If there’s one thing that Jason Roberts is good at that’s persevering.
After being knocked back for a job by 160 Orange employers he didn’t do what most of us would have, he persevered.
After much effort on his part Mr Roberts will soon start work at StarChem Discount Pharmacy.
With the help of employment and training agencies including OCTEC and LiveBetter Mr Roberts can proudly say he’s launched a career in customer service.
Mr Roberts’ job will initially be for eight hours a week but he is hoping that can expand.
He currently also has one day a week’s work at Wangarang Industries.
Of course securing his pharmacy job wasn’t easy after enduring a constant round of knockbacks.
In many cases the employers told Mr Roberts they simply weren’t able to provide the basics of what he needed to attend work such as wheelchair access and toilets suitable for people in wheelchairs.
OCTEC Disability Employment Services and career consultant Rebecca Plant said Mr Roberts was an inspiration and she’s right.
“He’s got sheer determination really,” she told the Central Western Daily.
Starchem also deserve some recognition as the company actually tailored a role to suit Mr Roberts.
At a time when everyone is talking about inclusion, it’s hard to understand why working environments are not more inclusive.
While the Disability Discrimination Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person, in many areas of public life, including employment, discrimination happens on a daily basis.
According to the Australian Network on Disability (AND), an organisations established to help welcome people with a disability into the workforce, there are over four million people in Australia with some form of disability.
That's 1 in 5 people, while 35.9 percent of households include a person with disability.
Sadly the AND statistics show that people aged between 15 and 64 years with a disability have both lower participation and higher unemployment rates than people without a disability.
This lack of employment opportunities for a large proportion of our society must be addressed.
Hearing Mr Roberts’ story serves as a stark reminder just how important it is to be part of the solution and not the problem.