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 which are suitable for her wheelchair, or which have alternative and adaptive technologies to support her vision.
Kim contacted VGC 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, VGC arranged for Kim to visit the workplace and together identified the barriers that might exist for Kim when working there. Kim, VGC 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 so that Kim could check her work emails
- Installed some small step ramps into the animal pens
- Scheduling Kim’s work times to her requirements and preference
- Arranged for an accessible car parking space for when Kim was supported to and from work
Kim is an active and contributing member of the team, and has built long-lasting friendships with her work 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 with no support from a mentor or paid support worker, and she continues to build her skills in her chosen profession.