How a container recycling scheme is empowering people living with disability. Josh Turner remembers the first time he was paid after starting work at the Good Sammy container deposit depot.
"Honestly, it was awesome. I felt like I'd earned it," he said. "I felt like I did put in some effort and this is the reward that I got and I was just hyped. " Mr Turner is neurodiverse and previously had only been able to work in volunteering roles. He said getting his first paid job had made a great difference in his life. "And I even have another circle of friends that I play Dungeons and Dragons with, so I'm really branching out now. " Mr Turner said he loved the camaraderie and mutual support of working within a team. As a natural introvert, he said the job had helped him to develop confidence and improve his social skills by working directly with the public.
When Bobby Pate makes you coffee he'll do his best to put a smile on your face. Bobby Pate wiggles his eyebrows comically as he hangs his head out of the passenger window of a newly purchased Kombi van, parked on the front lawn of his family's Clayfield home in northern Brisbane.
It's a quirky talent that never fails to trigger a smile on the face of whoever he's with. The aqua kombi, converted into a coffee van, is Bobby's next big adventure. "Come on! Let's see my van. Looks stunning, hey? " Bobby is giving a guided tour of the vintage van. Over the coming months, with his family's help, it will become Bobby's business venture. There are plans to sell coffee and sometimes flowers from Stradbroke Island to the Scenic Rim. According to his parents, Tracy and Stephen, Bobby has come a long way since he was born with Down syndrome and serious health problems 20 years ago. Drag queen Dizzy Bility's shining a glamorous spotlight on disability in the arts.
Dizzy Bility is a drag queen from Sydney who wears hearing aids and is legally blind.
Instead of letting that hold her back, she has made it part of her glamorous act and hopes to change perceptions along the way. "I was a dancer growing up, and even though I couldn't hear the music very well I just worked hard at remembering and staying in time," she says. "You just learn how to do it in a way that makes sense for you. " Dizzy was born with Usher Syndrome type 2, a condition characterised by partial or total hearing loss and vision loss that worsens over time. Performance artist Hanna Cormick on disability, climate change and why the way we make art needs to change. Interviewing Hanna Cormick requires one to embrace an elastic relationship with time.
The performance artist has what she describes as a "trifecta of conditions" — Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome — that affects her joints, organs and ability to stand. She also has severe allergic reactions — including anaphylaxis — to various foods, smells, temperatures, vibrations and chemicals. Since September 2015, Cormick has been living in a positive pressure air-sealed safe room in Canberra. Disabled talent drive innovation, shareholder value and business performance. Prue Hawkins says she "couldn't find a job to save her life", after graduating from a top law school.
Ms Hawkins has brittle bone disease and, as a wheelchair user, found it difficult to access buildings. She also faced discrimination because of her disability. "You can cut my job options in half because I can't get in the building, or I can get in the building but there's no toilet I can access," she says. Barriers people living with disability face finding work under microscope at royal commission, as Olivia finds purpose in employment.
For Olivia Sidhu, having a job that pays a proper wage is the "greatest achievement" of her life.
Key points: The disability royal commission has heard that more than 50 per cent of people with disability of working age were unemployedAdvocates have proposed the introduction of targets for employers to hire people with disabilityEmployers say people living with disability bring a different perspective to the workplace The 22-year-old Sydney woman lives with Down syndrome and has begun working part-time for an inner-city architecture firm.
The highs and lows of travelling in regional areas when you have a disability. When I became an ABC Regional Storyteller Scholarship recipient, based in Geraldton in Western Australia, I knew that my disability would obviously have some impact on the role.
COVID-19 has provided more work from home opportunities for those living with a disability. After 15 years out of the workforce, Samantha Spence was overjoyed when she finally found a job — and surprisingly, she has COVID-19 to thank for it.
The shift to remote and flexible working during the pandemic has created new job opportunitiesSamantha Spence lives with multiple sclerosis and needs to work from homeShe found a job in February after months of searching While the pandemic has caused job cuts for many, it has also led to new opportunities for some Australians living with a disability. The shift towards flexible and remote working has given people who cannot physically attend a site or office the chance to join the workforce. Mrs Spence, 57, decided 18 months ago she was ready to return to work after spending years learning how to manage the symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS).
