100% Locally Owned, Independent and Free

100% Locally Owned, Independent and Free

How store is empowering locals living with a disability this festive season

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The talents of some hardworking residents are being celebrated ahead of the gift-giving season to recognise an important day on the calendar for people living with a disability.

December 3 marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPwD), a United Nations day that aims to promote community awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability.

The 2023 theme is “United in action to rescue and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals for, with and by persons with disabilities”.

It asks everyone to work together to make the world better and fairer for people with disability.

To coincide with the day, The Compass Institute is putting a spotlight on its Wabi Sabi Creations store – a treasure trove full of handcrafted items lovingly made by many of the people with disabilities, known as trainees, who attend the Compass campuses.

Compass marketing and communications coordinator Clare Bonamy said IDPwD was a reminder of the talents, capabilities and contributions of individuals with diverse abilities.

“This presents a beautiful opportunity to celebrate their creativity and skills by embracing their lovingly made products,” she said.

“By doing so, we not only show appreciation for their skills and abilities, but also foster a more inclusive and supportive society.”

A Compass program is helping people living with a disability to handcraft quality products to be sold to the public.

Australian statistics reveal that cases related to disability discrimination consistently rank highest among the various forms of discrimination reported to the Human Rights Commission.

“By actively embracing the talents and creations of individuals with a disability, we participate in reshaping the narrative around disability, emphasising abilities and creativity rather than limitations,” Ms Bonamy said.

The Compass Wabi Sabi Creations store includes handcrafted jewellery, pottery, chopping boards, hampers, paintings, ceramics and more, with all profits going back to supporting Compass trainees.

Handcrafted works are available from Wabi Sabi Creations.

“Amid the sea of mass-produced goods, these handcrafted items stand out not just for their uniqueness but for the story behind each creation,” Ms Bonamy said.

“They embody perseverance, creativity and the human spirit, serving as a poignant reminder of the talent and potential within every individual, regardless of their abilities.

“It also aligns perfectly with the essence of the holiday season: compassion, understanding and the joy of giving. And of course, as the trainees see their products sell, they experience an increase in their self-esteem, knowing they’ve contributed to society in a meaningful way.”

Compass trainees handcraft items that are sold to the public.

Currently, more than 90 staff support over 160 trainees across six campuses and a range of Compass-built social enterprises from Caboolture to Gympie.

Compass’s social enterprises include a fully functioning farm, retail outlet, commercial kitchen, assistance dog program, multiple cafes and more, all offering life-changing opportunities for young people with disabilities.

Find Wabi Sabi Creations at C-Square, 53-64 Currie Street, Nambour, or visit compassinc.org.au.

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