We have been working with Jordan and his family on his employment goals for many years. Jordan has always been keen and willing to work but finding and keeping a job has not been easy. He was having issues with working alongside other people or being in certain, mainly indoor, environments. When put into situations that made him feel uncomfortable Jordan would retreat to verbal stimming, biting his hand, spitting nervously and to repetitive body movements.
Over the years many support workers have tried different things with Jordan, more or less successful, but no one was able to connect with him in the same way Kylie has. She follows a very individualised and person centred approach with Jordan and puts his needs and wants in the centre of everything they do.
The pair has developed a strong relationship of trust and understanding giving Jordan the opportunity to come out of his shell, discover his talents and follow his own personalised goals.
Together Jordan and Kylie put a focus on Jordan’s strength and interests to achieve best outcomes. Kylie encouraged Jordan to find out what he would be interested so they could determine potential employment options. Kylie had lengthy discussions with Jordan, his family, and other support workers to gain a better understanding and awareness of Jordan’s personal strengths, putting strategies in place to enable full growth and development along with sharing knowledge.
Throughout the whole process Jordan exercised choice and control and was very clear about the things he could and would not do such as working in noisy indoor situations or alongside many people. Kylie took these requests seriously, knowing Jordan could only succeed if he was given choice and control, and encouraged and supported with this decision.
By listening and understanding what Jordan wanted, work areas that he would find frustrating or challenging could be avoided. This helped Jordan to feel comfortable with his choices and put his energy and focus on finding the right opportunities for him and his needs and achieving his employment goals.
Jordan and Kylie made an appointment at a TAFE career centre to help determine what Jordan’s potential career path could be and this all appeared to lead towards outdoor handy work, which Jordan was very happy with.
Jordan started his microbusiness in November 2020 providing cleaning and gardening services to his local community. Kylie asked Jordan and his family if she could put up a social media ad to promote Jordan’s services, which they happily agreed too. She then continued to make contact with a local newspaper to get even more exposure for Jordan and his business. This approach led to multiple new customers for Jordan, making his business successful and viable.
Kylie and the team, work with Jordan to ensure the day-to-day operations of his business run smoothly. Jordan is keen to learn many new tasks and has furthered his skillset tremendously. Jordan is now confidently:
- Keeping accurate booking records.
- Handling money.
- Reading and writing figures over 1000.
- Reading and understanding the weather forecast and determining safety aspects of weather.
- Having a conversation with someone he does not know and working on his social skills.
- Sending business text messages or making phone calls with little guidance.
- Proactively organising tools needed for his work depending on the day.
- Using electrical and fuel-based equipment.
Jordan has also learnt to work efficiently, be punctual, be accurate, be committed, and many other skills which will continue to develop and will help to secure quality employment outcomes in the future. Having a job has also provided Jordan with the financial stability to have hopes and dreams for the future such as traveling and experiencing other countries and cultures. However, the biggest success is that Jordan has wanted and desired employment for over 8 years and has now had consistent secure weekly bookings and income for more than 6 months.
Jordan has gained a great sense of self-worth and believes in himself and his capabilities. This newfound understanding of how capable he really is and that he can provide for himself has worked wonders for Jordan’s independence.
He now puts himself in situations that are out of his comfort zone to gain more life skills and further his independence. Him and his family recently started talking about the possibility of Jordan leaving the family home and living independently, which is something he seems very excited about.
Through her experience with Jordan Kylie saw that there were simply not enough opportunities for people with disability. She is determined to change this and started to work with employment specialists on finding and creating better employment opportunities for people with disability. Kylie has shared her research, ideas, and knowledge with other support workers to help their customers on achieving their employment goals and improve employment outcomes.
During a recent conversation, Jordan told me that he finally feels ‘normal’ and that having a job and being able to save money gave him a whole other outlook on life. I have known Jordan for a very long time and the confidence and sense of self-worth he has now is just incredible. Kylie was able to support Jordan in way that no one figured out before and she truly made a difference to his life.
Personally, I am very proud of Kylie and Jordan and the things they have achieved in such a short amount of time, which makes me think what else is possible in the future, and I can say confidently for these two – everything!
by Kirrily Mason / Team Leader