Conducting a job search is challenging even during the best of times. When you’re living with a disability and trying to find employment, having the right support can make a big difference in your outcomes – both while you’re looking and after you’re employed.

Challenges to finding employment when living with a disability

Chorus provides specialist disability employment support as part of their disability services offering. Denise Garner is a Post Placement Support and Marketing Consultant and says the way Chorus supports jobseekers who have a disability is different.

Once a person has been approved to work by NDIS and Centrelink, Chorus works with them to find a job and an employer that are good matches for their skills.

“You might have someone that doesn’t know what they want to do,” Denise says.

“We have a talk with them to put them at ease.

“It’s all about their journey and how we can make it successful for them.”

Chorus support for the job search starts at the very beginning by providing help around career choices and possibilities for employment. The process is collaborative from beginning to end, ensuring customers are driving the process with the help and backing of Chorus. Each engagement is oriented towards the individual and no two disability employment services situations are alike.

For customers, this means they will be provided advice when writing a resume, helped with job applications, and coached for job interviews. Chorus has employment consultants who look for jobs, market candidates and work to match employers with jobseekers to ensure a good fit. Chorus works with customers to help them fill in the gaps and find the job they want. That might entail finding the right training, upskilling or reskilling programs. And, in some cases, it can mean helping someone start their own business.

Navigating a host of different services and agencies available to assist both employees and employers is a valuable part of the overall service.

The disability employment service also extends to potential employers. Chorus works with employers to set expectations about training, ability and a reasonable number of hours for employment. If workplace modifications are needed to support employing a person living with disability, Chorus can coordinate that and organise payments so employers do not incur out-of-pocket expenses. In addition, Chorus will arrange for wage subsidies while customers are going through training or retraining. The goal is to ensure everyone involved benefits from the employment arrangement.

But the service from Chorus doesn’t end with a job offer, not by a long shot.

How employers can help get people living with disability into work

“We focus on keeping people in the job,” Denise says.

“For example, if someone is struggling a lot with mental health, we will link them up to other services to assist them.

“We liaise with doctors and everything needed so that they can make their journey successful.

“We will work with their bosses and just talk them all through it.”

Every person has strengths and weaknesses and Denise says Chorus is focused on both for their customers.

“You work to their strengths, but you also work on the weaknesses,” Denise says.

“We assist them and help give them a feeling of self-worth. That’s what we’re here for.

“The job is their journey. We’re here to ensure longevity in their self-worth and that their job is sustainable.”

Chorus Disability Employment Services

Having a job is one thing, but having a career and meeting your own goals are instrumental to living the life you choose. Chorus is dedicated to helping provide a disability employment service that starts as soon as customers are eligible for work and continues throughout the length of your job placement.

To hear more, listen to episode 12 of the Chorus Voices podcast for insight from some of our support workers.

For more information on Chorus Disability Employment Services and our mental health support services, get in touch on 1800 264 268 or at chorus.org.au.

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