Customer success story: Supporting Manoli to support himself

11 July 2023

Customer success story: Supporting Manoli to support himself

Our service partners MS Queensland have been supporting Manoli since 2018, managing his MS symptoms so he can stay self-employed.

Meet Manolo

Manoli is described as a self-starter by his recruitment consultant Caleb, “he puts others first over his own health and has always had the mentality to get on with the job. He was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at the age of 23 and since then has continued to strive for workplace independence through his own business.”

As the father of a young family running his own business, Manoli often has very little time for the self care he needs to stay on top of his responsibilities. Despite this Caleb shares that he is “resilient and has always looked for ways to manage his symptoms so he can spend more time with his family.”

In 2018 Manoli reached out to the team at MS Queensland because the workplaces he was contracting to offered little to no assistance for his Multiple Sclerosis (MS) symptoms. For Manoli these include mobility impairments, muscular spasticity, sensory deficits, and Uthoff’s phenomenon (heat sensitivity negatively affects MSA symptoms).

Support from MS Queensland

At the start of his journey MS Queensland’s allied health knowledge enabled them to fund remedial massage to help manage Manoli’s muscular spasticity, and their local connections allowed them to source the amazing specialists at Results Physiotherapy and Move Osteopathy who ultimately helped him.

Since then, MS Queensland’s employment support service the team has also:

  • helped Manoli access NDIS (the National Disability Insurance Scheme) to assist with funding for physio, occupational therapy and other therapy services
  • facilitated workplace assessments and continued education through weekly debriefing phone calls
  • and coordinated his application for around $9,000 worth of Job Access funding for disability specific equipment. This has helped to maintain Manoli’s self-employment status and cover the costs of:
    • air conditioning in his home office
    • a Samsung Galaxy tablet and pen
    • a desk fan
    • 2 x Ben-Q monitors
    • an Alogic dual display docking station
    • a desk monitor riser
    • dual monitor arms
    • a Jabra Evolve 65 headset
    • a high back desk chair
    • a PowerVital cooling vest and collar
    • an Ergorest arm rest desk attachment
    • a Microsoft Surface Go 3 tablet, surface pen, keyboard and pen charger
    • and Dragon professional voice recognition software.

How this helped Manoli

The biggest personal growth I have seen from Manoli is his confidence in his own abilities,” says Caleb. “Confidence in himself and his communication with clients, specifically around putting himself first.

The pressure and dynamic of self-employment can sometimes mean Manoli is prone to a boom-and-bust cycle in terms of his symptom management. He has been working on this through exercise and management plans provided by MS Queensland.

On this journey he has also gained a better understanding of his body so knows when to make the call that he needs to slow down.

It has been great to see Manoli’s work flourish as well, as he builds on his capacity to take on more customers and his ability to better handle the heightened workloads, says Caleb.

Celebrating milestones

Manoli’s professional successes to date include:

  1. successfully starting his own IT business
  2. personal growth that empowered him to steadily grow his business
  3. and building rapport with customers as he can now meet and exceed expectations.

Next for Manoli

Having achieved so much for Manoli at work, the MS Queensland team’s goal now is to get him the support he needs at home, so he can prioritise his health and growing family.

If you’re living with MS and looking for sustainable work that suits your individual needs, or support with self-employment, register with us today to find out more about our Disability Employment Services.


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