Kim* is 37 years old and has always had a keen interest in working with animals. Kim uses a wheelchair for mobility and requires adaptive technology to support her low vision.
She has often struggled to find workplaces that are suitable for her wheelchair, or have alternative and adaptive technologies to support her vision.
Kim contacted IDPWD to talk about how she would like to work with animals, learn new skills, meet new people and put her skills and talent to good use. In partnership with a local animal sanctuary, IDPWD arranged for Kim to visit the workplace and together identified the barriers that might exist for Kim when working there. Kim, IDPWD and the animal sanctuary modified Kim’s future work environment to ensure that she could participate in her role with no barriers.
This included some simple actions, such as:
– Introducing a mentor to work with Kim during the first few weeks of her employment
– Using a height-adjustable desk, a magnified screen reader and adaptive keyboard to ensure Kim could check work emails
– Installed small step ramps into the animal pens
— Scheduling Kim’s work hours to times that were suitable for Kim’s daily routine
– Arranged for an accessible car parking space for when Kim was transported to and from work
Kim is now an active and contributing member of the animal sanctuary team, and has built long-lasting friendships with her colleagues. She has been recognised as the ‘Volunteer of the Month’ on more than one occasion. Kim has increased her volunteer hours, which she now undertakes independently without mentor supervision or a paid support worker, and she continues to strengthen her skill set in her chosen profession.