Shire of Plantagenet documentary Celebrating Ability on local residents with disabilities premieres Thursday

Headshot of Kasey Gratton
Kasey GrattonAlbany Advertiser
Karen Woltering is one of the subjects of the documentary.
Camera IconKaren Woltering is one of the subjects of the documentary. Credit: Shire of Plantagenet

A documentary focusing on Plantagenet residents who live with disabilities will premiere in Mt Barker on Thursday.

The documentary, titled Celebrating Ability, features four residents of the Shire of Plantagenet who share their experiences of living with disability.

Karen Woltering is one of the subjects of the documentary and said she hoped its release would help raise awareness of the challenges faced by people who live with disabilities.

“Through awareness, I hope that there’s a lot more understanding of the difficulties people go through on a daily basis,” she said.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.


“I think sometimes when you have a disability you can have a little bit more pressure or anxiety, so it creates more understanding for people in general of daily challenges.”

Ms Woltering lives with a hearing impairment and shares how this affects her daily life in the documentary.

“I’ve talked about the problem I actually have with my hearing and how my long-term prognosis is potentially a cochlear ear implant,” she said.

“And about how it has affected me throughout my life, and how I’m actually committed to. . . overcoming some of that.”

According to the most recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, from 2018, there are 4.4 million people living with disability in Australia, or 17.7 per cent of the population.

The Shire of Plantagenet has a disability advisory group which provides advice and feedback on matters relating to access and inclusion, on behalf of those living with disabilities in the area.

The informal committee has previously worked to initiate infrastructure and building audits, as well as setting up advocacy services, and planning events for International Day of People with Disability.

The idea for the documentary began when the group first raised the idea of developing a disability awareness campaign in 2021.

Celebrating Ability will launch on Thursday at 3.30pm at the Mt Barker Community Resource Centre and will be simultaneously live-streamed on the Shire of Plantagenet Facebook page.

Ms Woltering will introduce the video, and a Q&A session will be held with the documentary’s subjects.

“Being made aware of what people go through on a daily basis has just allowed me to advocate, I suppose, a little bit more, or look at things in a different perspective to what I normally would have,” Ms Woltering said after watching the documentary.

“When you actually learn about some of the plights that people go through on a daily basis, it does help you open your eyes to the different difficulties people have. “

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails