Did you know that VisAbility places people with low vision and other sensory impairments into a range of jobs in Perth? Known as CoAct VisAbility – Disability Employment Services, they have found jobs across a range of industries including hospitality at Perth’s famous horse-racing track at Ascot.
At the height of the summer season, Ascot Racecourse can get extremely busy especially on the Members Floor, which is a hospitality area that can accommodate as many as 1,250 people.
Two clients who have been placed successfully at Ascot Races (link opens in new window) include Bridie, who works as a function attendant, and Danyel, a bar stockist.
Bridie works two days a week preparing tables for events and functions. This includes cleaning and polishing both glassware and cutlery as well as setting tables for dining. For Bridie, who loves the hospitality industry, the role has brought her greater independence.
“It’s a large function area with exceptional standards. Presentation is everything, so if you have to approach everything in an ordered way. Folding napkins, ensuring glassware is sparkling and cutlery shiny.’’
Bridie says most jobs in hospitality are demanding and this is no different. She says her hands often ache from the physical side of the work because the tableware must be immaculate.
“I get on very well with my work colleagues and I hope to progress to work behind the bar. People know that both I and Danyel are vision impaired, so they’re extra careful not to leave any obstacles around.’’
Her manager Jeff Shearman says she’s a perfect fit for the role.
“Bridie has attention to detail and she’s very personable. Having both her and Danyel on board has made us really check our safety standards. We’re mindful that on days such as the Perth Cup, we may have as many as 15,000 people visit, so it’s important there are no trip hazards.’’
Danyel works in the main bar, which at its busiest can have ten to fifteen rows of people queuing for for drinks. His job is to keep the bars restocked, so he replenishes all the drinks. This might involve several visits to the cool room or the cellar.
“I have to put some of the drinks in big crates with ice. Known as ‘lubbing’ the drinks, it can be strenuous and hard work but it keeps me physically fit.’’
Jobs for people with vision impairment
Both Bridie and Danyel were placed by the team at CoAct – VisAbility and are staying at Ascot Racecourse until the end of the season. Food and Beverage Manager, Brett Raiskums says he has no hesitation in offering them employment for the next season because they’ve both proved they can do their jobs without any assistance.
“Their vision impairment doesn’t affect their productivity and the quality of the jobs they do, and I am so proud to have them as part of our team.’’
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How to get support
COACT’s VisAbility Disability Employment Services can help you to secure a job and offer support with interviews and applications.
Please complete the form below to make an initial enquiry about the low vision services and support we can provide. Our Client Experience Team will contact you to discuss your individual needs both now and into the future.
If you are a provider and wish to refer a client, please use our low vision medical certificate (online referral form) to make your referral.