SSI News Blog

Engagement officer for Autism Spectrum Australia (ASPECT) Thomas Kuzma is developing his online business — TK Hubworld — with the support of IgniteAbility® Small Business Start-ups.

 A young man is captured while giving a public speech.

Thomas Kuzma is an engagement officer for autism and advocates for other young people living with autism.

 IgniteAbility® is a pilot program established by SSI to facilitate business creation for people with a disability who want to establish a small business or expand an existing one.

Mr Kuzma was diagnosed on the autism spectrum when he was a mere 16-year-old. Ever since, he has been an advocate for young people on the spectrum through a variety of roles and initiatives.

From being a professional MC at significant events to sitting on panels on SBS current affairs Insight program and ABC’s Triple-J radio, Mr Kuzma is well positioned to mentor others and share his experiences and insights.

“As someone on the autism spectrum, I am passionate about supporting other young people who have had to go through the same lived-experience as me,” Mr Kuzma said.

More recently, Mr Kuzma focused his efforts on using gaming as a means to assist others on the spectrum.

“By using a medium that people on the spectrum love, such as gaming, they will better understand the world that they inhabit,” he said.

The platform creates content in a range of forms, including short videos, and promotes gaming as a safe space for people on the spectrum while still providing a social element where they can engage with others.

With the support of his IgniteAbility® facilitator, Mr Kuzma has been able to rationalise his business’ value proposition and has identified that gaming can provide a level of confidence and mastery that can be difficult for a person on the spectrum to experience in real life.

“TK Hubworld seeks to provide, through its creative content, a metaphorical bridge to meaningful participation in the real world through gaming,” he said.

IgniteAbility® has been inspired by the success of the Ignite® Small Business Start-ups model and is tailored to address barriers and meet the specific needs of entrepreneurs with a disability, providing an ecosystem of support for aspiring entrepreneurs.

To date, 30 IgniteAbility® businesses have been successfully established.

To follow Thomas' journey follow TK Hubworld on Facebook.

Click here to watch Thomas featured on SBS News as part of an episode for World Autism Awareness Day. 

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SSI Volunteer Spotlight: Sue Vile

Courtesy The Australian: Ethiopian refugee Adi Tefera, left, with volunteer chef Kate Spina at Four Brave WomenSue Vile was among the first to be inducted into the SSI’s Armidale volunteer program, bringing with her a wealth of experience and existing training gathered from her time in aid work, in Australia and abroad.

A retired school teacher and nurse, Sue has dedicated an enormous amount of her time in recent years on the front line of humanitarian services, helping refugees at many stages of their journey to safety.

 

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