As one door closes, Ron builds another

Tuesday, 29 November 2022

There is a lot more that goes into making a working door than slapping some hinges on a piece of timber and bolting it next to a gap. Anyone with a working knowledge of these contraptions will tell you that a good door will have some good door jambs.

We are not talking about music designed for doors. A door jamb is an individual section of a door frame designed to support a door and building.  

You might be thinking, wow! Thank you, EPIC Assist, for a fact I will never need or use in my life. You’re welcome. You could be correct, but like many things in this world, there is more to the door than meets the eye, and a new perspective can change how you see things entirely.

Take Ronald (Ron), for example. He is an honest, hard-working man with a great attitude. At first glance, nothing ever dampens Ron’s spirit.

As he powers through each day, welding torch firing away in one hand, you would think there was no door in life Ron couldn’t mend and walk through with complete and utter ease. That is only sometimes the case. Ron is very frank about his life with a disability and his challenges.

Ten years ago, Ron was diagnosed with anxiety. Until then, he was struggling in the workplace. Arguments with colleagues would escalate beyond his control, and his performance would ebb and flow for seemingly no reason.

At the time, it was great for Ron to have a better understanding of himself and his barriers. But even after his diagnosis, Ron had setbacks. He needed help finding an employer that understood his workplace needs.

Ron is working at MetalBiz Pty Ltd.
Ron all framed up for a photo outside MetalBiz Pty Ltd.

Five years ago, Ron found EPIC Assist (EPIC), and things started to improve. EPIC is a not-for-profit Disability Employment Services (DES) provider that helps people with injuries, disabilities, health conditions, or mental health conditions find and maintain work.

In the early days, Ron would go into an EPIC office twice a week, sit down with someone, and try to plan his job search. They helped him search for jobs and made sure they were something he wanted to do. 

On top of this, they ensured those jobs were local, so Ron would not have to worry about transport. EPIC then contacted employers on Ron’s behalf, acting as a liaison and taking care of all the communication for him.

“They’re very, very helpful. Crikey, there should be more of them out there,” Ron said.

It took some time for Ron and EPIC to find the perfect match, but in early 2021 EPIC found Ron a job that flawlessly welded to him.

MetalBiz Pty Ltd, a sheetmetal and stainless-steel business located in Thorneside, were happy to give Ron a go.

“MetalBiz makes metal door frames and welds on door hinges,” Ron said.

“They start from scratch with a blank bit of steel. They fold it, cut it, bend it, weld it, and weld on all doors and hinges. These are all for high-rise buildings and commercial properties. I weld on the hinges.

“If a door falls off one day, you know I did that.”

Ron has a long list of complex health and mental health conditions he must address daily. But Ron refuses to let this get the better of him. 

Ron and his employer John at MetalBiz Pty Ltd.

Some days, going to work is just not an option. Many employers may struggle to overcome this, but John, the boss at MetalBiz Pty. Ltd is very understanding.

“Ron understandably comes with challenges due to his health conditions,” John said. “But Ron has a good attitude, is productive, and is willing to try anything.”

Ron explained that he would “try and try and make it into work every day.”

“This job is good because they know if I don’t make it that day, I had a terrible night.”

Ron explained it’s nice to have a supportive employer and great to have someone else who can step up and help when he can’t.

“EPIC’s always here to advocate for me,” he said. “Whatever my needs are, EPIC always ensures the role matches them.”

Ron understands how hard life can be. But he wants people to realise that things will get better. 

“I have not failed. I’ve just found ten thousand ways that won’t work.”

It is a motto Ron often says, and he hopes it will inspire people to keep going. 

“That ten thousand and first try might work. I might kick a goal.”

Good on ya, Ron!

If you or someone you know has a disability, injury, mental health condition, or health condition and is looking for extra support finding employment, contact EPIC today

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