Meet James Rossiter, he is employed at Caboolture Indoor Sports Centre where his lifelong passion for cricket has proved a great asset in his working role.
James has autism and an intellectual disability, he started working at the centre with a great deal of support, which has now been reduced. James is also now travelling to and from work using public transport.
A keen and talented cricketer himself, James and his father founded Caboolture Disability Indoor Cricket. James has played indoor cricket at local, state and national levels. Combining a love of sport with employment is working very well for James.
In the photo above, James is receiving the Individual Achievement Award at Autism Queensland’s 2016 Creative Futures Recognition Awards.
Alex Walsh has been working in the lighting design team at the Brisbane Powerhouse for several months and enjoys his role tremendously.
Alex says: “Lighting can change everything; it doesn’t simply light up a space. It’s like wearing a different pair of glasses, it can create different perspectives; unique shapes and illusions.”
“I can’t think of working anywhere I would enjoy as much as here.”
Assisting Alex to ready himself for employment then attain and maintain his job has been a process that took two years, and the support of a dedicated employment consultant, Sam.
Simon Cook of the Powerhouse lighting department says:
“Sam has helped us understand how to support Alex, and what he needs to thrive at work. We’ve adapted our communication to match in with Alex’s needs; to make sure we’re being clear and concise, and presenting information in the best way possible.”
You can read a longer version of Alex’s story here.
Starting a job part-time whilst still at school is a terrific way to step into employment, and support is available to help school student find work.
In Year 11. Lachlan Ward Curran commenced a part-time traineeship with Woolworths, with assistance from an employment support worker.
Lachlan has been enjoying his work a great deal, and his managers are happy with his progress both in doing his store work and in his interactions with customers. Lachlan’s support in the workplace is being pulled back at a pace which enables him to maintain his success.
Zach Zaborny has not only gained a terrific job, he’s done so in Australia which is half a world away from his hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona.
Zach is a Disability Liaison Officer with EPIC Assist, he helps people with autism find employment, working with business large and small. Zach is a regular public speaker promoting the positive aspects of employing people on the spectrum.
Zach was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome when he was eight years old. After school he did a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications, graduating in 2012.
Zach says: ‘There’s a long list of reasons why companies should hire people with ASD, including loyalty, strong attention to detail, and an ability to focus well.’
‘Individuals with autism can often be experts in many unique and specialised areas, which can be a great asset for businesses that are looking for someone who can meet a very specific set of skills.’
James, Alex and Lachlan all gained their jobs with the assistance of EPIC Assist, a veteran of the disability employment sector. Now with 400 employees and 50 service centres, EPIC Assist has offices in Queensland, ACT, Victoria and Tasmania and will offer support in NSW in 2017.
At EPIC Assist (EPIC), we know the importance of employment in a person’s life. It underpins much of our wellbeing; providing us with social interaction, financial freedom, increased confidence and a sense of purpose. But too often, people with disability are underestimated, and are not expected to achieve highly in our society.
At EPIC, we are passionate about raising expectations. We believe everyone has a right to work, and we know that disability doesn’t mean you can’t find a job that you love.
EPIC has been helping people with disability secure meaningful, sustainable employment for almost 30 years, and we have been delivering NDIS funded work preparation since mid-2014. We understand the importance of staying on the participant’s journey for as long as they need us. We don’t walk away; we provide on-the-job, individualised support for each and every person.
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