Mrs Spence has worked in retail management, interior decorating, and as a dental nurse, but despite her extensive experience, she struggled to find a suitable position. Groundbreaking WA study shows early intervention therapy can drastically reduce autism diagnosis in children. Early intervention with infants at risk of autism through therapy led by their parents improves the child's social development to such an extent they are two-thirds less likely to meet the clinical criteria for an autism diagnosis, according to world-first research by the Telethon Kids Institute.
Key points: Study finds early intervention reduces autism-related behaviours in childrenThe findings are a 'true breakthrough moment' according to research leadProviding support very early in life can alter developmental trajectories The groundbreaking study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, is the first time pre-emptive intervention with children as young as one or two has been shown to so significantly reduce autism-related behaviours. Preconceived notions see drop in employment for people with disability, advocates warn. Getting a driver's licence was a big step to independence for 26-year-old Michaela Jones.
But the next big step — a job — has remained out of reach. She thinks it's no fault of her own, but rather employers' perceptions of her disabilities and what she is capable of. Oliver Hetherington-Page says his experience of autism doesn't fit the pop culture mould. I'm not Sheldon Cooper. I am, however, autistic, which means I'm constantly compared to him. This is ironic because according to the producers of The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon Cooper isn't actually autistic. And yet my autism is constantly compared – and seemingly failing to live up – to this fictional character. Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) is obsessed with trains and can recite the periodic table. I can't stand public transport and the only thing I can recite is musical theatre lyrics. Frustrated with autism advice for her son, Tammy packed up her family for a trip around Australia. As a little boy, Bailee Baxter was told he would never live independently or drive a car.
Key points: Bailee Baxter has an intellectual impairment and autism and is learning carpentryHe is building wooden boxes to sell at local markets to gain employment skillsHis mum, Tammy, says he has defied doctors' predictions that he would never live independently At 22, the Gladstone man, who has an intellectual disability as well as autism, has defied doctors' expectations: he lives in his own flat, has his driver's licence, and is going to sell his wooden creations at the local markets. "I got into it from high school. Then I joined a group that does woodwork … then something clicked in my head. People with vision impairment still face discrimination when looking for work, survey finds. When Lee Chong tried to find a workplace that would support her disability and see her as a "whole person", the experience left her feeling "deflated and defeated".
Key points: People with vision impairment face "institutional systematic barriers" to finding employment, a survey has found83pc of Australian businesses lack confidence in hiring someone with a vision impairmentA business where nearly 10pc of employees report having a disability says a more diverse team is more successful The 49-year-old, originally from Malaysia, was diagnosed with the degenerative eye disorder retinitis pigmentosa when she was 26 years old. The national campaign tackling a critical support worker shortage. Real workers in aged care, disability and veterans' support have been enlisted to share their experiences in the workplace in a national campaign, aimed at encouraging thousands more to join them. Australia faces critical staff shortages over the next few years, with thousands more care workers neededThe federal government has committed $13.3 million over 12 months to a multi-media campaign about the benefits of working in the care sectorsThe campaign features real people with disability, older people and veterans, along with their support and care workers Faced with estimates of critical staff shortages over the next few years and beyond, the federal government has launched the Life Changing Life multi-media campaign.
National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Minister Linda Reynolds told the ABC, $13.3 million had been committed over 12 months to sell the benefits of working in the care sectors. And she said it would bust myths about support work – including that it doesn't pay well. Disability advocates say businesses need to lose 'fear of the unknown' to find untapped potential. When Nathan Basha was born, his parents were given three options: to "institutionalise" him, adopt him out or take him home. The decision they made was life changing. Kojonup sheep farmer employs ingenuity, determination to sideline disability. Kojonup farmer Nick Trethowan roars through the paddock on his all-terrain vehicle, screeches to a halt, whips out his crutches and charges across the sheep yards to start rounding up his sheep.
