How Tasha uses technology to communicate and create

29 January 2020

Showcasing the power of support and technology, Tasha Paddy lives with cerebral palsy while pursuing an impressive career in graphic design.

Assistive technology plays an important role in the life of 31-year-old Tasha Paddy from the Katherine region in NT, as it allows her to both communicate and work.

While Tasha has cerebral palsy, living with the challenges of being non-verbal and in a wheelchair, that hasn’t stopped her from pursuing her goals.

For the past seven years, Tasha has received Active Daily Living (ADL) Supports from Life Without Barriers, which supports her with everyday tasks like cooking and cleaning, accessing the community and activities she enjoys, which is how she discovered a particular talent for web and graphic design. Through assistance technology, Tasha explains that she enjoys design because she can do it on her tablet device, which she has become quite accustomed to.

With the support of Life Without Barriers, Tasha was later connected with NT Friendship & Support – another service provider dedicated to assisting people with disability in the Katherine area. With Tasha’s creative skills impressing the team, they soon offered her a position on staff, where she has since thrived as their in-house graphic and web designer.

In addition to her role at NT Friendship & Support, Tasha has since extended her skills to launch her own business. Named ‘Upa Girl’ after the Indigenous Urapunga (‘Upa’) Station community she is a proud member of, Tasha’s business includes selling her designs printed on T-shirts, pens, iPhone cases and other stationery via RedBubble.

As anyone with a business will tell you, starting out takes courage, let alone with the challenges of a disability. But Tasha’s commitment to her craft and has not only seen her succeed as a businessowner, it was also recently recognised at the Inaugural Katherine Disability Awards, where Tasha took home an Appreciation Award for design work with NT Friendship Support.

“The team and I are so proud of Tasha and her resilience and eagerness to do well and strive for great things despite many physical boundaries,” says Rose Daniel, the Life Without Barriers Program Coordinator at the site where Tasha lives.

However, Tasha humbly attributes her achievements to her supportive family, who have always been a great source of encouragement.

“I must say my Mum and Dad has been a great inspiration to me, they never gave up on me or my dreams,” Tasha explains through her device. “No matter what I do, I know my family and friends got my back. I want to say a big thank you to my family and friends from Urapunga, in fact everybody who stood by me. I love you mob, my family.”

Life Without Barriers is very proud to feature a Shoutout to Tasha, who embodies our values of courageous and imaginative.

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