Linking in action: Kason's story
We took a drive up to Gunnedah last week to visit our Linker team at Winanga-Li Aboriginal Child and Family Centre Gunnedah (winah-nah-lee) who are doing some great work in their community to empower and transform the lives of Aboriginal people, young and old.
It was a hot one when we arrived in Gunnedah, seriously HOT, yet the positive energy being generated by Winanga-Li was clear.
Winanga-Li is a gathering place for Aboriginal families from the Gunnedah region to connect, grow and learn together, strengthening Aboriginal identity and community. We immediately got the vibe our Linkers wanted to talk about one special little human in particular, Kason.
Kason is a young fella born profoundly deaf, now with 2 bilateral cochlear implants, as well as having Shah Waardenburg syndrome, which leads to low muscle tone. Linker Sarah has been working with Kason for many years and through advocating and support, Sarah and Kason’s family have been able to make some massive strides forward in improving outcomes for this cheeky young man.
Kason’s mum Diana sought support from Ability Links NSW so Kason could study Auslan as another form of communication when speech can’t be used. The benefit for Kason moving forward is being able to fluently sign enables him to be more connected to the wider deaf community. He would be bilingual at a young age which is a fantastic thing! Being in a rural community, access to services can be very difficult, or almost impossible, however working together Sarah and Diana were able to set Kason up, via an online hub, to the Royal Institute for Blind Children’s Teleschool. Kason has taken to it with real gusto and being able to communicate in sign has filled him with more confidence and self-esteem.
Sarah has also been instrumental in connecting Kason to services that are also going to help him develop his gross and fine motor skills. There has been occupational therapy, exercise and the goal this year is to work on getting Kason into more aqua therapy.
Having the opportunity to access services that will transform Kason’s life in a positive way has warmed the hearts of everyone within the community. This young fella is a ray of light around Gunnedah and his future is looking like one that is filled with progress and a whole heap of happiness.
Well done Kason, Mum, our amazing Linker Sarah and the whole Linker team at Winanga-Li Aboriginal Child and Family Centre Gunnedah.