Spencer Park education assistant’s dedication to kids earns special education award

Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
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Spencer Park Education Support Centre education assistant Angie Young has been named an Australian Association of Special Education WA award winner.
Camera IconSpencer Park Education Support Centre education assistant Angie Young has been named an Australian Association of Special Education WA award winner. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

An Albany education assistant has been honoured for her dedication to helping every child find their voice with a WA special education award.

Spencer Park Education Support Centre’s Angie Young won the Australian Association of Special Education WA Chapter award on October 28.

The AASE is an organisation of education professionals advocating for students with disability across the country.

Ms Young was recognised for her “significant contribution to assisting schools to cater for students with special educational needs” and her “outstanding commitment to promoting quality educational strategies to advance the learning of all students”.

Since joining SPESC in 2009, she has built a reputation for her commitment to growing her professional skills to help children of all abilities communicate.

In her nomination, SPESC principal Rebecca Wheatley praised Ms Young for her drive for self-improvement and her willingness to help other staff improve their teaching practices.

Spencer Park Education Support Centre education assistant Angie Young.
Camera IconSpencer Park Education Support Centre education assistant Angie Young. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

“She has developed a comprehensive knowledge for those students with complex communication needs and has worked to empower all students to have a voice through access and support to various communication systems,” Ms Wheatley said.

“The passion she has is communicated positively to her colleagues, inspiring and exciting teachers, and education assistants on how they too can make learning accessible for all students.”

Ms Young said she believed everyone with complex communication needs had the right to be able to communicate with anyone, at any time.

“My passion is definitely augmentative and alternative communication. That means helping every student have a voice, and teaching or helping them to communicate effectively whether they are verbal or non-verbal,” she said.

“It is a human right to communicate, to give opinions and to be able to comment on things — such as likes and dislikes throughout the day — and just because a student can’t speak, that doesn’t mean they have nothing to say.

“At our school we encourage communication from all students, to give them a voice.”

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