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Employment brings coffee with confidence for Chanay.

As a teenager trying to work out the steps to take when school finishes, the last thing you need is a sudden disability such as hearing loss.

Chanay was 16 when she discovered the hearing bones inside her ears were being eaten away by a disease.

After a series of operations, she required a cochlear implant to help her hear.

Like anyone, the loss of hearing and medical procedures that followed took their toll on the teenager.

“Being 16, I was also diagnosed with anxiety and depression just because the transition from going from hearing to not hearing was quite hard,” she said.

“I was really unhappy, I didn’t want to go anywhere or do anything.”

Then Chanay came to APM Employment Services...

"I was so excited, I couldn’t wait to get started"   

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Read a full transcript of this video.

Overcoming challenges

Chanay’s supportive family and friends encouraged her to take her time in finding employment and taking her next step in life.

But Chanay wasn’t willing to let life pass her by and was referred by Centrelink to APM Employment Services, who deliver the Australian Government’s Disability Employment Services program.

Working with a dedicated APM employment consultant to develop job seeking and interview skills, Chanay was soon offered an interview at a local coffee shop.

“It was applying for jobs that was hard. Having to go in somewhere and hand a resume in - that was really hard,” she said.

“I wanted to work in hospitality or retail. Somewhere I could make coffees or serve people."

Invited for an interview, Chanay’s employer saw her potential and offered her a job the same day.

“I was so excited, I couldn’t wait to get started,” she said.

"I don’t think I could’ve got this job without APM"

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The difference a job makes

Chanay takes great pride in her customer service role and also knows the value of having a job when you’re facing additional challenges such as a disability.

“I used to see myself as having a disability, but I feel like I’m just like everyone else now because I have a job and more confidence,” she said.

“I don’t think I could’ve got this job without APM. I feel like I’ve been given a chance in the world of employment.

“I can do more things. I’m happy to go out on my own now. Everyone around me has seen the difference.”

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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.

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Frequently asked questions

Who is APM?
How does Disability Employment Services work?
Who qualifies for Disability Employment Services?
What to expect
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