Kate Giles

A portrait photo of Kate Giles
Kate Giles

My background is nursing and disability support. When I began losing my sight to retinitis pigmentosa, I decided to study journalism and creative writing. Travel and peoples' experience with disabilities is my main focus. I have been published in mainstream as well as the disability sectors. Reading, writing, going to the movies, dining out and travelling are my main interests.

I strive to live life to the fullest. I have many interests and love to travel. Writing about my experiences is also a passion. I especially want to encourage other people to be active by sharing my experiences.

Kate Giles's articles

Rain on a window.
Rain on window

I wanted to stay a little bit dry.

I had to go to town by bus. I put a plastic raincoat, or poncho, in my backpack. When I got to town it was windy and raining hard. With my limited vision, I tried to put on my poncho. I finally did. But wait. It was on back to front. I took it off and put it on properly. But a blast of wind ripped the poncho over my head and it flew away. A man gave it back to me. But I told him to keep it. I needed to buy an umbrella to try and stay a little bit dry.
1 comment - on 10/05/2012
A hand-held portable electronic magnifier.
portable electronic magnifier

The EAF may cover technology such as a portable electronic magnifier .

Some people with a disability may be scared of starting a new job. They may be worried they won't be able to work quickly. The Australian government helps people with a disability to start a new job. The government has a program called the Employment Assistance Fund. It provides free adaptive equipment such as telephones and screen readers to help a person do their job. You need to be working more than eight hours a week to receive any assistance. Anyone who works for themselves must work more than 20 hours a week.
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A picture of Davuth, his wife and two girls.

Davuth and his family.

I went to Cambodia for a holiday with my husband. Our guide and driver was Davuth. He took us to meet his wife and two children. His home was small but it had a tin roof. This helps to keep it dry when it rains heavily. We took many photos of the children and other villagers. Davuth told us amusing stories about snakes and spiders. But he also told us his family gets sick and it is expensive to see doctors and get treatment. Davuth would like to be a teacher. We promise to try and help Davuth and his family.
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A stack of self-help books.
self-help books

Can books offer a magic cure?

We all have problems in life. Some are small and some are big. When people have a problem they may enjoy reading a self-help book. These books give advice on how to live a healthy and happy life. But do they help? Psychologists say they can help. They have great information. But they are not a magic cure. Often a person must change things in their life. That can take hard work. If a person has a serious problem they may need to see a counsellor or psychologist. I enjoy reading self-help books. They give me good ideas.
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A selection of Chrismas cards. There are colourful images of Santa Claus and a snowman.
A selection of Christmas cards.

I send Christmas cards every year.

I send Christmas cards to family and friends every year. It takes time and effort to prepare the cards. I have a vision impairment. I need to make sure I put the stamps on the right corner of the envelope. I do this by contrasting the white envelope against a dark tablecloth. I use printed card labels to help me. My cards are also prepared in advance. I select cards from printing websites that let you create personalised cards. Preparing cards is hard work. It takes me three days to finish. But I am proud of my accomplishments.
1 comment - on 10/02/2012
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A drawing of a simple calendar showing the date May 1

A personalised calendar can make a great gift at Christmas

My son was excited by his Christmas present. It was a calendar. It had photos of cyclists including Cadel Evans. I took the photos myself. I also made the calendar. I think personalised calendars make great Christmas presents. Sometimes making calendars using adaptive technology can be challenging. But the hard work is worth it. It is very satisfying creating a unique and personalised gift.
2 comments - last comment on 09/12/2011
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Nick Vujicic is smiling. He has short cropped blonde hair and a beard, and is wearing a blue shirt.

Nick Vujicic: a "ridiculously good life"

I have just read Life Without Limits. The book was written by Nick Vujicic. Nick was born without arms or legs. He has an amazing spirit. Nick says he is living a "ridiculously good life". The book is about finding hope. Nick's stories are about how challenges can make us stronger. They can help us learn about who we are. The book has lots of great advice. Nick's goal is to encourage others to overcome their own challenges.
3 comments - last comment on 24/11/2014
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A close-up of someone using a guide cane
blind person walking using cane

My white cane was all the help I needed

I felt angry after boarding the tram. A lady had asked me if I needed help. I told her I was fine. But when the tram arrived two people lifted me onto it. I did not need their help. They had taken away my dignity. My friend Sandy feels the same about her friend. The friend keeps on coming over to do her housework. When people do things for us it can take away our independence. It can also affect our confidence and self-esteem. It is a common problem.
5 comments - last comment on 28/10/2011
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A drawing of a pink piggybank with a one dollar coin above its money slot.

We don't like to spend a lot of money.

My friend Gerda and I love going out. But we do not spend a lot of money. We have found ways of having fun at cheap prices. Free public transport helps. We also use discount vouchers. We recently went to Warrnambool on the train. We had a half price lunch using a shopping docket discount coupon. We had a great day. There are many different ways of getting discount coupons. They can help people save a lot of money. Using vouchers enables us to enjoy things that would otherwise be out of reach.
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A woman using a wheelchair is driving up a ramp and onto an accessible bus

Changes were quickly made after we stood up for our rights

People do not always treat me like they should. But I have learnt to stand up for my rights. Standing up can help bring about change. A good example is when a bus driver would not let my friend and I use my Companion Card. I complained to the bus company. The bus company wrote new rules to help customers with a disability. Kelly had a similar problem at a venue. She went to the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission. The venue had to change their policy and teach all their staff.
3 comments - last comment on 24/11/2014
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