Employment for people living with a physical injury, illness or disability

Are you looking for employment and living with a physical disability? You could be eligible for government-funded employment services.

Getting a job can be a life changing experience. At APM, we've seen first hand how working in a supportive environment can improve your wellbeing, give you a sense of purpose and help you work towards your life goals.

In this guide to employment for people with physical disability, we look at ways to find a job that's right for you, possible career options and how to register for employment services with APM.

If you're ready to get to work, you can call us today on 1800 276 276.

What is a physical disability?

A physical disability is a physical condition that affects a person's mobility, dexterity, stamina or physical capacity.

A person may be born with a physical disability or acquire it at any point later in their life.

These can include spinal cord injuries, visual and hearing impairments, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, respiratory disorders, epilepsy and many more.

Many people living with a physical disability have been overlooked by employers or experienced barriers to employment. At APM, we believe everyone has the right to experience the benefits of safe and supportive work.

We support people living with a wide range of physical disabilities and other health conditions to find and keep a job.

We know there are many employers out there who see the value in hiring someone with different lived experience. Whatever your employment goals are, we want to help you get there. Find out how.

What are the best jobs for someone with a physical injury, illness or disability?

Whether you love working with people, are great at creative thinking or thrive in the outdoors, there are job opportunities in every industry.

There are employers and workplaces out there who want you for the job because of your unique set of strengths, skills and perspective.

At APM, we help thousands of job seekers every week find work where they can excel. Below we share some stories from participants who found meaningful work through the Disability Employment Services program.

Accounts or administration

Working in accounts or administration can be a good fit for those who like predictability and routine. These roles are usually not physically demanding, and ergonomic equipment can help with managing pain.

After injuring her neck and damaging nerves in her right leg, Leonie wanted to get back to work. With the help of an employment consultant from APM, Leonie found a job in accounts and administration for a local business. Her employer speaks highly of her customer service and empathy.

Read more about Leonie's story.

Hospitality

People who thrive in fast-paced environments and enjoy interacting with customers might enjoy working in hospitality. From serving tables in a restaurant to cooking meals or making coffee, there are lots of roles and work environments in hospitality.

When Chanay was 16, she experienced sudden hearing loss. Thinking about her next steps after school, Chanay knew she wanted to work in hospitality or retail where she could serve customers.

Working with APM to build her job seeking skills, Chanay was soon offered a job at a local cafe. She said working there has helped her grow in confidence and independence.

Read more about Chanay's story.

Telesales person

If you are great with people and would like the flexibility to work from home, telesales could be a good option for you.

APM helped Patrick find work in telesales and also set up a specially modified workstation at his home so that he could perform his job duties well. Patrick said that having this job transformed his life.

Read more about Patrick's story.

Disability support worker

Living with a disability yourself often gives you empathy and understanding for others. People with these skills are highly sought in caring roles such as aged care, child care and disability support.

For Jeff, working for a local aged care and disability support provider helped improve his mental health and gave him 'a reason to get out of bed'. After experiencing a life changing back injury, Jeff said that getting this job has been like a new beginning for him.

Read more about Jeff's story.

Librarian

Librarians play an important role in their communities, helping people access information and improving literacy. Librarians work in all sorts of settings, including community libraries, universities, schools, medical centres, law firms and more.

For Tansy, working as a librarian in a primary school was her dream job. Ever since APM helped her find a position in a local primary school, Tansy has become an indispensable member of the team.

Although others have overlooked her because of her disability, the staff and children at her new job see all the value, enthusiasm and care that she brings to the school.

Read more about Tansy's story.

Groundskeeper

If you love being outdoors, working as a groundskeeper, landscaper or park ranger could be a good fit. Even if you have difficulties with mobility and stamina, there are many roles that can be adapted to suit your capabilities.

After Shane was diagnosed with a spinal disease, he could no longer continue working as a lawn mower but he still wanted to work outdoors.

With the help of his APM employment consultant, Shane was hired at a local holiday park as a groundskeeper. Shane said the job gave him his confidence back and improved his well being.

Read more about Shane's story.

How to find employment for people with a physical disability

Whether you know what type of job you want or you're unsure if you'll ever get back to work – support is available.

Our jobs for people with disabilities page explains how we can support you on your journey to employment.

In addition to physical conditions and disabilities, we also support people living with mental illness, intellectual disabilities and learning disabilities.

Read articles like jobs for people with bipolar on our health and disability blog.

If you're living with an injury, illness or disability and want to find work, APM is here for you.

If you've been overlooked for jobs because of a physical disability, it can be frustrating and discouraging.

At APM, we believe there is a job out there for you. We're committed to helping people like you find work where you can thrive.

If you're living with an injury, illness or disability, you could be eligible for Disability Employment Services. Register with APM today to get started.

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