Grace Handshaker graduated from the University of Newcastle and has joined the Everyday Independence Western Sydney team.
Grace believes spending some quality time getting to know her participants and families is important. She enjoys finding out about her participants dreams and goals which they may never have had the opportunity to put in words before. Grace considers it a privilege to play a part in supporting her participants’ communication skills to help make their dreams become a reality.
Why did you become a Speech Pathologist?
I feel like I’ve really grown into my role as a Speech Pathologist. If you’d have told me half the things that I do and see on a daily basis when I was an undergraduate I would have not believed you! But I wouldn’t have it any other way; best job in the world if you ask me!
Everyday Independence is committed to person centred practice. What does that mean to you?
The thing that I love the most about person centred practice is throwing out the outdated ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach and really coming alongside to support the individual and embracing what makes them unique. Not only does this make the service more personal but it also gets participants more excited and motivated to work towards their goals.
In your day to day role you support participants to achieve their goals. What is your biggest achievement and how did you get there?
As a Speech Pathologist I help support participants at various stages of life. One experience that will always stick with me was working to support my very first participant with Motor Neurone Disease to communicate their final messages to their loved ones using an eye gazing tracking device that would generate speech in this client’s voice using recordings that we had made earlier. This particular participant had lost the ability to speak due to their disease. Their family could not express their gratitude enough and they were able to share some very precious moments together that wouldn’t have otherwise occurred without this device.
Working in the disability sector can be challenging. What are three things you do to unwind?
I do enjoy ordering Uber Eats and watching movies. What better way to unwind! Exercising is also a big part of my life and having grown up on the coast, spending time at the beach always makes me feel at ease.