Paul’s experience of being a person with disability in the workforce hasn’t always been positive.
Paul was open with Life Without Barriers about his disability from the get-go.
“I was at this point in my life where I figured – I don’t want to work for an organisation that isn’t supportive of my diagnosis. If I bring up [my disability] with an organisation and they’re uncomfortable with it, it’s probably not somewhere I want to work.”
Paul experiences anxiety and depression and was diagnosed with ADHD as a teenager and then with autism-spectrum disorder in his 30s. He works at Life Without Barriers as a Community Rehabilitation Support Worker in the Housing and Accommodation Support Partnership Program.
“The interesting thing is, since I’ve worked here, I’ve been a lot more open with co-workers than I have in past jobs.”
“I mean, only if it’s appropriate, but I don’t feel so necessarily reserved about being open and honest and I’m more comfortable talking about certain things than I thought I’d ever be able to be.
“My colleagues at Life Without Barriers are really inclusive. The environment here is one where people are generally honest about when they’re struggling, and it’s not looked down upon or anything. It just is what is – it’s part of life.”
Paul’s experience of being a person with disability in the workforce hasn’t always been as positive, he recalls.
“I’ve worked with organisations before, where the norm is not to talk about that stuff [disability or mental health issues].
“The fact that discussion about someone’s disability or mental health isn’t really welcome [in many workplaces] is bad … it’s doing a disservice to the people that work there.
“It’s so important, especially in terms of management, to be an empathetic and understanding individual."
“Occasionally, like many people, I have a day where my mental health isn’t good. I’m able to tell my manager this, and say, ‘Hey, I’m not going to be in today for ___ reason.'
“It’s great to be able to be transparent about these things [at Life Without Barriers] and to not feel like I must hide what’s going on.”
At Life Without Barriers, our doors are always open to people with disability. We are proud to be an accredited Disability Confident Recruiter through the Australian Network on Disability (AND). This means we are unequivocally committed to ensuring our recruitment and selection processes are accessible to people with disability. If you’re interested in joining our team, sign up here to receive our job alerts.
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