A simple adjustment helps Mary maintain productivity and wellbeing at work

woman in a dark blue and white spotted top sitting at a desk holding a pencil, with a green plant behind her. She is smiling at the camera.
Image: woman in a dark blue and white spotted top sitting at a desk holding a pencil, with a green plant behind her. She is smiling at the camera. (Image used for representation purposes only)

* Represents name has been changed for privacy.

Mary's* work involves developing and overseeing training courses, with most of her time at work spent seated at a computer.

Mary was recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), an acquired chronic neurological disease. Her symptoms were starting to impact her capacity to stay seated at her desk for the required timeframes to complete her work. It affected Mary's productivity and, in turn, her wellbeing at work, as she worried her job was at risk.

Mary tried to solve the situation; she trialled various desk chairs supplied by her employer and a self-funded lumbar roll to use with the chairs. Frustratingly, this was not helping.

That's when Mary realised she needed some extra support. With the help of her Disability Employment Services (DES)consultant, Mary reached out to JobAccess for support through the Employment Assistance Fund (EAF).

The EAF is an Australian Government funded initiative providing financial help to eligible people with disability and mental health conditions to buy work-related modifications, equipment, Auslan services, and workplace assistance and support services. These services come at no cost to the individual or the employer.

A JobAccess Adviser was straight onto Mary's application, working with Mary and her DES provider to confirm Mary's challenges, circumstances and eligibility and discussing a proposed solution.

Mary's DES provider knew what was required when she lodged the EAF application. She had worked with Mary to understand her situation and even trialled the recommended equipment before lodging the EAF application. It was agreed a Therapod desk chair was the solution, with Mary's EAF application approved within 24 hours after it was lodged.

Mary trialled the Therapod desk chair in her office and reported a significant improvement in her ability to sit for longer periods. The Therapod chair adjusts easily, meaning that Mary can adapt the chair's support to suit her needs throughout the day, allowing Mary to manage her pain better, maintain her productivity and support her wellbeing at work.

In good news, the Therapod chair is so helpful that Mary now needs to set reminders to get up from her desk, as the chair has made such a significant improvement — an excellent outcome for Mary and her employer.

Applying for the EAF through the JobAccess website is simple and easy. It is available to eligible people with disability who are about to start a job, are self-employed, or are currently working.

Need support at work? Talk to us.

Know someone who could benefit from JobAccess’ support? Let them know about JobAccess’ cost-free services by clicking on this link: www.jobaccess.gov.au/people-with-disability           

Are you an employer looking to support an employee with disability? Please reach out by clicking on this link www.jobaccess.gov.au/employers

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