Susannah Pagliarella

My experience of disability employment has been a positive journey. After having my first child in 2015, I found it difficult to re-enter the workforce in any type of open employment. When I entered into NDIS for assistance with my disability. My support co-ordinator suggested to work in supported employment in 2018. It was a warehouse which I never worked before and was willing to give it a go. I found it a welcoming environment with people from a range of disabilities. I became friends with my co-workers and knew them individually and as a team. I was elected into the WHS committee in 2019 to be a voice on behalf of my co-workers. That year I did have a hospital admission and had to recover. I wasn’t ready to return to work in my recovery and moved to be closer to extended family. I was then referred to a local supported employment and they had an institute part of the service. I applied for a course and was offered to be part of the Pathways program studying work education to discover my long-term career goals. Being equipped with the trainer and the employment coach I found myself keen to do further study at certificate IV. While doing my TAFE studies, I applied for many jobs and attending interviews empowered by my DES provider and support workers. Eventually found open employment in aged care that is a stepping stone from my studies. I am very grateful for all the support that led up to gaining open employment. Including the references from my supported employment and my employment coach from my pathways program.