Home' The Canberra Times : Chronicle 27.9 Contents THE CHRONICLE, Tuesday, September 27 2011 - 3
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Words inspire recording of belief
Disability group works hard
to make everyone included
Cherie Kotek works with adults with disabilities in the Connections@Cooleman program and they have just made
Picture: Elesa Lee
SINGERS and songwriters dream of
the day their work will be recorded for
the world to hear and a group of adults
with disabilities have just made that
dream a reality.
Connections@Cooleman is a Com-
munities@Work program for adults
with disabilities living in the Weston
Creek and Tuggeranong regions.
The group recently took part in
music activities and had the oppor-
tunity to write their own songs using
their favourite words and phrases.
Cherie Kotek teaches the group
music and was heavily involved in the
"We do song writing together as a
group," she said.
Ms Kotek wanted to give them the
experience of recording a CD, so with
the help of her band Three Quarters
Hazel and Ian Pav from Pavmusic, she
worked with the group to put the songs
together for recording.
''They loved it absolutely, it was so
awesome,'' she said.
The group practised hard and Con-
Carol Lilleyman said they put a lot of
energy and enthusiasm into the project.
Respite Options ACT coordinator
Leeanne Lee said many of the adults
felt totally excluded from the com-
munity and the program was a great
way to give them independence, but
also to feel part of something.
''In this group they get to socialise
with each other and they've got
varying abilities and disabilities,'' she
''We recently had a survey of what
they benefit from most from the
program and it's been the friendships
that they've made and the increase in
Ms Lee believes the music and
movement has proven to be very
effective for the group.
''Cherie's been doing it for ages and
she's so good at it,'' she said.
''We also have a Celtic lady who
comes in and does folk dancing and it's
catered specifically to their abilities.''
When the idea came about that the
group should record a CD, Ms Lee said
there was a lot of excitement.
Since then the group has been very
casual about their success and are
looking for more ways to achieve.
The group, which has activities on
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, is
now undertaking a look good, feel
good program focusing on cooking and
Participants also learn computer
skills, craft, art and new talents.
The living skills and leisure activi-
ties provided by Connections@Coole-
man are designed in consultation with
the participants to ensure the program
is meeting the needs of the group.
All clients are assessed against the
Home and Community Care criteria
for the provision of services. For
more information about Con-
Carol Lilleyman on 6126 9000
or visit www.commsatwork.org
We need to perform
1 ,000 operations each month
Donate now to help us continue Fred's work.
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