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Afford ADEs (Australian Disability Enterprises) are places where employees are supported to develop their skills to grow as workers, and as individuals.

That is exactly what Ben, a supported employee at Afford’s Minchinbury factory, experienced recently. He has worked with Afford for 17 years and continuously does an amazing job to break down boxes ready for recycling.

Ben has limited communication but completes his role to the best of his ability every time. Although he liked what he was doing, his Supervisor, Megan, noticed that Ben was showing interest in what was happening on the conveyor belt in another section of the factory.

Megan asked Ben if he wanted to go over to see how the conveyor belt process worked. Ben took up the offer with great interest. For the following weeks, Ben enjoyed watching the conveyor belt being used.

Megan saw that Ben’s interest was growing. So, she asked him if he wanted to have a go running the conveyor belt in the cleanroom. Ben’s eyes lit up. He said ‘yes’ excitedly.

Challenge Yourself

Over the next week, Megan supported Ben to develop his skills so that he could place bags onto the conveyor belt using the correct process.

In the clean room, Ben has learnt how to place packed items onto the conveyor belt, so that they can be stamped before being packed. This is a very important role, because the task requires Ben to develop his hand-eye coordination skills. Using these skills, he can pick items up and place them carefully on the belt with precision.

Learn New Skills

Ben has improved his skills week on week. Now, each day he heads straight to the cleanroom to set himself up by putting on his hair-net and positioning himself at the conveyor belt so that he can begin to put the sealed bags on the belt.

Not only does this new role give him the opportunity to learn new skills, but it also allows him to mix with other employees on the factory floor and develop his social skills.

Be Confident in Your Abilities

Having challenged himself to learn this new skill, Ben now has greater confidence to communicate with Afford staff. He lets staff know when his box is empty, and when he requires a new box of stock to place on the conveyor.

This new role has given Ben greater work satisfaction at Minchinbury. Ben’s precision in placing bags on the belt is remarkable! Of all team members, he has the highest print success rate!

As a bonus, Ben has developed confidence in his own abilities that will help him succeed at work and in life.

Find out more about Afford ADEs and how you can find meaningful work and suits your interests.