Ac­cess to lit­er­acy

CEN­TRE RE­DE­VEL­OP­MENT MAKES LIFE EAS­IER FOR DIS­ABLED PEO­PLE

Shepparton News - - SN NEWS - By De­clan Martin

The Kit­tles build­ing on Wyn­d­ham St has been given new life as Shep­par­ton Ac­cess’ ed­u­ca­tion cen­tre was of­fi­cially opened by Fed­eral Mem­ber for Mur­ray Damian Drum yesterday.

The cen­tre has two class­rooms fit­ted out with state-of-the-art touch-screen com­put­ers and will pro­vide more op­por­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple with dis­abil­ity to fur­ther their stud­ies.

Shep­par­ton Ac­cess chief ex­ec­u­tive officer Wendy Shanks said it had taken four years to get to this point. She said it was an im­por­tant project for the area with an in­crease of 15 per cent in the ser­vice’s users ev­ery year.

‘‘It’s a unique op­por­tu­nity and sig­nif­i­cant num­bers of peo­ple with dis­abil­ity are want­ing to en­rol in ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion cour­ses,’’ she said.

‘‘The wide va­ri­ety of cour­ses will pre­pare each per­son to build their knowl­edge and skills to be­come ac­tive mem­bers of the com­mu­nity and main­tain em­ploy­ment.’’

Shep­par­ton Ac­cess has owned the build­ing for four years but has faced some chal­lenges in com­plet­ing the re­de­vel­op­ment.

‘‘I re­mem­ber Kep­pel Turnour came into the build­ing and just shook his head, the build­ing had many ab­nor­mal­i­ties and the re­de­vel­op­ment is not with­out its chal­lenges,’’ Ms Shanks said.

The ed­u­ca­tion cen­tre is lo­cated above the EcoS­tore.

Ms Shanks thanked The Shep­par­ton Club, Greater Shep­par­ton Con­nected Com­mu­nity and Aus­tralia Post for do­na­tions which helped the pur­chase of spe­cialised tech­nol­ogy.

Mr Drum said the cen­tre would cre­ate path­ways to em­ploy­ment and peo­ple with dis­abil­ity had the right to ac­cess train­ing to help them suc­ceed.

Pic­tures: Julie Mercer

This is IT: Ser­vice user Katrina Nash (front) with Fed­eral Mem­ber for Mur­ray Damian Drum and Shep­par­ton Ac­cess chief ex­ec­u­tive officer Wendy Shanks.

Train­ing boost: Wendy Shanks and Damian Drum of­fi­cially open the ed­u­ca­tion cen­tre.

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