A man with cerebral palsy and a hearing impairment received a work placement washing dishes at a Mexican restaurant after studying at TAFE and university.
The story of Policy and Project officer at the National Ethnic Disability Alliance, Dominic Hong Duc Golding, is one of several being told to the Disability Royal Commission this week.
After completing his studies, Mr Golding had to be placed with a Disability Employment Services provider to maintain his pension.
Neither of the two providers he used between 2007 and 2014 were able to provide him with placements in the area he wanted to work.
He said one job was a six week placement at a food bank and another was at a Mexican restaurant washing dishes and preparing desserts.
This involved standing for long periods, which was difficult with his cerebral palsy and caused him to suffer back pain and muscle cramps.
Mr Golding said he felt he didn’t get adequate support.
“I felt trapped but staying with the DES provider was the only way I was able to keep the DSP (Disability Support Pension),” he said.
In 2019, he secured his current job at NEDA and was able to get off the DSP
The commission hearings into barriers to finding work are scheduled to continue all week.