Opening up to new options gives Jackson a great opportunity to thrive

By Natalia Carozzi, 16 March 2021 , Comments

Jackson Crick is a pretty laid back type of person. He has been supported by Northcott In-Home and Community supports in Taree for several years. Just about everyone who meets Jackson, likes Jackson.

Jackson has worked for an Australian disability enterprise for many years, but he wasn’t reaching his full potential. He felt he wasn’t treated fairly, and the assessment for how much Jackson was paid seemed to be based on him being a person with disability, and not based on his abilities.

Opening up new options

Jackson didn’t know there were other options available, and he deserved better. So Northcott Individual Plan Advisor David motivated him to set out to explore other options. David explored employers in the region that would value Jackson and he made a connection with Tony Davis from Customised Service Solutions, a small business in Taree that provides cleaning, maintenance, lawn and yard services. Tony and his company pride on supporting individuals with disability to engage in the mainstream workforce like anyone else.

Tony advised he needed someone to do car detailing and agreed to meet with Jackson and interview him for the role. The interview went really well and Jackson was offered the job. But before hitting the road, he had to undergo training, which he went through easily. He received his uniform, and more importantly, started earning a mainstream wage, working just like anyone else; he feels his efforts are now valued.

Jackson has been working for four months, and although that initial opportunity with car detailing didn’t progress, he now works on office cleaning and lawn maintenance.

“It’s great to be in a real workplace. We have lunch together; we have team meetings. The best part of this job is being accepted as I am. I feel like I’m one of the team,” says Jackson.

“Jackson became part of the team very quickly. It didn’t take too long to go from Jackson to Jacko. We have a bit of a banter every now and then, he’s become one of us,” says Tony.

“Before starting the actual job, Jacko had to go through all the necessary trainings and he flew through them. I don’t regard him as having a disability; I see the person, how they do their job and how they fit in our team. What matters is his ability. Jacko is not afraid of having a go at anything, and that’s a great quality when you start a new job.”

As part of the job, Jackson needs to drive to the sites he works on, so as a side benefit of this, he has gained a lot of confidence in driving to go to jobs. At the moment, he works with a cleaning supervisor. The next big step for him is to be able to go to places to clean on his own, and Tony is working with him to enable him to do it. It will be happening any time!

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With Northcott’s support, twin sisters Penni and Kakra gained their first paid employment opportunity last year. Check out their story!


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