News

Blind job seeker: 'they just can’t look past the disability'

JOB HUNT: Rachael Berka with her guide dog Xaviar is looking for work.
JOB HUNT: Rachael Berka with her guide dog Xaviar is looking for work. Vicki Wood

RACHAEL Berka has spent five years looking for a chance to prove herself capable in a job despite her blindness.

"I've had countless non-replies, even when I have interviews, no one's actually come and said 'no you're not suitable'," she said.

The 27-year-old has been totally blind since she was 16 from a disease called Familial Exudative Vitreo Retinography but still has her independence with her guide dog Xaviar.

"It's just finding a balance between something that I can do and something that's beneficial for the employer," she said.

There are a range of Australian Government incentives available to assist businesses including the Employment Assistance Fund that helps towards modifying the physical work environment for any special needs.

"With disabled employees businesses can get grants and government help. They can get help with equipment that we need so they're not forking out," Rachael said.

"For the employer, it's great but they just can't look past the disability."

The Caboolture resident has been looking for work since the store she used to clean in Lawnton closed five years ago and knows others going through a similar situation.

"Businesses need to be a bit more open minded instead of being so narrow minded," she said.

"Yes there are things we can't do but we have skills as well. Think about other things that we can do that may need doing in the work place, stuff that others don't want to do, I'll do it."

Member for Longman Wyatt Roy said finding more and better job prospects for people with a disability was a cultural shift.

"As someone who has previously worked as a participation assistant for a person with a disability, I know how difficult the important issue of employment can be," he said.

"Often people with a disability make the best employees because they appreciate having a job perhaps more than others."

Topics:  blind, disability, employment, wyatt roy


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Minister announces more schools for Caboolture

IMPRESSED: State Minister for Education Kate Jones at the Bellmere State School official opening.

Minister announces more schools for Caboolture

Government pledges $100m for medical centre

HEALTH SOLUTION: Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick, Member of Pumicestone, Rick Williams and Member for Morayfield Mark Ryan at the site of the new medical centre.

Government pledges $100m for medical centre

Urban Country Music cancelled for 2017

Headline act Troy Cassar-Daley did not disappoint at the 2016 Urban  Country Music Festival on Saturday, April 30. Photo Kyle Zenchyson / Caboolture News

Urban Country Music cancelled for 2017

Latest deals and offers

Health worker banned over oral sex during examination

A Caboolture Health Worker has been banned for performing oral sex on a patient during an examination.

Minister announces more schools for Caboolture

IMPRESSED: State Minister for Education Kate Jones at the Bellmere State School official opening.

Minister announces more schools for Caboolture

Government pledges $100m for medical centre

HEALTH SOLUTION: Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick, Member of Pumicestone, Rick Williams and Member for Morayfield Mark Ryan at the site of the new medical centre.

Government pledges $100m for medical centre

Urban Country Music cancelled for 2017

Headline act Troy Cassar-Daley did not disappoint at the 2016 Urban  Country Music Festival on Saturday, April 30. Photo Kyle Zenchyson / Caboolture News

Urban Country Music cancelled for 2017

Armed robber steals cash at ATM

A man carrying a knife demanded money that had just been withdrawn

Caitlyn Shadbolt, Sara Storer join Gympie Muster bill

Caitlyn Shadbolt performs at CMC Rocks in March 2016.

AWARD-winning singers star in third line-up announcement.

Burnett Heads housing development approved

COUNCIL APPROVED: A Burnett Heads housing development has been approved by Bundaberg Regional Council. Photo Contributed

Councillors approved the development seven votes to four

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward