Joshua, 21, was born with microphthalmos and sclerocornea, resulting in vision impairment in both of his eyes. He’s learned to live with his disability since birth, relying on a cane for mobility, and magnification and speech equipment to assist him with the use of various items.
Joshua has never let his disability stop him from achieving his goals, however. He successfully finished his HSC in 2019, before completing a Statement of Attainment in Administration Skills, Certificate III in Music, Certificate II in Retail Services, and Certificate III in Business Administration – all in the space of three years! Not only that, but Joshua also finds time to volunteer through Vision Australia and supports them with data entry tasks.
Despite his drive and professional presentation, Joshua wasn’t having any luck securing employment through his previous employment services provider. He and his family requested to be transferred to MTC’s Disability Employment Services (DES) at Cabramatta in June 2021, where he initially met with our Customer Experience Coordinator, Priscilla.
Priscilla arranged for Joshua and his father to meet Mimi, one of our DES Recruitment Partners, and they worked together to update his CV and create a reverse marketing plan. Things were going well, until the unexpected happened – Sydney was thrust into another lockdown, and Joshua had to be serviced virtually.
Throughout this challenging period, Joshua was supported via the use of Microsoft Teams and by phone, as Mimi continued to provide him with the motivation to remain focused on the light at the end of the tunnel. When things began to return to normal, Joshua was excited to engage in face-to-face contact again.
Joshua had a work benchmark of eight hours per week set for him, and him and Mimi got to work on finding a role that would be suitable for not only his condition, but his long-term goals.
Joshua was successful in obtaining interviews with a range of organisations, but found himself continually let down by potential employers when they met face-to-face, with hiring managers seeming hesitant on hire someone with his conditions. Mimi reassured him that the right fit was just around the corner, as she knew someone would appreciate his professionalism and work ethic.
Recently, Mimi met an employer in the aged care sector who operated in Bankstown – Your Aged Care at Home. This employer had already taken on another one of our customers, so Mimi arranged a meeting with their Operations Manager to discuss potential admin opportunities and go over Joshua’s skills and achievements.
The employer was immediately taken by the number of accomplishments that Joshua had ticked off in a short period of time, stating to Mimi: “I always have admin work and I can always make room for people like this.”
A Microsoft Teams meeting was set up on 1 August 2021 with the Operations Manager and Director, and they were extremely impressed with his presentation and communication skills. So much so, that he was offered a face-to-face interview three days later. Joshua was so eager that two days before the interview, he made a trip out to their office, without a support worker, to see how he could navigate around, and how long it would take him to get there.
The big day arrived, and Mimi headed into the interview with Joshua. The interview went for nearly 45 minutes, and towards the end, the employer uttered the magic words: “When can you start?” Joshua was ecstatic, and arranged to start work on the 9th!
Mimi then arranged for the provision of specialised magnification equipment for Joshua, which was supported by his new employer. An assessor has also been arranged through Job Access, who will visit his workstation to see what additional items will be needed for him to complete his daily tasks.
During this time, Joshua has been enjoying his new role and the responsibilities that come with it. Not only that, he’s made such an impression on his new employer that there is already talk of him progressing to a leadership role in their NDIS division!
This incredible outcome is not only a testament to Joshua for his determination to succeed, but to employers like Your Aged Care at Home, who believe in giving people living with disabilities the chance to achieve their goals and create the life they want to lead.