Despite struggling with learning difficulties Joanna has found a supportive workplace that accepts her limitations, nurtures her growth, and treats her like part of the family.
When 28 year old Joanna first met with Sharon at Omnia Inclusive she was unsure of what to expect. Diagnosed with a medical condition that results in heart defects and lifelong learning difficulties, Joanna had always struggled with new environments but she and Sharon hit it off immediately.
Joanna’s condition had been a significant barrier to finding employment, but Sharon knew that she and the rest of the Omnia Inclusive team could help her find success. Together they worked on Joanna’s resume, honed her interview skills and applied for jobs that matched Joanna’s dream of working with people.
In July of this year, after spending some time building up Joanna’s confidence, Sharon was able to connect Joanna with Marcie Pearce, owner of “The Shed”, a cafe located in Erina Fair. Marcie was understanding about Joanna’s condition and was so impressed with Joanna’s eagerness at the interview that she agreed to hire her.
At first, Joanna was only able to work for an hour every week as she was unused to working and became overwhelmed by everything she needed to learn, but with Marcie’s encouragement she was able to increase her hours slowly and over time she has built up to 3 days a week.
Joanna started out by washing the dishes at the cafe, but with the help of Marcie and her team, she has been building her skills and taking on more and more responsibility as time goes on.
When Joanna expressed an interest in cutting up the fruit for the cafe, Marcie taught her how and then Joanna spent time practising at home to make sure she could do it right – with great feedback from her NDIS support team!
Joanna’s next goal is to start cleaning the tables for the cafe and Marcie has agreed to help her reach that new goal.
As well as finding her employment, one of Sharon’s priorities for Joanna was to help her become more independent.
When she first came to Omnia Inclusive, Joanna – who lives in supportive accommodation – was assisted by her NDIS support team to get to and from her workplace appointments, but with Sharon’s help Joanna was able to learn how to use the bus system and is now able to confidently travel by herself to and from her shifts at work and her appointments with Omnia Inclusive, which is a fantastic achievement.
Joanna’s story highlights the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and shows us how small acts of kindness can turn someone’s life around.
If you’re looking for an inclusive employment specialist who can truly understand your unique situation and help you find success, contact Omnia Inclusive today.
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