I graduated from the Classroom and Community Support Worker program in 2010 and I am the author of “Kaleb Could Bounce”.
I was born in the land down under, growing up on the East Coast of Australia in many places north and south of Sydney. Since 2008 I’ve been a permanent resident of Canada, living in Castlegar, BC,and loving the Kootenay lifestyle with my husband.
I studied in the Classroom and Community Support Worker (CCSW) program at Selkirk College and graduated in 2010. It is a full-time, nine-month program I would recommend to anyone; it’s a certificate that promotes self discovery, develops life skills and offers training for how to work with people with disabilities (I’m not fond of the label disability and prefer to emphasize the “ability” aspect of the word).
As a final assignment for a life-changing course named “Foundations of Practice”, I wrote a children’s book for adults and kids called “Kaleb Could Bounce”. It’s a story about a kangaroo who uses his tail instead of his legs, looking at his disability through a positive lens. Inspired by a “Credo for Support” by Norman Kunc and Emma Van Der Klift—pioneers in disability awareness and inclusion—I wrote the story as a childlike way to express my philosophy of support. I’ve learnt that people with disabilities want to live with respect, love, choices, inclusion and acceptance, as we all do.
Writing and publishing this book has been a fantastic learning curve for me. The hundreds of hours invested into the writing, illustrating, planning, publishing, and promoting of the book was worth every minute. Kaleb the Kangaroo has touched the lives of many friends, family and peers, and my hope for the book is that its message continues to be shared.
My hope on a larger scale is that we continue to accept and embrace different abilities, celebrate diversity, and that people with disabilities have equal opportunity, dignity and accessibility.
I’m currently in Australia visiting a surfboard, the waves, my family and friends, and I look forward to working in our Kootenay community in the New Year. The CCSW program has afforded me the opportunity to work in the classroom as an Education Assistant, or in the community as a Support Worker. My options are extensive and I’m extremely grateful to Selkirk College. My CCSW instructors were phenomenal mentors, and their influence has changed my life and future in wonderful ways.
Selkirk College has inspired me on a journey of learning and growth.