The right person in the right role: a formula that has proven true for Taylah and her employer, Technology for Ageing and Disabled QLD (TADQ).
TADQ is 40-year-old organisation in QLD that specialises in customised equipment for all ages. The organisation sources everything from walkers and wheelchairs, to toileting aids and change tables for children with disabilities, assisting people to live a more independent life.
Their customised bike program, Freedom Wheels, takes a standard bike and add the supports that are prescribed by an occupational therapist, allowing kids to get out with their family and friends.
TADQ CEO Maureen connected with EPIC Assist (EPIC) at a function a few years ago and when she was looking to hire a receptionist.
EPIC Employment Advisors Charnea and Natalie worked with Maureen to determine who would be a perfect person for the part-time role. Enter Taylah.
In her role as receptionist, Taylah answers the phones, completes paperwork, fulfil enquiries and provides positive customer experience.
Maureen says Taylah has brought a new dimension to the organisation and made a big impact in the 8 weeks she has been with TADQ.
“It’s brilliant having Taylah on board. She has a perfect personality for the role she’s doing, she’s patient, she’s understanding, and has a natural empathy for people and that comes out when she’s talking to people on the phone,” Maureen said.
Taylah has brought the perspective of a person with disability in the workplace, which has been good for the other employees working with her.
“We’re used to working with people with disabilities, but not as colleagues. It’s been different, and it’s been great. She’s fitted in really well and is part of the team,” Maureen said.
The team at TADQ has welcomed Taylah with open arms, and she has excelled as a result.
“Working at TADQ has made me come out of my shell and become bubblier. In previous roles I haven’t been able to be myself. But here at TADQ, I can just be myself,” Taylah said.
“Maureen is very understanding and I’m really thankful that she gave me this job because I never thought I’d work somewhere like this.”
A lot of phone enquiries in recent times have been from over 65’s who are seeking a personal alarm, and Maureen says Taylah has handled these calls with ease.
“She has a warmth about her. But she’s also very efficient and picks things up quickly. Taylah takes pride in extending beyond the basic requirements of her role.”
Taylah enjoys chatting to the elderly callers who are seeking assistance with equipment to help them live an independent life.
“I love when they are really thankful for my help. It’s why I do my job.”
Maureen said Taylah was nervous when she started but very quickly became comfortable in the role.
“We’ve had a number of volunteers and paid staff in the receptionist role, and Taylah stands out as someone who is right for that position, where you’re the front-line person talking to people.”
Maureen thinks it’s important for people with disability to find meaningful employment because they’re no different to anybody else.
“Employment gives people a purpose and a sense of self-worth. To assume that because a person has a disability that they don’t want that, is really wrong,” Maureen said.
“It’s a responsibility of society, and one of the most important things about inclusion. There’s so much of a person wrapped up in an employment situation, you feel like you have an identity.”
Maureen says if you use the right people, like EPIC, to get the right match for a role you’re looking to fill, you won’t be disappointed with hiring a person with disability in your business.
“It can’t be tokenism. It has to be a position that is necessary and work that is productive and meaningful, then you’ve got that right balance,” Maureen said.
“It’s good for business as well. People with disability have a lot to contribute to business.”
“They’re all really lovely people. They’re not telling me to be someone I’m not. I wish I’d met them sooner,” Taylah said.
“Work makes me feel really independent. It gets me out of the house, doing things I haven’t done before, and dealing with new people.”
Maureen explains how EPIC’s Employment Advisor Charnea has been very hands on and communicative throughout the employment process.
“It’s great to have support from a third party when you’re a small business, as we don’t have a HR department. It’s one of the things that I have to take care of so it’s been great to have Charnea to defer to. She’s not only looked after us, but Taylah as well,” said Maureen.
“Employing Taylah has been, and continues to be, a really good experience for us as an organisation.”
Working at TADQ has created Taylah’s aspirations for the future.
“I’d like to keep doing work similar to what I’m currently doing. I enjoy talking to people and doing the paperwork,” Taylah said.
“If I did what I’m doing now in the future, but in a higher role, I’d be happy with that.”
Taylah has been connected with EPIC for over 10 years, and she says there’s no one else she’d rather be with.
“I wouldn’t trust anyone else. I know that sounds scripted, but it’s not,” Taylah laughs.
“Dealing with EPIC, they’re understanding and welcoming. They help more than other companies. I’ve really enjoyed dealing with all of the people at EPIC. They’re really nice.”
If you, like Taylah, are searching for meaningful employment, get in touch with EPIC today.