she started receiving cleaning services. This has given her more time to spend in the community and building up skills to overcome her challenges.
She believes that having a disability should not prevent her from achieving these goals, and with Maple’s help, she is working to accomplish them.
One of the unique aspects of Maple is its commitment to embracing diversity and supporting clients from all backgrounds. Karissa has found this to be true through her relationship with Jess, a support worker, who has played a pivotal role in her life. Maple support workers’ understanding, and patience have allowed Karissa to form strong relationships with them, providing her with a sense of belonging and support that she was not previously able to access.
Maple is committed to providing individualised support that meets the unique needs of any-client, whether they identify as CALD or not. Karissa’s experience with Maple has been positive, and she is grateful for the support she has received.