Margot, who lives with bilateral hearing loss, finds joyful work in helping others
For people with hearing loss, navigating the employment landscape can be even more difficult than usual. For Margot, who is profoundly deaf, this was no exception. With a heavy reliance on lip-reading, Margot was having trouble finding work, because she was unsure of her own abilities and the services that were available to assist her.
In 2013, Margot began working with WISE team members Shelley and Venetia. They helped her work out her goals, and how to go about achieving them.
“Shelley and Venetia were always there to talk to at any time. Together we have laughed and cried and they listened when I need to vent, the support was always there.” Margot explained.
WISE organised short-term volunteer work at Riverland Special School for Margot to test her capabilities, and after shining in her role, Margot was offered paid employment. There were a few workplace modifications that needed to be made for Margot to succeed, including a hearing loop to enable her to talk on the phone and a speaker to amplify voices in the classroom to her hearing loop.
In her role, Margot was able to provide 1:1 support for students with both verbal and non-verbal disabilities and helped support teachers by preparing classroom work or taking time out with students.
“I love working with the kids and seeing them light up after achieving their goals in the classroom and the staff are wonderful to work with too” she said.
Margot’s success doesn’t end there. In 2018, she received a cochlear implant, enabling her to hear for the first time. WISE provided her with mentoring and coaching through the 6-month transition period, when Margot decided to seek alternative employment.
Margot has been able to sustain full-time employment independently, and is now working with adults on the spectrum and with an intellectual disability and supervising them in the workplace.
“Having a job gives me a sense of satisfaction and independence… It means I can give back to others, as I understand what it is like to have a disability” she explained.