Before the internet and smart phones revolutionised the way we gather and exchange knowledge, finding out about the effect and possible remediation of individual disability required either a lot of hard work or much worse good guessing.
“Hurler Syndrome” said a parent in the clear expectation that I would instantly know what this was and also realise the dreadful implications. I had no idea of either and, as soon as the family had left I rushed off to educate myself via the Penrith Library.
The young lady who I had just met desperately wanted to have a job – for her it would be an expression of her validity and she was prepared to do anything to overcome the barriers her illness presented in order to find fulfilment through her work and give her life meaning.
I am pleased to say she got her wish and, although she did subsequently pass away, she did draw a wage, she did get her first pay packet and she was a valued co-worker and friend to those she worked alongside.
Her disability, like so many hundreds of others I have seen, was overcome by her attitude and her ‘can-do’ approach to ‘getting stuff done’.
Over the past 25+ years I have seen people with disability repeat this experience over and over again – Traumatic Brain Injury, Down’s syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, the loss of limbs and chronic illness all absolutely beatable in the face of the determination and dedication of those they afflict but do not defeat.
That said, there’s one disability that cannot be overcome, not by genius nor craft, neither by accommodation or support. That disability is a bad attitude. The possessors of this crippling blight are, in my opinion, beyond all save Our Lord. I have watched my finest staff fail in its presence and I have wasted countless hours attempting success in the sure knowledge I am doomed to fail.
These aren’t people that are depressed because they don’t think they’ll gain work or because their disability causes them other grief – these are system abusers, cheats and thieves who milk the system (they are generally expert in this at least), waste program time, prevent genuine people from taking their place amongst the employed and generally give ‘disability’ a bad name.
Thankfully, such folk are few (I would think 1:1000) with by far the vast majority of the eager, keen, motivated job seekers NOVA cares for, far from wanting to bludge on others but such fools did make me think there’s one disability that cannot be overcome, and that’s a bad attitude!
20 new taxpayers this week, and not a sign of that attitude in any one of them.
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