Amid a cacophony of bleating sheep and barking kelpies, Mr Trethowan presents the typical portrait of a busy farmer. Except Mr Trethowan only has one leg. The other was amputated at the hip when he was 19. Highly educated, but underestimated: How disability employment services fail tertiary qualified individuals. Community-based supported employment program changing lives of people with disability.
It's unlikely to be everyone's favourite job, but Leif Barstad loves emptying the office bins at the farm machinery business where he works every Friday. Fashion industry joins with not-for-profit organisation Avenue to help those with disabilities get jobs. Stephanie Trinh-Tran has faced more obstacles than most in following her dream to work in the fashion industry. Starting a successful small business as someone living with a disability. I was perfect for the job, but I couldn't even get into the building. Here's why.
Career-changing ex-teacher turns tiny cafe into award-winning mega business. Opening a small cafe with coffee and some sandwiches was her husband's dream, not Toni Vorenas's. "[But] before we opened, he actually decided that wasn't his dream anymore," Ms Vorenas said. "Because he'd supported me a lot throughout my teaching career and my studies, I thought in return I would run the cafe for 12 months for him. " Without meaning to, 12 months has turned into 12 years and a two-site award-winning bakery and cafe serving 150 customers from two commercial kitchens, a bar and function room. Yeppoon cafe trains and employs people with disability, Emily urges others to give it a go. Jobseekers with a disability are often asked to declare it, but more firms are moving away from just 'ticking the box'
For Leanne Del Toso, being hired for her skill set rather than her disability made her feel empowered. But in the past, she said ticking that box "made her feel insignificant as a human being" and her disability became "the highlight of who I am". "I am not ashamed of being a disabled woman, in fact I am very proud," she said. But she said she was careful how she answered questions when applying for jobs, as people could have preconceived ideas about what disability means, looks and feels like to others.
A corporate social responsibility administrator at a major health insurer, the Paralympian silver medal winner said she only ticked the disability box if it was part of the criteria for actually doing the job. Masking when you have autism can help you blend in, but you might not be doing yourself any favours. Disability royal commission hears about barriers to finding employment faced by people like Yuri - ABC News. Small changes you can make to help make the lives of autistic people easier - ABC News. Bullied, belittled and dumped for having cerebral palsy, Dale wouldn't change a thing about herself - ABC News. ABC reporter Nas Campanella writes about a shocking interaction on a Sydney train - ABC News. The budding neuroscientist and poet with cerebral palsy who wants to become a doctor - ABC News. Becky the Paralympic Barbie was not the only gift 20 years ago during Sydney's Games - ABC News.
Actor Julia Hales, ABC's first TV host who is living with Down syndrome, explores the issue of prenatal testing in new documentary - ABC News. On the 20th anniversary of the Sydney Paralympics, the stars of the Games share their memories - ABC News. Telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic shows the 'anti-social loner' autism stereotype is a myth - ABC News. Short film Safety Net screened virtually as part of the 67th Sydney Film Festival, and its Canberra star hopes it will inspire others with a disability - ABC News. Learning how to make your workplace more disability friendly — from people who live with a disability - ABC News. Blind piano tuner Graeme McGowan laments loss of trade suited to sight-impaired people. Activ Esperance closure leaves 17 people with a disability out of work and families left 'dumbfounded' For people with autism like Nick McAllister, one of the biggest challenges is finding a job. How Lego therapy can be a 'massive win' for kids with autism and their families.
Employers urged to rethink workers with autism to help rectify chronic unemployment problem. Brisbane model Madeline Stuart returns to where her international career began. Anxiety kept Sophie jobless for years, then she found work in buzzing Hobart cafe. Josh Meredith's small business is helping change community attitudes about Down syndrome. Hannah Gadsby to use phone pouches to stop people filming her shows. The Heights and sassy schoolgirl Sabine, brought to life with 'authentic' casting. Australian-first program to help struggling artists find a steady income.
Tropfest 2019 finalists include film by company creating roles for actors with disabilities. Charges laid after man accidentally drank poison from Coke bottle on central coast. Waste paper kitty litter offers employment for north Queenslanders with disability.