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Posted On: 6th Feb 2018

Different is Amazing

Fixer Kate Grant
Kate enjoys modelling in her spare time
Mary McCann from USEL

‘My Fixers project is about changing opinions on disability. Everyone is equal. Businesses should open their doors to everyone.’


Tired of society looking down on people with disabilities, a young woman with Down's syndrome is campaigning with Fixers to show that others like her are just as capable as anybody else.


Often modelling in her spare time, Kate Grant, 19, from Cookstown, County Tyrone, wants people, including employers, to give those with disabilities a chance to show what they can do.


Her story was broadcast on UTV.


‘I love modelling,’ she says.  ‘I love doing my hair and make-up and I’m going to a beauty pageant this July.


‘I have done Belfast Fashion Week before. It was amazing and a good thing for me. I want to show people that they can do anything too.’ 



Kate’s mum, Dierdre, features in the broadcast to explain some of the issues people with disabilities can encounter.


‘One of the main obstacles is people's understanding of those with disabilities,’ she says.


‘Some people have a lack of knowledge of the capabilities that people with disabilities have. 


‘And with Down's syndrome in particular, you have the facial characteristics so people just assume that Kate isn’t capable of even answering a question.’


Mary McCann, Operations Manager at Ulster Supported Employment and Learning (USEL), is supporting Kate's campaign.


She adds: ‘In general in Northern Ireland I think we’re becoming better, we’re becoming more aware.  We have some phenomenal employers who are real champions for ability.


‘I’d like to see all employers really actively look to employ and recruit people with disabilities and health conditions so that they can be reflective of who it is that’s in the labour market.


‘Kate’s campaign is amazing. She has really empowered so many young people to get to where they need to be and to follow their dreams.  We need more people to follow in her footsteps and really trail blaze.’


Kate adds: 'I want to tell young people to trust yourself and believe in yourself and remember, different is amazing.’


To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.



Author: N. Farooq


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