Grape to meet you: Damien Watson, Infotech magician

How did you find out about I CAN?

I first heard about Chris’ Tedx Melbourne talk and then met him when he came to Coles to do his talk there. ‘I CAN’ was still just beginning at that time. I had just been diagnosed with Asperger’s and didn’t really know what ‘I CAN’ was, but I was keen to find out more.

What exactly is it you do at I CAN?

I am currently working in the ‘I Can Hub’ as the resident graphic designer / programmer. This means I am involved in interface design, designing logos, brochures, website design, website development and application development.

We are also designing and developing a networking tool that we are hoping to get out soon.

On ‘I CAN’ camps I am currently wearing the hat of Production Coordinator, looking after photos, video, interviews and all things technical. At the recent teens camp I helped facilitate a ‘game design’ workshop, which was received really well with all participants helping to design a game.

What is your autistic superpower

I can design and program at the same time! Being able to be both creative and analytical gives me the ability to innovate and discover solutions that may not be apparent to others. Pattern recognition, attention to detail, memory and the ability to focus for long periods of time also add an extra dimension to my skill set.

You received a community hero award, right?

I work for Coles in their IT department, last year they held a Community Hero event to recognize and support people working at Coles who were volunteering their free time to charities and organisations.

I made it to ‘Runner Up’ in my category, so Coles supported me for three days of paid work for I Can. This time was used to workshop the ‘I Can Networker’ which is still under development but will hopefully be coming soon.

Got a message for our readers?

I feel really strongly about people reaching their potential and more than anything I want to impart to everyone that you are important and special. There is so much negativity around us, in the news, people we know, at work or school that we can’t help but feel the weight of it.

“I believe that anything is possible!” This is what I said to Chris the day I met him and my belief hasn’t diminished. Surround yourself with a supportive network of good people, dream big and don’t be restricted by limiting what you think you can achieve.
Thanks for ‘listening’.

:Damien

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