Susy challenges perceptions of disability in her workplace

Shining a spotlight on invisible illnesses

Susy grew up with mobility issues and was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) in 2014. Susy worked with her healthcare team to manage the chronic pain caused by RA. After almost three years, she was finally able to re-enter the workforce.

Susy discovered that having an invisible illness like Rheumatoid Arthritis made it difficult for her to find an employer that understood her needs. After connecting with WISE Employment Prahran, Susy secured a role at Karista, a start-up disability and aged care comparison website.

Susy has been in the role for only four weeks. She’s already developed strong relationships with her fellow employees, reignited her confidence and established herself as a key player within the company.

Video: Susy, who has Rheumatoid Arthritis, challenges stigma surrounding disability in the workplace

“Having a chronic illness can be very isolating, especially if you’re not working. Securing employment is an important way to break the isolation and build confidence, reconnect with the community and make friends. Creating a routine outside of my illness is a great motivator.”

– Susy


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Finding Susy's untapped talent

Founder of Karista and Susy’s employer, Danielle, is extremely impressed with WISE Employment’s service and the work Susy produces.

“After meeting with WISE, I knew it wasn’t about ‘just placing someone’. They took the time to understand my business and fulfil my needs. I was after an intelligent, motivated individual with the right attitude, and they found that person in Susy. I couldn’t be happier with the work Susy’s doing,” says Danielle.

Suffering with chronic illness and pain can be exhausting. This is why flexibility in the workplace is so important. “There are things you want to achieve throughout the day, but sometimes you’re just too tired. On a bad day, it can feel like I have the flu on top of the chronic pain. Many people are willing and able to work but can’t necessarily do it within the confines of nine to five. For employers, being receptive to the idea of flexibility will open them up to so much untapped talent,” Susy continues.

Danielle is extremely encouraging of the service WISE Employment offers. Both Susy and Danielle are extremely grateful to WISE Employment. They both say that they’ve developed a working relationship as well as forming a friendship.

“I think there’s a bit of stigma around disability. When I first reached out to recruiters in the disability space, they assumed I was looking for someone to fulfil an admin role. However, I was looking for an intelligent person who could handle the stress.

Going to WISE Employment is like going to any other recruiter, except I didn’t have to pay. I would recommend their service to anyone looking to hire a talented individual.”

– Danielle, CEO at Karista


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