Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. HereÔŅĹs how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.


 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate

Subscribe!
Subscribe





On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.
___________

Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

Further reflections on the ABCís Employable Me

By Bill Gamack - posted Monday, 16 April 2018


Watching the second episode of Employable Me last night inspired me to write another reflection piece. Last night we met three new job seekers on the autism spectrum- Krystyna, Jonathan and Ben. Being welcomed into their lives came with a host of new, valuable insights.

We explored themes of hope, connection and acceptance, and understanding and uncovering strengths. In particular, what struck me about last night’s episode was a consistent theme that emerged from job seekers’ responses to the question, ‘why do you want a job?’

Jonathan’s response was, “I want to achieve financial self-sufficiency, I want to find a wife and have a few kids, I want to become a philanthropist.”

Advertisement

Ben said, “I need to learn to survive in the big wide world. Having a job is the next step in life. It’s time to give back to society; I can start paying taxes, I can have a voice.”

Krystyna said, “I want to get into the workforce like most people, earn money and be able to lead a normal live. I want to lead a life where I am not handicapped by my condition”.

Krystyna also stated that having a job would give her something to live for, give her more self-worth and dignity.

These messages were so relatable, and I think the core theme from these candid responses is clear: people with disability want what any of us want, and they have dreams for their future.

This reminded me of a phrase I’ve heard bandied around in NDIS circles, and that’s working towards ‘a life more ordinary’.

People might not think an ‘ordinary life’ is anything to aspire to, but for people with disability who long to be on an even playing field, it is everything. And Employable Me is all about how we take steps to achieve that goal. 

Advertisement

Another observation I made from last night’s episode was that several of the job seekers were placed in seemingly ‘mismatched’ jobs, namely Krystyna in a retail environment and Ben in a parking inspector role.

At first glance it’s easy to say, ‘that’s not the environment in which that person will flourish’ and it could well be true. But the reality for all of us, including people with disability, is that we learn a lot from being in different environments and having different experiences.

When Ben spent a day as a parking inspector he was outside of his comfort zone. Despite working in an unpredictable and confronting work environment, Ben appeared to learn a lot. It would have been easy to never have put him in that situation to begin with.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All


Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

5 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with del.icio.us Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Bill Gamack has been CEO of disability employment not-for-profit EPIC Assist for four years, and is passionate about helping people with disability secure meaningful, sustainable work. Bill also has family experience with disability, and understands the challenges faced by participants and families in seeking the services needed to achieve success.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Bill Gamack

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Photo of Bill Gamack
Article Tools
Comment 5 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend
Advertisement

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy