Having full-time employment at a local gardening centre is giving Kenneth the ability to build confidence, make new friends and achieve independence.
“Having a job has given me great company and teamwork … I enjoy the work, and it’s given me stability to move out of home and a purpose to earn a dollar,” says Kenneth, who lives with Asperger’s syndrome.
His sense of fun and focus on tasks at hand is also bringing a new dynamic and camaraderie to his workplace. His boss considers him a valued and reliable employee and colleagues call him “the Entertainer”, a reflection of his enjoyment for work and life.
Employment is also giving Kenneth independence. He has moved out of home, has his own car and his next goal is to save for a house.
For CVGT employment consultant Paul Monk, this success story is a familiar tale. Paul helped Kenneth secure employment through CVGT Australia’s Disability Employment Services (DES) program.
“Helping people have a purpose and feel they’re contributing is extremely satisfying. The ripple effects that gaining meaningful employment has on the wider community is significant,” Paul says. “Kenneth has come out of his shell and is conversing well with people; he is enjoying work and life.”
Debbie Benyon, owner of Peards Albury, has employed a number of people through CVGT Australia’s Albury branch.
Debbie’s experience with CVGT Australia aligns with this year’s theme for International Day of People with a Disability on December 3 – challenge the way you think about disability, and see the ability in disability.
“The staff we’ve employed through CVGT have all fit in well and are productive, reliable workers, who are helping our business grow,” she says.
Michael Keene from Jim’s Mowing in Wodonga also has three staff members from CVGT Australia.
“I don’t see them as disabled. They are just guys I believe in and trust, and are now a part of the business. As valued team members, they are allowing me to drive my business forward.”
Michael’s team includes Ethan and Craig. Ethan has Asperger’s syndrome, and Craig has fibromyalgia. Both worked with CVGT Australia DES business development consultant Dimitti Rae to gain employment.
“Having a job is more than just getting a pay check. It gives people a reason to get up each day. They are contributing to society, which helps build confidence and self-worth,” Dimitti says.
“I take my hat off to employers such as Michael and Debbie, who look past the barriers that some of the people we help have, and look at the person – to see the ability in disability.”
For Ethan, having a job helps him feel more mature and independent. “I don’t have to ask my parents for money. I’m saving to buy a car all on my own.”
For Craig, a job in lawn care has been a great catalyst. “Working means that I now have the motivation to do things. Even on my days off, I get to be active. My fibromyalgia is always there however, it is less painful the more active I keep.” For your employment solutions contact CVGT Australia on 132 848.
This article also appeared in the Border Mail on Thursday 3 December for International Day of People with Disability.