I actually don't return to work until the 6th but couldn't pass up the opportunity on this special day to share some of the thoughts of my Taree colleague, Mrs Paule Jarvis.
Paule's been with NOVA for a while and is both an effective Employment Consultant and a powerful advocate for people with disability .
You can see her Youtube story here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXe-6qDksDs
And the text from her speech (delivered today) is below.
Well done Paule, and my congratulations to everyone working to make today specially memorable.
See you Monday!
When the United Nations declared 1981 as the International Year of the Disabled, it was a very big thing for people with Disabilities, it marked the advent of a lot of changes. Disabilities had long been something people felt uncomfortable talking about.
It was not good for a person with a Disability to go out in public. Access was almost impossible, there were so many barriers. Stairs, gutters, no Disabled Taxi’s. no Disabled friendly crossings.
Actually crossing at lights was like playing Space Invaders.
To be Disabled one needed many qualities, patience, for the endless waits. People who would eventually get to you. Good sense of humor, allowing you to see the funny side of the horrified look on people’s faces after you have completed a cartwheel down some steps and landed in a heap with your dress up around your neck. Then pick yourself up, shake yourself off, actually that was to make sure your dress was back in place.
In the early days, Education was an issue. I had to leave school in 2nd Year or 9. Not because of a Disability but because we were living in an age where Education for woman was not considered important. However I loved reading and was able to continue to educate myself I decided I wanted to do Nursing. In those days high school marks were not a part of the essential criteria to do Nursing. I pestered various establishments and finally began my Nursing Career at Prince Henry Hospital. I was so proud. At 19 years of age and during my second year, I was involved in a major car accident, where I lost a leg. Then after a 2 year battle, at 21, I lost the other one. The end of my Nursing Career. It was around about this time I was diagnosed with a very rare form of Muscular Dystrophy. I was fitted with artificial legs and learnt to walk again. Then I decided I wanted to learn to drive. Drama’s again. After countless Medical Reports it was decided I may be allowed to obtain a Drivers License on the condition I was reviewed every year.
However this has not stopped me leading a full happy life. I have been a wife and mother, with lots of wonderful children that my husband and I parented, by fostering, adopting and natural means. When I was first expecting my son a well meaning Doctor advised me not to proceed. I chose to continue and my eldest son is the father of my beautiful Grand Daughter. Next time it was very hard to get me to a Doctor. People were worried how I would manage my baby but I did it my way, which took a little longer. What they didn’t understand. Children have no prejudices. They are happy wait
At a later stage my marriage broke down, I came back to NSW. I knew my options were very limited and employment would be impossible to obtain. So rather than go on a Pension I open my own business an Antique Shop in one of the Beachside Suburbs in Newcastle. After a couple of years I operated 2 shops. Than after 5 years I sold the business and brought our own home. Just myself and my sons.
An old friend offered me some reception work, which I loved, this allowed me to set in place some props to assist me do my job independently. Computers were just making an entry into the workplace. It was hard for me with my fingers, so I found a simple rubber tipped pencil allowed me to do Data Entry as good as the next person. Don’t ever tell yourself I can’t do this. Ask yourself how will I do this.
Some years later I was very privileged to meet a wonderful man. Who understood and shared my dream, a life in the country. So we eventually brought a property and moved from the city. In the rural sector it was like stepping back in time as far as attitude to Disabilities went.
I took advantage of this time and completed a bridging course into the University of New England. I took up some Disabled issues and actually became a member of their Advisory Board. My interest was accountancy. At that time I was appointed by the Administrator to oversee one of the local indigenous organizations. For a few months. This was full-time work and after 5 years I resigned due to my Health. Whilst there I was able to assist with setting up the local Taxi Company. I obtained my Taxi Driver’s Authority and drove a couple of nights a week, until they discovered I had a Disability. They took my Driver’s Authority immediately. However during that time I had been able to learn the System enough to train others, who would have never had the opportunity.
Due to my husband’s health we had to move to Forster for him to receive treatment. By now I was fully confined to a wheelchair as my back had given out.
Listening to radio one morning I heard someone talking about employment for people with Disabilities. Made me think yes I was ready to go back to work. Let’s see how good they are. I rang them, Nova Employment. A couple of months after my initial interview they offered me a job. Part time which I embraced because they followed the same values as myself. Equality in Disabilities.
Ten years later I am still a staff member, I have been able to complete my studies in Disabilities. I have able to undertake Mental Health Training to a Facilitator’s level. In a new program from America. I am an active member of the NSW Police Disability Advisory Panel. I have become a Court Advocate for people with Disabilities through the Criminal Justice Support Network. Then a very important thing for people with Disability in this area is the local Access Committee. Who have played a major role in today’s event’s.
