Caley has plenty of goals he wants to kick.
As a popular member of staff in the Woolworths produce department, Caley says starting his job has got him over his biggest hurdle.
Diagnosed with autism and cerebral palsy, Caley knows all about the challenges of finding a sustainable job which he enjoys.
And with his energetic approach, commitment to his Disability Employment Services program and assistance from APM, Caley has now been in his job for more than two years.
Read a full transcript of this video.
"I have a reason to put pants on in the morning"
Getting started with APM
Caley came to APM Employment Services eager to find a job in retail.
He told his employment consultant Shelley he really wanted to work with customers.
Spending time getting to know Caley as part of the Disability Employment Services program, Shelly was able to approach employers to see if they could take Caley on for work experience.
This allowed employers and Caley to see what sort of roles would be suitable.
When Caley started a placement with Woolworths, it was clear to everybody he would be a perfect fit.
The life-changing impact of having a job
If you ask Caley why he likes his job so much, he doesn’t hesitate to point out the importance of being in long-term employment.
“I’ll happily say to anyone who asks, I have a reason to put pants on in the morning. What’s not to like?” he said.
Caley says his job is also important to him because he is able to give back to the community and engage with the customers.
“It allows me to give back to the community and put a little sunshine on their faces,” he said.
"It's been the best two years of my life"
Overcoming the challenges of working with a disability
Caley says the physical impact of his cerebral palsy is the biggest issue that impacts how he works.
“Given that my left leg is naturally weaker I can’t be on my feet for too long,” he said.
“I’ll need to take a break and sit down, and that’s one of the good things about the small shifts that I usually have.”
But Caley doesn’t let the challenges stop him from working as he regularly picks up extra shifts.
“I’ve been working here for two years now and I can honestly say it’s been the best two years of my life,” he said.
If you or someone you know is living with autism and wants help finding a job, visit your local APM team or register with us today to get started.
Are you eligible for Disability Employment Services?
You may be eligible for our Disability Employment Services program if you:
- Have a diagnosed injury, illness or disability
- Are aged at least 14 to pension age
- Are at or above the minimum legal working age in your state or territory
- Are able to work at least eight hours per week (with support when required)
- Are an Australian resident
- Are not studying full time (unless you’re an eligible school leaver)
- Are not working at or above your assessed employment capacity
You can access APM Disability Employment Services through a referral by Centrelink or by registering with us directly.
When you visit Centrelink, they carry out an employment assessment and if you are eligible, they will recommend you to a Disability Employment Services provider. Remember to ask to join APM so you get the best service when searching for employment.
If you’re with another Disability Employment Services provider, but would like to change to APM, contact us and our teams will be happy to speak to you.
Frequently asked questions
Living with autism and looking for work?