How I overcame episodic disability challenges and returned to full-time work

By Dan O’Reilly, 27 April 2016 , Comments

Eighteen months ago, when I first started using Northcott’s Employment Service, I wasn’t ready to start work because I have epilepsy and fractured six vertebrae during two seizures.

The staff that supported me at Northcott understood that I needed rehabilitation and assistance to re-enter the workforce. They worked as a team and helped me with things like writing a cover letter, building my resume and practicing my interview skills.

Finally, after a lot of preparation and rehab, I was finally ready to have a go at returning to work.

I started applying for jobs and soon after the search began, Northcott staff told me about a new job opportunity that had come up within Northcott. I looked at the position description and went through the application process just like any other candidate.

After going through the interview stage and being shortlisted, I was stoked to hear that I was selected for the position of Customer Contact Advisor.

In this role I get to chat with Northcott’s current and potentially future customers about any enquiries they have. I’m also able to help them get informed about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), chat about their goals and discuss what they hope to achieve by using our services.

Dan and his manager Katie discussing the NDIS roll out

I’ve learnt so much already and am enjoying my new role. My manager Katie is an excellent teacher and I am loving being back at work. I feel like I’m part of something now, as opposed to being very much removed from society for an expanded period of time.

My seizures are now well managed and controlled with the right medication so I don’t see my epilepsy as an issue affecting my job in a major way.

The NDIS is a big change and some people are understandably nervous about it. I’m looking forward to hopefully being able to make things a bit easier for people who contact us and seeing how the services Northcott offers can work with people on achieving their goals.

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