Clare’s quality of life improves, with the support of JobAccess
Image: Clare smiles at the camera. She is using her power wheelchair in a laneway, with a street art wall behind her. She wears patterned jacket and brown trousers.
Clare works with Global Sisters, an inspiring organisation of women empowering entrepreneurial women. Clare is an Administration Lead, and her role involves various tasks to support the organisation. In summary, Clare supports the Global Sisters team, who help women start up and grow their micro businesses; a role she very much enjoys.
Clare lives with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), an acquired chronic neurological disease. Clare’s experience with MS can make it challenging to travel long distances by foot and can cause her fatigue and pain.
Clare heard about JobAccess through a friend. At the time, Clare was working in another role at a school in Geelong. The work involved walking around the school to support students, teachers and parents. This was challenging as the school was very large, and often Clare needed to be somewhere quickly. “Getting around was impossible,” said Clare.
“I was borrowing a friend’s manual wheelchair at times,” she shared. This was causing Clare to feel fatigue, and there were parts of her role that she just couldn’t do, for example collecting parents from the school office to bring them into the necessary department.
This is where JobAccess was able to support Clare.
JobAccess provides free, expert and confidential advice on workplace adjustments to employers and people with disability. It has a range of field experts, including allied health professionals, who offer advice tailored to the person’s situation from the first point of contact.
Employers and people with disability may be eligible to receive financial assistance through the Employment Assistance Fund (EAF) to make adjustments in the workplace. The EAF is available to eligible people with disability who are about to start a job, are self-employed or are currently working.
Clare was connected with JobAccess Professional Adviser Pietro Condidorio, who arranged for an independent assessor with specialist knowledge of MS to visit Clare’s workplace (at that time, the school) to assess the challenges Clare was experiencing and to devise a tailored solution.
As Clare put it, “Rather than changing the workplace, a power wheelchair was the solution.” This power wheelchair enables Clare to get around quickly and without fatigue and supports her in doing all parts of her role. “I am able to fulfill my job more completely,” shared Clare.
In Clare’s current role with Global Sisters, JobAccess has been working in collaboration with MS Plus to further support Clare at work. Clare recently received specific office equipment and gear that supports her working-from-home setup to be accessible, reducing fatigue when she works from home.
Clare’s work is centred on helping people. At the school, Clare supported students and drove diversity and inclusion initiatives. Now, Clare supports women to believe in themselves and create businesses. “Helping people is definitely a highlight of my work,” said Clare.
Clare’s experience with JobAccess has been very positive. “Pietro was really good. He made quick contact after the application, responded quickly, and is understanding. The wait time was very short. With my chair, they sent someone out within one week,” shared Clare.
The positive effects of Clare’s chair are spilling into her personal life too. “I can now walk my son to school, and I spend days in Melbourne CBD by myself. This chair has increased my quality of life,” said Clare.
Clare appreciates JobAccess as “they are making work accessible for all.”
Are you looking organise workplace adjustments to support an employee with disability? Talk to us.
There are a wide range of supports available from JobAccess for people with disability, employers, and service providers.