Helping people with disability
Alex is a member of the Lifeplan Disability Services team, based in Perth.
As a support worker he works with several clients providing social support, working on their goals and assisting them with any day-to-day tasks.
“Alex fits really well with the job with us as a support worker because he has a really friendly, smiley disposition about him” his employer Shannon said.
“He has nothing but positive things to say and he takes that out and supports our clients in the community with that same energy.”
Autism is a lifelong condition which affects a person’s thinking, interactions, and reactions to their surroundings.
“Not having a job made me feel like I couldn’t do anything” Alex recalled.
When it came to searching for a job, Alex had difficulty with his speech and communicating with other people.
He also benefited from additional guidance to learn new tasks, taking a little more time to commit tasks to memory.
APM helped Alex build his confidence by connecting him with training courses and getting his driver’s licence.
“APM really supported me through difficult times” he said.
“Working with APM, finding a match for people for our role was simple” Shannon said.
“They know everything that the client is able to do, to make sure they’re suitable to send over to us first.”
She describes the impact hiring Alex has had in her business:
“Putting someone with a disability in to help other with a disability is a really empowering thing.”
And the effect this has with their clients:
“Some clients and their families were apprehensive at first, but after working with Alex and seeing how fantastic he is with their clients, it gives renewed hope for what their own family are able to achieve.”
Supported all the way
Alex was employed with support from the Disability Employment Services Program, delivered by APM.
APM Employment Services has supported more than 120,000 job seekers with an injury, illness or disability into work over the last two years, and CEO Karen Rainbow says the impact of employment on a person’s life is very significant.
“When someone starts working after believing they may never get the chance, is life-changing" said Ms Rainbow.
An average workday for Alex involves driving his clients around Perth - providing transport to help them engage and socialise in their local community and achieve their personal goals.
Shopping and cooking are a couple of the main tasks Alex helps his clients with – he’s learned lots of new things – including picking up a few new recipes for himself.
“My friends and family are so happy for me – it makes me really happy, and it makes me a better person” Alex said.
The positive impact is best measured by his cheerful response when asked how he feels about the future:
“I’m ready. Rock n’ roll!”