Busselton music producer Kaleb Treacy has shared his story as part of a new social media series produced by Western Australia’s Individualised Services (WAIS) to show people living with a disability in the workforce.
The project The Lives We Lead – Worklife was born out of the need to break down the misconceptions about people with disability and instead highlight how they are valuable members of the workforce with a significant contribution to make.
The Lives We Lead project coordinator Geraldine Mellet said there was story after story.
“WAIS and People With Disabilities WA, Youth Disability Advocacy Network and Women with Disabilities WA, wanted to do something that would challenge people’s perceptions around the capacity of people with disabilities,” she said.
Ms Mellet said the first half of the project showcased people and their contributions in all aspects of their lives and the second part focused on people’s work lives in regional WA.
“There is a phrase that people have often mentioned to me – the tyranny of low expectations.
“People want to be seen for what they can do, not what they can’t. People are as individual as everyone else, they have a range of talents, skills and interests.”
Ms Mellet said one gentleman, who is a highly skilled nurse, had never got a job through an interview, because of his autism.
“He said that getting through a typical interview was really difficult, so the way he went about getting a job was to seek work experience or a trial,” she said.
“Every time he has done that he has got the job.
“He said to employers that they need to think outside the box because there are so many advantages to employing someone with a disability, the evidence is there.”
The episode featuring Mr Treacy was filmed at his Busselton studio in January and was released to the public last week.
Ms Mellet said Kaleb absolutely epitomized what the project was about – talent, skill, hard yakka and ingenuity.
“But more than that, Kaleb is all about helping others, in his case musicians, to reach their dreams,” she said.
“We want the community to see not just the diversity of jobs people with disabilities are doing, but what a difference they are making.
“And Kaleb is helping local artists produce beautiful music that will have a life of its own.”
Mr Treacy has run Imocean Studio for 10 years, after it began as a hobby while he was studying at the Southern College of Music and teaching himself online.
“I was always good with computers and knew my passion lied in music so I’ve slowly chipped away at it since leaving high school. Nothing’s better than doing what you love,” he said.
Mr Treacy said his story focused on perspective and how people should be more open minded towards disability.
“I have always been a massive supporter of disability awareness and how anything is possible if you put your mind to it,” he said.
“I find that people aren’t sure how to take me at first if they haven’t been around disability before.
“Don’t assume until you know I guess – it’s more about what we can do rather than what we can’t.”
Since opening his studio Mr Treacy takes on various projects including all kinds of genres from a ballad all the way to heavy metal.
“At the moment I’m working with indie and rock artists,” he said.
“I’ve also recently opened up more as a mix engineer so musicians are sending me tracks to mix that they’ve recorded elsewhere which is always pretty cool to do.”