So lastly I ask you, don’t be afraid to ask about anything you don’t understand about a person with a Disability and don’t offer boundless sympathy because we will possibly get sick of it and play on it. you see I don’t consider I have a Disability, I often make the mistake of feeling sorry for someone with a sore foot. You set your own boundaries, you can go as far as you want only you will do it differently. You will do it your way
Would you like a face-to-face meeting with Martin via Skype? Click the button below to make an appointment
Subscribe to this Blog - blog.novaemployment.com.au Copy the link above and paste it into your favourite Reader to subscribe to an RSS feed of this blog. To watch a short video explanation of RSS and how it helps you save time reading the web click here
Your Comments There are currently no comments on this article
Review Australia's $1bn disability employment service criticised over poor outcomes and reduced employment - https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/mar/31/australias-disability-employment-down-3-in-past-decade-as-service-scheme-criticised-for-poor-outcomes....
Thank you Mark Zuckerberg (not!) Friends of NOVA may have seen our Facebook page is down - courtesy Mark Zuckerberg NOVA/Focus are victims of much larger forces - no idea when or if we'll be restored - more as events unfold....
They Don't Count Gaining or holding formal qualifications can set a person up for a lifetime career. Holding appropriate qualifications that can lead to lifelong careers, tradespeople generally make a good income and enjoy well deserved respect....
Benchmarks To access NOVA Employment or any Disability Employment Service (DES), almost everyone is required to be assessed by the Services Australia Services (Centrelink) to determine their "Benchmark" hours: Benchmark hours are the pay point for service providers; being the minimum working hours required for the DES provider to bill the Government and the assessed maximum hours a person is deemed capable of working with DES support....
International Day of People with a Disability
International Day of People with a Disability
It's IDPwD and we have a 1 hour 'special' screening on SBS from 4.30 this afternoon.
Our Ryan Goodwin has done a great job of selecting some of the great entries from NOVA's 'Focusonability' short film festival - we love the Festival and hope that you'll love these films, gathered from around the world....
2020 - the first half When the going gets tough, the tough get going
Good! - Now they've left us, let's look at reality - when the going gets tough, many people suffer and dis-proportionally, people with disability suffer more....
Countdown Clock II
What's the countdown clock all about?
It's our closing time and a countdown to the end of a truly remarkable month of extraordinary effort by my staff....
Countdown Clock Regular viewers will have noticed a countdown clock ticking away (above)
What's that all about?
Can't say - you have to wait till 4.30pm (a little earlier for staff)
Just the best 3 One thing we all love is a winner which is why there's a smile on my face it will be pretty hard to shift.
There's a nightmare pandemic sweeping the world (carried off my mum), the economy has tanked in a never before seen disaster that's left more than a million Aussies unemployed and the only news seems to be bad news....
More than Money!
If asked, most of us would say we went to work for the money, to pay our bills or support our family.
All true, and yet work means so much more:
Prior to finding a job with NOVA employment Glenn* struggled to keep jobs for more than a few months and was generally working as a dishwasher in restaurants which he found to be quite unsatisfying work....
Life Changers II
How are you in the mornings (or evenings, or nights)? NOVA is an 'old school' Disability Employment Service - we find work in the general community with identical pay and conditions as those enjoyed by people who dont have a disability....
Life Changers Required! Received yesterday:
I was unemployed for 24 years because of my disability. I was looking for a job for the last 2 and half years. With the help of (NOVA Staff) I found suitable job and working in the law company for last one year....
Don't know about you but I have felt pretty bruised from all the horrible stuff brought upon us by this damn virus - seeing so many folk losing their jobs is particularly awful and the uncertainty generated for everyone, particularly for workers who have a disability is dreadful to see....
Best Ever II
Following from last post:
NOVA Employment has operated for 30 years. Comparing all results from previous years, February 2020 has been our most successful to date - Following on from January that's 2 in a row and every indication March will also be a record breaker....
NOVA Employment posted another 'best ever' result for the first month of 2020.
Despite the most dreadful natural disasters and with many businesses closed for the holidays, the NOVA team delivered more new workers than in any previous January results, beating past 5 years average by 25% and previous (2017) 'best ever' numbers by 5%....
Depressing cracked record!
A good friend will occasionally pull me up with the reminder that I have a tendency to rant, 'rave on slop jaw' if I remember correctly....
Big Win! Saturday night saw a big win for the NOVA team and for people with disability when our Podcast partners NOVA Entertainment- no relationship other than mates - received the following:
BEST ORIGINAL PODCAST - BRANDED
Focus On Ability; Nova Employment & the Nova Entertainment Podcast Team , NOVA Entertainment
BEST ORIGINAL PODCAST - UNBRANDED
Hamish & Andy; Hamish Blake & Andy Lee, PodcastOne Australi
Taken from the web: https://www....
Received the following yesterday morning:
Hi Nova, just wanted to give my feedback in regards to my mother getting a job through you guys and the amazing impact it has had!! The job that mum has received has changed her outlook on everything! She is now much more confident in her self and her abilities....
Welfare Benefits and Health
It is said that power corrupts, but actually it's truer that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power: David Brin
DES providers don't need nor should they have been given the authority to suspend welfare benefits (see above)....
I have spoken previously on, to quote former President Bush, 'the soft bigotry of low expectations' - if you are a member of a marginalised group the public don't expect much and are surprised when anything much is achieved!
I've been in this game for more than 30 years and have been privileged to see literally thousands of terrific men and women leave NOVA To gain (and retain) great jobs....