Supporting Autism in the Workplace: Carlin's Path to Employment Inclusion

    1. NDIS programs to Disability Employment Support: Carlin, an NDIS participant at Castle's Maitland site, lives with autism spectrum disorder level 2 and severe expressive and receptive language disorder. After building up the skills and confidence through NDIS programs he was ready to explore his prospects of paid employment through Disability Employment Services.

    2. Transformation Through Collaboration: With the dedicated support of both his NDIS support workers and Employment Case management team, Carlin's journey underwent a remarkable transformation. Through tailored interventions and collaborative efforts, barriers were dismantled, and Carlin's unique abilities were recognized, paving the way for his successful integration into the workforce.

    3. Inclusive Employment Success: Carlin's story culminated in a heartwarming triumph as he secured employment at Sharkskin, a testament to the power of inclusive employment practices. His journey serves as an inspiration, highlighting the potential of individuals with diverse abilities to thrive in supportive and inclusive work environments.

Carlin at work

Carlin, pictured at his workplace, wetsuit manufacturer and equipment supplier Sharkskin Australia.

Carlin's Journey

In a world where challenges often overshadow opportunities, the story of Carlin emerges as a beacon of hope and resilience. At just 20 years old, Carlin has faced and conquered obstacles that would daunt even the strongest among us. Living with autism spectrum disorder level 2 and severe expressive and receptive language disorder, his journey to finding his place in the workforce is not just a tale of perseverance, but a testament to the transformative power of support and collaboration.

Carlin's journey with Catle took a significant turn in January 2024, marking the transition from NDIS support to exploring employment options with Disability Employment Services (DES). With unwavering dedication, Carlin's NDIS support worker and Employment Case management team at Castle Maitland embarked on a mission to dismantle the barriers hindering his employment prospects. Through meticulous assessment and tailored interventions, they paved the way for Carlin's personal growth and professional success.

Understanding Carlin's unique needs was paramount in unlocking his potential. Castle Maitland collaborated closely with Carlin to develop a comprehensive communication guide, ensuring prospective employers could comprehend his requirements effectively. This commitment to understanding laid the foundation for Carlin's journey towards meaningful employment.

Together, Carlin and his support team embarked on a quest to find the perfect workplace environment—one that would nurture his abilities and embrace his diversity. The pivotal moment arrived with a workplace walkthrough of Beresfield wetsuit manufacturer, and long-time supportive employment partner Sharkskin Australia. 

Following a successful two-week paid work trial, Carlin received life-changing news—Sharkskin offered him a position, welcoming him into their team three days a week. This opportunity was more than just a job; it was a catalyst for Carlin's transformation. His newfound independence, confidence, and sense of purpose blossomed, illuminating his path towards a brighter future.

For Carlin and his family, gratitude knows no bounds. The inclusive workplace culture at Sharkskin not only changed Carlin's life but also filled their hearts with hope and appreciation. The smiles on Carlin's face at work are not just reflections of his newfound employment but symbols of triumph over adversity.

Castle Employment Account Officer Keith Gibbs praises the support of long-time employment partners Sharkskin Australia and has high hopes for Carlin's future.

“Observing Carlin's weekly progress at work has been a source of inspiration. Not only for myself but for his work colleagues. The management at Sharkskin has consistently demonstrated commendable support of Carlin and their commitment to assisting individuals facing barriers is truly admirable."

"As Carlin's journey at Sharkskin unfolds, I anticipate with enthusiasm the remarkable achievements this young man will undoubtedly accomplish”.

Reports from Sharkskin affirm Carlin's seamless integration into the team, exceeding expectations with his dedication and diligence. The 'how to communicate sheet' created by Castle Maitland facilitated understanding and ensured Carlin's voice was heard and valued.

Carlin's journey is a testament to the power of determination, support, and inclusivity. It reminds us that with the right opportunities and community connections, individuals with diverse abilities can achieve their dreams. As Carlin continues to make strides in his professional journey, he stands as an inspiration to us all—a reminder that barriers are meant to be broken, and dreams are meant to be realized.

In celebrating Carlin's success, we celebrate the potential within each of us, reaffirming that indeed, everyone is entitled to the same level of opportunity.