Overcoming disability to find work

Published on 07 Apr 2016

By Laura White

Shara, now 19, finished school at the end of year 10 after a car crash left her unable to study or work.

Simultaneously, the teenager was looking after her mum who was going through chemotherapy, meaning that finding employment was the last thing on her mind.

She also had a very limited work history, with only two weeks' work experience through school on her CV,

Through Centrelink, Shara met with APM employment consultant Con Zagas, who determined what sort of work she could do.

Shara had an interest in working with children, and after hearing about an indoor play centre in Mitchell, Con approached them.

For the last year, Shara has been a valued employee of KidCity.

"I was very nervous at the start," she says. "But I love it. I've made lots of new friends and I've learnt so many new skills."

Shara works in the cafe, cleans, sets up the party rooms and assists with the playgroups, which has boosted her confidence to study childcare for a future career working with children.

Since the Canberra office opened in 2010, APM has helped almost 600 people with disability find and maintain work in the Canberra region.

"We get job seekers of all age groups," Con says.

"We help the employer and the employee where needed. We also conduct work place assessments. We're able to overcome any barriers with people who have disabilities finding work."