My son is physically disabled and uses a walking frame for mobility. He also has a moderate intellectual disability. He becomes stressed and anxious when his routine changes. For 2 years after finishing school he attended a TTW program where he learnt office skills. For example, to photocopy- but when the paper ran out or the settings needed changing he needed help, to shred paper- but if there were staples to remove or the paper jammed he needed help, to post the mail-but he needed to cross a road so needed supervision, to even go to the accessible toilet he needed an escort because it was downstairs in a lift and through a heavy door. My son has been trained to be as independent as possible in his daily activities but most work environments restrict his independence because they are set up for the mainstream employee. The positions that would suit him such as mail sorting & delivery, answering telephones have pretty much become extinct with the utilisation of technology. For the past 4 years he has been employed in an ADE where he is in a work place geared to accept the needs of his disabilities, he is supported in his work, he is challenged by learning new skills, he is with like-minded people providing a safe, friendly, sociable & rewarding workplace. It is not an institution, it is no different to any other workplace in principle, it is setup to address the needs of people with disabilities who want to have-a-go. My son has a strong work ethic & expects to be out each day earning money. The money he earns will never cover his cost of living but it makes him feel as though he is doing his bit and brings him a great deal of satisfaction. Working in an ADE has not stopped my son from dreaming of job in the general work force but we all know that could take years, perhaps a lifetime! So thank you for ADEs where people like my son can at least live half their dream.
I have worked at Wangarang for 18 years as a supported employee, in many different jobs. Over the years the staff at Wangarang has been very supportive in times of ill health and good health. I don’t think that I would have lasted in a job in open employment for very long, and probably end up rotting on the pension smoking and drinking. I currently work full time, with a variety of tasks, of which are, administration, mailing and packaging and cleaning at the Department of Primary Industries. I get inspiration from my fellow employees who overcome great adversity just to come to work and try their best every day. If Wangarang was to close, it would force people to try and find work in an environment where work is hard to get even for someone without special needs. And at Wangarang we are all under the same roof so we can relax and not worry about what people think of us.
David de Rooy
I appreciate the Cookery Nook as it gives me an opportunity to work on my skills, as well as create and practice new menu items. In the future I hope to gain an apprenticeship and focus on baking. Nathan has been working at the Cookery Nook for 11 years and over the time he has taken on Supervision and Workplace Health and Safety responsibilities. Nathan has taken on the role with the Friday "Fish n Chip" menu. He is also the Cookery Nook's chief baker and makes delicious cakes, biscuits and slices and will use these skills to achieve his future goal of obtaining an apprenticeship as a full time baker.
"I really enjoy working here as it give me an opportunity ti further my skills in the catering industry." Daniel has been with the Cookery Nook for over 15 years. Through this experience he has learned all facets of a catering business - from ordering, making products, Workplace Health and Safety and supplying customers with Cookery Nook products. Daniel is a hard worker as is always willing to try something new. The team at Cookery Nook appreciate his support and willingness to help out wherever he can.
Hi my son Keegan has an intellectual impairment and a bilateral hearing loss, he is 21 years old and works at an ADE. He has been working there for three years since leaving high school, he gets to do different jobs each week and has learnt a lot of new skills working there thanks to the ongoing support of his supervisors. He loves going to work and has made a lot of friends there and looks forward to seeing them every day. One of the first thing Keegan asks when he gets home is how was your day at work? He does this so he can tell us about his day. His job makes him feel included and a valued member of society. Keegan has been travel trained and catches public transport to work, this gives Independence, he often travels with some of his work friends which he loves. If he did not have his ADE to work at he would be very bored and lonely during the day as my husband and I work full time he cannot work in open employment as he needs the support and supervision provided by the supervisors at his ADE. I think ADEs provide a great service to their employees and the whole community.
We are the Employee Consultative Committee and represent the workers Workpower's ADE businesses. As a team , we feel ADE's are a very important source of employment and are a massive part of all of our lives. Before we came to Workpower: • My day was spent watching TV and I didn't leave the house. • I was having a lot of personal issues and had no one to support me with them. • I was at high school looking to find some sort of employment that could support my needs. • I was at home feeling quite isolated and alone. Through our employment we now feel: • Included and accepted for who I am and not what disability I have. • I feel I have developed my skills which has helped me stay in employment. • Work helped me socially to make some friends that can relate to me. • My workplace is a friendly environment with people to talk to each day, this makes a big difference in my life, as I live alone. • We feel like we are part of a big community, like being invited to a National Day for People with a Disability event last year. • We have people who care about me and what happens to me. If our workplace was taken away from us: • I would start to feel annoyed and frustrated with having nothing to do with my day. • I would feel isolated and alone. • I would be caged in my house again with nothing to do. • I would have less income to look after myself and my family with. • It would be very hard for me to get a job in open employment. Our workplace is a huge part of our lives and it is very important to us, so we all need to keep them up and running.
Workpower Employee Committee
My son Mark has been employed with Afford for 6yrs and this has given him independent and self esteem and friends this would be extremely hard for him as Mark has great ability to work hard with the abilities he has.Please think long and hard as this could cause unnecessary medical problems for Mark and those who support and love him thanks Mrs L McCoy