Kyle's determination to work seems to exceed any limitations his blindness has on his daily life.
His parents were once told Kyle didn't need to find a job as he would be eligible for income support payments - but Kyle says he isn’t going to be someone who doesn’t enjoy the benefits of employment.
"I said I want to look for work, because to work it’s another outlet," he says.
For Kyle a job is about more than money - he thrives on the social connection and sense of purpose that comes with work.
"It’s not always about the money, it’s about the wellbeing - being able to be out of the house for a few hours a week."
When searching for a job he refused to give up, even when his enthusiasm was not matched by prospective employers, who were hesitant to hire a person with a disability.
The APM Employment Services team saw Kyle's attitude and knew his future workplace would have to be forward-thinking, engaging and reflect his enthusiasm.
"Employers are not always thinking this way, many of them don’t think people with disability are capable of anything," Kyle says.
"Anyone can do anything if you put your mind to it and if you’re determined enough."
Read a full transcript of this video.
“Anyone can do anything if you put your mind to it and if you’re determined enough”
Adaptations for success
Kyle, 35, who is completely blind, has now been working at Superior Joinery for two years, but it wasn’t an easy journey for him.
“I was frustrated at not being able to find anything, although I did have a previous job years earlier that only lasted 12 months and it took me five years to finally find something,” Kyle said.
He reached out to APM Employment Services for support to find a good job through the Disability Employment Services program.
After connecting with local employers directly, Kyle secured his role with Superior Joinery after a phone call to wish the business owner, who he had met previously, a happy birthday.
“I wasn’t intending to reach out to him for that, I was ringing him up for his birthday because I had a placement (with the business),” Kyle said.
“I thought I’d ask the question if there were any jobs going around to try and make it a bit easier for me.”
Rhiannon from Kyle’s local APM team, worked with him to find a role he could be a valuable asset to the team in.
“He's very straightforward, he's very to the point, he's a man who knows what he wants,” Rhiannon says.
Kyle went for a walkthrough with the business so he could decide if it was suitable for him.
“It was like a walk in the park,” he adds.
Kyle’s role involves assembling, labelling, and packaging tube ends and feet for storage and furniture often sold in Bunnings and other warehouses.
Kyle says he makes about 20,000 in a year.
One of the ways Rhiannon and APM supported Kyle was to work with the business in setting up a bell for Kyle to let his coworkers know he had completed a task or needed to speak to them.
Another modification was the installation of a safety rail for Kyle to follow from his workspace to the bathroom so he didn’t need another member of the team to escort him.
Kyle’s co-worker Scott is full of praise for his colleague’s approach to work and the contribution he makes to the team.
"I definitely think there are employers out there who would give the job to somebody else because they can probably get the job done” Scott says.
“Kyle will come here every Tuesday and Thursday and do that job without complaints - it blows my mind."
“I do think a lot of employers maybe need to broaden their horizons”
Pride in himself
From day one with APM, Kyle says he knew he was in good hands.
“When I met up with them, I couldn’t have been more happy with the team I was going in with going forward” Kyle said.
“They couldn’t have been more supportive.”
Rhiannon is proud of what they were able to achieve together.
“Kyle is more confident in himself, which is obviously something that we love to help be able to do” she said.
Even after securing his role, she checks in with Kyle regularly at his workplace and by phone to ensure he has all he needs to do his job well.
"Anyone can do anything if you put your mind to it and if you’re determined enough"
Are you eligible for Disability Employment Services?
You can join APM for Disability Employment Services through Centrelink.
When you visit Centrelink, they carry out an employment assessment and if you're 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.
To be eligible for Disability Employment Services, you must be:
- An Australian resident aged from at least 14 to pension age
- Receiving an income support payment, disability support pension, an NDIS participant or an eligible school leaver
- Able to work between eight to 30 hours per week (with support when required)
- Not studying full time (unless you’re an eligible school leaver)
- Not already working at or above your assessed work capacity
If you're already receiving an income support payment, you can also register with us directly.
If you’re with another provider, but would like to change to APM, contact us and our teams will be happy to speak to you.
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
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