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Codie’s story

Codie, along with other members of Whakatāne Accessible and Inclusive, met with a reporter from the Whakatāne Beacon to walk the accessible footpath.

Making life happen

22-year-old Codie is focused on building a life for himself. He has always been focused and has always known that he wanted a career and independence. However, he has also felt the challenges that having his life affected by a disability can bring.

Codie’s communication is impacted by a medical condition, which means interacting with others, socialising, and getting things done is not always as easy, as it is for others.  However, Codie has found ways to overcome this. When first working with Your Way | Kia Roha Local Area Coordinator, Jeanette, she would encourage and model goal setting and vision planning. He researches and intentionally engages with others, who listen to his plan and actively want to get on board. Codie sets expectations for himself and works at these.  

This year Codie has studied full time towards his Level 6 Diploma in Software Development at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology and is achieving great marks. He looks well-placed to successfully complete his Diploma. Codie has again reviewed his plan and identified new goals for himself, including enrolling for 2023 study and seeking additional streams of funding and scholarships.

Codie achieved another goal this year, he holds his Full NZ Driver’s License!  He is now looking to upgrade his car, to something more reliable.

As Codie’s achievements have progressed, so have his goals. Codie recently became a member of local group Whakatāne Accessible and Inclusive. His plans had included contributing to his community – so when Jeanette suggested this group might be a good place to start, Codie was intrigued, but also a little hesitant. This was putting himself out there and taking a risk. He also thought it would possibly be more pressure, alongside his existing commitment to finishing his Diploma.

Jeanette suggested thinking through the possible benefits and risks, which Codie, his mum Jodie, and Jeanette worked through. The benefits included having a voice, sharing experiences, and supporting others that may be isolated. They also talked through strategies for mitigating the risks. These included Jeanette providing him with more information about the group, an introduction of its members, use of chat whilst in Zoom meetings (to ensure other members understood Codie’s responses) and Jeanette sitting in with him for several of his first group Zoom meetings.

Jeanette supported the bridging of Codie into the group, and suggested Codie might offer to create the group’s Facebook page.  After two Zoom meetings, Codie was much more comfortable. He had more information about the group, felt welcomed, and that he could contribute.  The group gladly accepted Codie’s offer to create their Facebook page.

More recently, the group invited the community paper, Whakatāne Beacon to write an article acknowledging the recent construction of a wide, accessible path. Codie went along, met members of the group in person, and spoke with the journalist.  Codie is enjoying being part of something bigger and is continuing to make the most of any opportunities despite fears and challenges.

Codie wants his life to feel good and he feels confident he can make it happen!

Thank you, Codie, for sharing your story.

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