Lawson Community Day Program
We aim to promote inclusion, encourage independence, and build self-confidence. We work with each individual to build an extensive variety of activities and programs to meet their unique needs and personal goals.
At our Lawson Community Day Program, we offer a variety of meaningful programs and activities. We link adults who have a disability to leisure, recreation, practical learning and volunteer opportunities. The Lawson team has a passion for empowerment and inclusion of all people living with a disability and as leaders in this area, are forward-thinking and continually developing their skills to remain so.
2016 our Lawson Community Day Project, along with participants at our Katoomba Community Day program with the support of a local artist, worked on a mosaic installation in two local parks in Katoomba, showcasing the unique creative abilities of people with disability.
Catching public transport is a general way of life for some people and our participants at Lawson are no different - our staff support participants to catch public transport (trains) to access their community on a daily basis. Lawson staff are leaders in this area – a number of participants now have the skills and confidence to do so independently.
Our participants at Lawson and Katoomba continue to participate in and contribute to the local community, but running the Community Connexion Café each Monday. The NADO participants who work at the Café are continually improving their skill levels, initiative and sense of responsibility. The Café allows them to contribute to their community in a meaningful way, it provides them with a community presence as well as independence, social interaction and etiquette.
One of the most important elements Connexion Café provides is that it breaks down barriers. Regular customers and community members have been able to witness firsthand the capabilities of people with a disability.
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|Practical Learning Recreational Activities (Sailability, day trip including ferry trips into the city)
Lawson Community Day Program is located at 281 Great Western Highway, Lawson.
Christine has been working at the Café for one year and said that she loves working at the café and is very proud to showcase her hospitality skills. Christine stated her favourite times are when she is greeting patrons who attend the café and serving them yummy cakes and having a chat, “that makes me happy” she said.
Mandy works as a volunteer at The Blue Mountains Women’s Health Centre weekly. Initially, NADO supported Mandy to do this, however, Mandy now independently volunteers. Mandy wanted to improve her computer skills and is being supported to attend TAFE.
Clarisa and Lexi volunteer at the Springwood Community Lunch on Tuesdays, with Clarisa now volunteering at Springwood independently.
Joshua commenced a 1:1 work experience program at the Leura Health Food Shop and he is now a paid casual.
Suzanne Giordano is our Blue Mountains Coordinator covering both Lawson and Katoomba and is one of NADO’s longest employee’s celebrating 20 years. Working as a Coordinator in the Blue Mountains has givens Suzanne valuable insight into the issues individuals face as they strive for a better life. There are many reasons why Suzanne continues to work with people who have a disability, she loves the challenge of helping someone to be happy, gain confidence and make progress. To Suzanne, it is a privilege and an honour to work with our participants and help them reach their full potential. It’s a pursuit that is meaningful, fulfilling, highly enjoyable and lots of fun.
As Team Leader at Lawson, Jim Burgess has worked in the disability sector all his working life starting as a trainee psychiatric nurse at the age of 17. Jim held many different roles in different situations over the past 45 years. Almost 25 years working in a large institution and leaving there after 7 ½ years as a Director of Nursing. Jim left to work in group homes in the community because he strongly believed that the institution did not meet the needs of people with an intellectual disability. Jim worked in group homes for over 13 years before starting work with NADO at Lawson where he is now the Team Leader.
Jim has seen many changes over the past 45 years and has always supported the right of the person with a disability to be seen as an individual with abilities that need to be identified and supported to empower them and allow them to become a valued member of their community.
Jim enjoys coming to work every day knowing he is making a difference to the lives of the people he works for and to see them meeting their goals and being part of their community.