Moving and mowing: Simple adjustments through JobAccess help Michael get back to life

A man standing in a garden and smiling at the camera
Image: a man standing in a garden and smiling at the camera (used for representation purposes only).

For Michael* finally being able to work after a few dreadful accidents left him with permanent severe injuries means far more than just being gainfully employed.

His new job working with maintenance and managing the lawns for a sporting club is giving him back life.

“I have suffered from depression.

“I know what causes it. It’s being locked up and sitting there doing nothing, staring at the walls. But this job has got me moving and got me out of that black hole.

“Things seem to be going peachy for Michael!” he jokes. “It doesn’t help to live in the past. So, things are looking up, and getting back to work has really helped.”

Run of bad luck

Not one, but two, separate accidents have left him with badly broken feet that – in his own words – don’t work too well.

He was working on a construction site a few years when, according to Michael, “half a tonne of iron” was dropped on his right foot.

Then a couple of years ago, he had a car accident that left him badly injured.

“My (left) foot shattered into seven pieces.”

Now he was really in strife.

Getting moving and mowing, thanks to JobAccess

The former construction and roadside worker is still in considerable pain, particularly in his left foot. Walking is very difficult.

“One foot is bad enough, but two causing such pain and not working is a big issue.”

To function, he needs to be careful how he manages his rehab, recovery and pain levels.

Michael was grateful to his Disability Employment Service (DES) provider, which helped him score the greenkeepers role earlier this year.

While he loves being outside and enjoying mowing and dealing with the irrigation system, he was greatly hampered by a lack of mobility.

Thanks to JobAccess and funding through the Employment Assistance Fund (EAF), Michael now has a dedicated buggy which keeps him off his feet as much as possible.

“Now I have a bit more mobility, I am feeling more useful. It (the buggy) has made my life a lot easier.”

Process easier than thought

“When they were saying they might be able to get me a buggy. I’m thinking ‘yeah and pigs might fly’!

“I really thought: ‘Well that’s never going to happen there’s so much paperwork’. But it wasn’t hard. JobAccess helped me and were really very good.

“The job is going well. Particularly since I’ve got the buggy. I am feeling much more useful. It’s so good to be back at work.”

Adjustments can open the door to opportunities

JobAccess has a team of front-line professionals, including occupational therapists, who provide expert, confidential and tailored advice regarding workplace adjustments at first contact.

Workplace adjustments include administrative, environmental or procedural changes to enable people with disability to have equitable employment opportunities. However, not all people with disability require workplace adjustments.

People with disability who are about to start work, are currently working or are self-employed and require adjustments to do their job can apply for financial assistance through the Employment Assistance Fund. Employers and Disability Employment Services (DES) providers too can apply.

*Name has been changed for privacy.

Talk to us about workplace adjustments.

There is a wide range of support available from JobAccess for people with disability, employers, and service providers.

JobAccess has managed over 61,000 applications for funding workplace adjustments since 2006. Each one makes a difference by helping people with disability get work, keep work, and progress their careers.

Contact JobAccess on 1800 464 800 to speak to our friendly and resourceful Advisers about workplace adjustments and the Employment Assistance Fund.

You can also submit an online enquiry through the JobAccess website.

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