How John never let intellectual disability stop him from finding a job or being part of his community

By Northcott, 29 April 2016 , Comments

My name is John Catling, I am 27 and I live in Queanbeyan. I also have an intellectual disability.

I’d wanted to find a job since the time I left school and a few months ago I finally got one. Before I got the job I was bored and sat around a lot even though I wanted to be busy at work.

About a year ago when Siemie started working at Northcott, we sat down and had a chat about how much I wanted to work with wood.

She helped me practice how to introduce myself to people and put me in touch with the local Mens Shed. There I was able to team up with a volunteer who taught me how to make possum boxes and bird houses at Northcott.

After that, I got some work experience at a local business last July and it was good to learn how to do new stuff. I made new friends, learnt new skills and felt part of a team.

A couple of months ago the business owner Tony had a chat with me and said I’m “a good worker”. I felt happy and then even better when Tony told me he wanted me to work for him and get paid for it.

On Wednesdays and Thursdays I now go to work and these are some of my favourite days of the week. I like keeping myself busy at work and at the moment I’m making a bird feeder at Northcott.

My family are happy that I have a job. My mum said she was proud and my dad said “congratulations”.  This made me happy too because I never thought I would get a job.

Now that I am working I am saving up for a holiday on a cruise boat. Before I got my job I wouldn’t have been able to save up for something like this.

I’m also doing other things to keep me busy. On Tuesday and Thursday nights I train with the Whites rugby union team. I run the water for them on weekends too.

I go to watch my NRL team the Raiders play and go to choir.

Northcott helps me go to tutoring to learn how to read and write too. My tutor says I’m now reading and writing at level one.

John learning to read

I live in a group home at the moment but my next goal is to get my own place. I want to learn to cook for myself and do my washing. I am hoping the NDIS will help do this.

I am excited about the future.

* Story as told by John Catling to Northcott’s Communications Team

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