Who wouldn’t be thrilled to have Dylan Alcott as a disability support worker? Avid sports fan, Kai got to experience exactly that when the awesome Aussie Paralympian joined forces with Mable to become an independent to surprise people with disability across the country.
Dylan joined the profit-for-purpose online platform just before the COVID-19 lockdowns to surprise 12-year-old sports fan and Mable user, Kai Ferano, with support shooting three pointers at a local rec centre.
Kai’s mother, Charlotte, signed Kai up to the platform to find someone who could help improve his basketball and communication skills. Kai lives with a congenital genetic syndrome known as 1p36 deletion syndrome, characterised by mild intellectual disability. When Dylan Alcott met the Ferano family at the local basketball courts, Charlotte says Kai’s face ‘lit up’ with excitement.
“Not a day goes past where Kai isn’t running around with a ball in his hand! We often shoot hoops together, so when Dylan surprised him as a support worker to help with his ball skills, it was a real treat for Kai,” Charlotte says.
“Having access to support people who can discuss my son’s interests while working with him allows me to be more of a ‘mum’ and less of a ‘carer’. Even if it’s simply cooking a meal with him, Kai’s support workers need to know how to talk in sport terms, name players or discuss who kicked the winning goal in last season’s AFL series. They need to be interested in his interests or he’ll disengage.”
Dylan himself knows the importance of connecting with support workers on all levels after working with support people as a young child. It was his hired support workers that enabled Dylan to pursue his ambitions and become the tennis and basketball champion, DJ and businessperson he is today.
“Support looks different for everyone, from in-home care to experiencing activities you’re passionate about out in the community. For me, that was tennis, and I was lucky to have to support people available to me as a teen in order to go to lessons – hobbies and interests weren’t covered by providers back then,” he says.
Dylan will be continuing to go undercover and give support to Mable users throughout the rest of the year, virtually via the online platform and in-person once lockdown restrictions lift once more.
Find out more and register as a Mable user for your chance to have Dylan Alcott as your very own support worker at www.mable.com.au