“Don’t let your disability affect your life. Whatever you want to do in life – go for that goal. Don’t let your disability stop you.” That’s the advice given by 22-year-old Lachlan Cavallaro (Lachie) who has battled with Congenital Heart Disease, two strokes and reduced dexterity in his left arm.
Despite his tough start, sheer determination is oozing from this young man who just wants to live a normal life.
After leaving school at the end of Year 12, Lachie registered with Disability Employment Service (DES) provider ETC who connected him with the Kew Corner Store.
“I started out doing volunteer work just so I could get some experience and gain skills. This was great because I learned so much,” Lachie said.
Kew Corner Store Owner Steffan Andler was so impressed with Lachie’s attitude and work ethic that he decided to hire him as a paid employee.
“Lachie has really worked hard to prove himself and that he is worthy of employment. He’s very positive, friendly and is liked by both customers and staff,” Mr Andler said.
Customer service, preparing and serving food, cash handling, replenishing stock and cleaning were all part of Lachie’s duties, but initially this took its toll on his health.
So ETC made contact with the Australian Government’s Job Access program to apply for a commercial dishwasher to make Lachie’s job easier and increase his workable hours.
Both Lachie and Mr Andler were thrilled when this application was approved and the new dishwasher was installed.
In the meantime, ETC referred Lachie to Enriched Health for an assessment of his left arm and after 10 visits he is now able to straighten his arm.
“I’ve seen a huge improvement in him – he’s learned so much and built up strength. The beauty of Lachie is he knows his short comings and has no problem asking for help,” said Mr Andler.
Lachie said both ETC and his employer had enabled him to grow as a person and become more independent.
“Some days I forgot I have a heart condition. I try not to let my disability affect me or my work. I love coming here every day and now don’t have to rely on my parents as much,” Lachie said.
“The support ETC has given me – I really, really appreciate it, thank you. And I love working for Steffan because if I’m having an off day or not feeling well, he’s always understanding and encourages me to take regular breaks.”
Mr Andler encouraged other businesses to give people with disability a chance to prove themselves.
“I think we all need to stick together and give people less fortunate an opportunity to have a go – even if it’s only work placement or volunteer work to begin with,” he said.
ETC currently provides specialist help to people with disability, illness or injury to find and keep a job in the Hastings region.
From 1 July 2018 ETC will also provide Disability Employment Services in the following locations:
Palm Beach, Robina, Nerang, Southport, Helensvale and Coomera
Tweed Heads South, Murwillumbah, Lismore, Casino, Bryon Bay and Ballina
Tuncurry, Taree, Port Macquarie, Wauchope, Kempsey, Nambucca Heads, Coffs Harbour, Woolgoolga and Grafton
If you are looking to transfer from your current provider or are new to DES call our Customer Contact Centre on 1800 007 400 to discuss how we can help you today.
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