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Prior to working with atWork Australia, Mark had been unemployed for a couple of years and struggled to find work by himself due to his hearing impairment.

In October 2018, Mark attended his first appointment at the Ryde office and met his Job Coach, Zoe. Steve, who is based at the same site and atWork Australia’s General Manager, assisted with Auslan interpreting during Mark’s first appointment. With the help of Steve, Mark and his Job Coach Zoe, the team discussed job perspectives and the support he needed to perform well at a workplace. Mark disclosed that he ideally would like to work in warehousing, as he has a forklift licence and is familiar in this field.

Just one month later, Zoe had contacted a local manufacturer and discussed Mark’s skills and experience in forklift operations with the employer. “I disclosed Mark’s hearing impairment to the employer, with Mark’s consent, and explained atWork Australia’s support for both Mark and the employer in the workplace. The employer was happy with this and asked to meet with Mark the next day for a job interview,” Zoe said. Zoe adds: “I immediately texted Mark to let him know and arranged for him to meet with me at the office the following morning.“

Zoe contacted an Auslan interpreter to assist with the job interview on the day. The interview went very well for all parties and Mark and the employer hit it off with a few jokes here and there. “We had a tour of the workplace, and Mark disclosed to me that he would like to work with this company,” said Zoe. The employer was very happy with Mark and asked him when he would be able to start. Zoe said: “Mark and I looked at each other and with the help from the Auslan interpreter, we laughed and said: ‘Tomorrow!’” Mark and his Job Coach, Zoe, went shopping for work clothes straight afterwards to prepare him for his first day.

Mark did well on his first week at his new job and was thoroughly enjoying it there. His Job Coach contacted Job Access to request an Assessor to come and meet with Mark at the workplace and assess what kind of support can be put in place to ensure a safe work environment. It was discussed that a pager that connects with the fire alarm system would be important for Mark as it would buzz in his pocket in case of an emergency.

Zoe also requested and was granted funding for Disability Awareness Training for Mark’s workplace to create a better understanding on working with people living with a disability. This included basic Auslan training for staff with the aim to make the workplace more inclusive and ultimately provide maximum training for Mark.

Zoe proudly said: “Mark did very well at work and was originally hired as a casual employee. Mark and his mother disclosed to me that he would like to work permanent full-time. I phoned the employer to discuss this, and later he met with Mark and agreed to employ him on a permanent basis.”

Zoe stayed in regular contact with Mark to see how he was going with his work. Mark has maintained his employment to this day and Zoe is delighted to confirm that he is doing very well.

“Mark’s story has inspired me to learn Auslan” says Job Coach Zoe, who is now excited to find meaningful employment for more clients living with hearing impairments.

atWork Australia works with Australians living with disability, injury or health condition to find meaningful work. To find out how we can help you, contact atWork Australia on 1300 080 856 or enquire online today.

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