VisAbility and CoAct put Bridie’s work story on the big screen

Bridie Cole at work in the kitchen at Niro's Cafe in Kidz Paradise, Carlisle.
Bridie Cole at work in the kitchen at Niro's Cafe in Kidz Paradise, Carlisle.

KOONGAMIA resident Bridie Cole has featured in a film detailing the challenges she has faced trying to find a job as a young woman with only five per cent vision.

Mrs Cole (46) lost her sight in her thirties after she suffered a conversion disorder, which is similar to a stroke.

“I have never seen my vision impairment as a disability,” she said. “I know I am capable, I just needed to build my confidence.”

Mrs Cole completed a six-week training course through VisAbility’s employment program where she learned interview techniques and other vital skills.

She is currently employed by Niro’s Caf in Kidz Paradise, an indoor playground for children in Carlisle.

“I love my job, food is an escape, it relaxes me and is something I like to do,” she said. “I am very happy in my new role.”

Manager of Niro’s cafe Iris Loscher had nothing but praise for Bridie.

“I am proud to have Bridie as an employee,” she said.

“We love having her as a team member; her commitment to work is something which shines through in everything she does.”

Mrs Cole’s story premiered this week at the Hoyts Cinema at the Carousel Shopping Centre where she received the red carpet treatment.

It was part of the Change the Story Initiative organised by Victoria Park-based disability service provider VisAbility, in conjunction with disability employment service CoAct.

“It was fantastic to see my story come alive on a cinema screen,” Mrs Cole said.

“More importantly, I hope it’s a reminder that people with disabilities can make good employees.”

VisAbility program manager Carol Williams said it had been great to see Bridie blossom and grow during her training.

“Statistics show that people who have disabilities and are employed take less time off, are hard-working and are more heightened to health and safety issues.”

The four-and-a-half minute film was screened in front of prospective employers.