Job seeker with disability finds work for the first time in 25 years

Job seeker with disability finds work for the first time in 25 yearsAfter being unemployed for 25 years, Devonport disability job seeker Cathy found a job at accounting firm Jac’s Accounting with the help of WISE Employment Devonport in August 2013, working 12 hours a week. Cathy has an intellectual disability, autism, epilepsy and depression, lives in supported accommodation and has two support workers.

Her new employer, Jac’s Accounting, believed Cathy would be an asset to the business and also wanted to give her an opportunity.

Julie at Jac Accounting said, “We’re not your typical accountancy firm; we’re family focused and put people first. Cathy has really surprised me with her abilities and we’ll continue to help her build her skills and increase her hours when she’s ready. I’d hope others in the community would consider employing people with disabilities – sometimes you’ve just got to give back, and give someone an opportunity.”

Cathy began her new role with Jac’s Accounting at the start of August 2013, working 12 hours a week. She’s needed some extra job support when she started her job because of the difficulty she has with language and literacy. Cathy’s Employment Consultant, Karen Pearson, from WISE Employment Devonport, stayed right by Cathy’s side for the first few days of the new job, supporting her to understand and follow instructions and stay focused on the task at hand.

Cathy’s self worth has increased dramatically since she started work and she is excited she’s getting paid to do work she enjoys. She is planning to start saving for a holiday, and while she said the extra money coming in from her job would be welcome, it was the company and camaraderie with her fellow colleagues that meant the most to her.

WISE Employment Devonport Business Manager Alison Stubbs said that Cathy’s success was a good reminder of the difference that Disability Employment Services can make to ensure people who have a disability are part of the Australian workforce.


Update to Cathy’s story: After two years, Cathy is still enjoying and doing well in her role at Jac’s Accounting, as covered by The Advocate in Devonport, Tasmania (11 Sept 2015). We are delighted to share that Cathy has also reached a personal goal of being able to afford going on a holiday. Earlier this year, she and her cousin flew to New Zealand for a two-week break. Well done Cathy, Jac’s Accounting, and WISE Employment Devonport!


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