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Career driven and self-confident, Paul proves he isn’t defined by his disability

Supporting diversity and inclusion at Medibank is part of our DNA. We recognise that we have a unique mix of employees from a diverse range of backgrounds and there is a continued focus on welcoming individuals from all walks of life.

We got to know a bit more about Paul Jones, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) & Wellbeing Administrator, and how Medibank has supported him on his career path. Paul lives with two separate conditions known as Ocular Albinism and Nystagmus, both affecting his vision in different ways.

“Ocular Albinism is similar to the Albino condition, however, it only affects the back of my eyes. I am unable to see things that are both far away, or up close and very small.  Nystagmus is where I’m unable to control the movement of my eyes.”

Paul’s journey with Medibank began in late 2014 when he had originally interviewed for a retail position. However, unbeknownst to him, there was another opportunity waiting around the corner.

“Two weeks after applying for a role in one of our retail stores, I received a call saying there was an exciting, new opportunity to work with our community partnerships in the CSR team within People & Culture. I’ve been a part of this team since November 2014.”

Paul and his colleagues in the Wellbeing team.

According to Paul, his Medibank colleagues have always been accepting and have never defined him by his disability.

“Everyone has been really open and I’m treated equally at work. They’re all fantastic people and I have never felt excluded from anything or by anyone. They’re some of the best people I’ve worked with.”

In supporting Paul at work, Medibank worked with Vision Australia to install specialised software that allows him to carry out his daily tasks. Having worked with Vision Australia prior to joining Medibank, Paul was familiar with the technology they offered.

“Vision Australia has provided me with ZoomText, which magnifies my computer screen up to seven times the size of a normal screen. Having been given the software I need for my vision has supported me to do my job as effectively as anyone else.”

Vision Australia’s ZoomText software supports Paul in his daily work.

Travelling to and from work brings out a bit of anxiety in Paul, which he says he tackles by using a smaller cane to help him out.

“I mainly use it for peace of mind when I’m feeling anxious. It’s easier for me to sit down than stand up on public transport and I also have more of a chance being offered a seat if I have my cane with me than if I don’t.”

Paul uses his cane for peace of mind when travelling to work.

With the launch of FlexBetter, each individual, including those with a disability, can work in a way that suits their needs and the freedom to carry out their days based on what works for them.

“Medibank’s FlexBetter suite allows employees to make slight changes to the ‘normal’ structure to help them work smarter for better outcomes. It works for me as I have the flexibility to book health appointments at times that suit me outside of traditional hours.”

It’s important for people with disabilities to not be discouraged when applying for jobs. Paul says it’s about being you, knowing what you have to offer and believing in yourself.

“If you’re in the interview, they’ve called you for a reason, they think you’ve got potential. Have confidence in your work and believe in yourself, because they’re not going to see the disability, they’re going to see you.”

Paul and the Wellbeing team at the AHRI Awards.

  #diversity #employees #flexibility #support

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