ETC encourages organisations to help break the stigma of employing people with a disability

Terry Degnan was self-employed all of his life, running a transport company for the past 20 years and prior to that he was a golf professional.

At age fifty, Terry had an attack and shortly after was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

“I’ve had the disease for ten years now and it’s getting into a progressive stage. I seem to manage OK but I am very limited in what I can do. My legs don’t work as well as they used to and I now use a walking stick,” Mr Degnan said.

Terry wanted to continue working in his business but couldn’t physically continue, so he applied for the Disability Support Pension.

“It was challenging to find work at first. Even though I had the experience and qualifications in the transport industry, I couldn’t return to this because of the safety issues. Thanks to the help of ETC I was able to secure employment with the Fat Fish and it’s worked out terrific,” he said.

Terry’s working capacity was only eight hours per week which was originally given to him as 2 shifts per week.

“Four hours straight was hard for me and I was getting tired. So I asked my manager Karen if I could do two hours in the morning and then two in the afternoon. She was very helpful and said not a problem,” Mr Degnan said.

Karyn Bartholomaeus Manager at The Fat Fish in Bonny Hills NSW said that Terry was a wonderful asset to her business.

“He fits into our business in many different ways. He has a wonderful sense of humour and personality which is great in this industry, but he also brings his maturity and his wisdom,” Ms Bartholomaeus said.

“He has been in small business before, knows the hardships and how hard you have to work.”

“For me, he is a great support and someone I can bounce ideas off. While he might have a disability, he has a lot of abilities.”

ETC Operations Manager Rodney Croker said it was part of ETC’s role to educate local organisations about the benefits of employing people with a disability.

“As a Disability Employment Provider we hope to break-down the stigma,” Mr Croker said.

Karyn said that ETC had been a wonderful support.

“They bring me staff who compliment my business in many different ways,” she said.

According to Terry if there’s work for him then there’s work for other people.

“There’s obviously people out there who were in a similar position to me,” he said.

“Ashley at ETC has been with me through the whole exercise. I am grateful for his help and for my employer Karyn being so accommodating to my specific needs.”

To find out more about ETC services contact 1800 007 400.

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