The invisible disability: Matthew’s story of working with chronic pain

23 August 2018

The invisible disability: Matthew’s story of working with chronic pain

For many people living with disability, obtaining some form of employment, even if it is voluntary work, can make a huge difference to their mental health. Matthew*, a client of CoAct Service Partner, Workways, is one such example.

As Matthew explains, being born with a disability means growing up with the need for a myriad of support networks.

As time goes on, one gets weary of only being a consumer of services and desires to have the opportunity to give something in return,

says Matthew.

He had started a Certificate III in Library Services under the supervision of another provider, but stopped due to a lack of support. Matthew approached a member of CoAct, for assistance. His new Employment Consultant encouraged him to recommence his study; together they identified the support Matthew needed to stay motivated and engaged with the course.

Matthew’s case worker also began assisting him to find work by promoting Matthew’s skills to local employers and providing other candidate marketing support.

Matthew soon received an offer of paid work at Mudgeeraba Special School, providing administration support to the library. He is employed for eight hours a week, and his manager describes him as a ‘God-send’, following direction and getting the job done. He is also a great role model and mentor for children at the school who also have various disabilities.

At times, Matthew suffers from pain attacks during which he is unable to work. His employer is supportive of his condition, and allows him to alter his schedule to ensure he still works his desired eight hours a week.

Shortly after he received his placement, Matthew wrote to CoAct:

…Attaining a job has afforded such an opportunity for myself. To become one who is part of the community and able to put something back into it.

My days, I feel, suddenly have a sense of greater purpose, to feel valued and a have a life lived, not merely existing in.

Of course it is such aforementioned services, like those tasked with helping open doors to the workforce for people with disabilities, that I’ll forever be grateful to.

The chance to have some sort of employment might seem like a simple thing, but to have the same opportunities afforded to everyone else, has an immeasurable value to myself.

Want to find work? You’ve come to the right place.

When you register with CoAct, our dedicated local team invests in you from the start. You’ll get one-on-one support with staff who listen to your needs, give you options to reach your goals and build your confidence and skills to help you on your road to success.

*Name has been changed to protect client’s privacy

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