I live in county Kilkenny, in Loughboy, outside Kilkenny city. I’m 44 years of age and I lived with my mother and father until two years ago when I moved into a supported living arrangement.
“Once the bank made the physical adaptations…I was able to work independently”
I work two mornings a week in a bank centre, Banking 365, inputting data. I’ve been working there for 11 years and work independently. The disability services helped me identify the sort of job I might be good at. Then they found this job for me and supported me at the beginning to learn the skills of the job. It was difficult at first and took some concentrating but I did it. Once I learnt these skills and once the bank made the physical adaptations to the bank such as ramps and wheelchair accessible toilets, I was able to work independently.
I like my work because it keeps my brain ticking over and I am meeting people. I’m one of them.
“I enjoy meeting different people”
I joined a local knitting group about 2 years ago in my local library. A support worker where I live found this knitting group for me and supported me to make the first contact. Now I am independent. I can make my own way there because it is close to where I live. I really enjoy the knitting club as you meet different people. You can just come and chat or chat and knit.
I have a good social life. I am a member of a local social club called Club 96. We meet up weekly and then we sometimes go on outings. I also meet a friend for coffee every Friday.
“I am making a difference”
I want to campaign to make places more accessible for people with disabilities so I have a blog. I review places in Kilkenny and then put up a blog describing their facilities www.natashadowling.weebly.com.
I’m happy about this blog because I think I am making a difference to how accessible things are in Kilkenny.
I have also done some educational work in local colleges – making people aware of the needs of persons with disabilities.