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

Susy, who has Rheumatoid Arthritis, challenges the stigma surrounding disability in the workplaceSusy grew up with mobility issues and was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) in 2014. Working with her healthcare team, Susy was able to manage the chronic pain caused by RA and re-enter the workforce after almost three years.

Susy discovered that having an invisible illness made it difficult for her to find an employer that would be understanding of her needs. However, after connecting with WISE Employment Prahran, Susy secured a role at Karista, a start-up disability and aged care comparison website.

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

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

Founder of Karista and Susy’s employer, Danielle, has been extremely impressed with WISE Employment’s service and the work Susy has been producing.

“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,” said Danielle.

Suffering with chronic illness and pain can be exhausting, which 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 continued.

Danielle is extremely encouraging of the service WISE Employment offers, “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, but 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.”

Both Susy and Danielle are extremely grateful to WISE Employment, as they both say that not only have they developed a working relationship, they’ve also formed a friendship.

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

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