An honest account about looking for work with a disability
LUKE Watt is just like any other worker apart from the fact he rolls instead of strides.
The Tweed Heads man, who is confined to a wheelchair as the lower quarter of his spine didn't form, described his disability as a "big setback" when trying to find employment.
Speaking candidly to the Tweed Daily News, Mr Watt revealed a desperate plea online this week, has renewed his faith that people with a disability are visible to the local community.
In a Facebook post, Mr Watt introduced himself and offered his time for work experience to prove he was capable.
"I'm just looking for a chance to show my skills and that I am more than just someone in a wheelchair," Mr Watt wrote.
"All I need is a chance to prove myself."
The 25-year-old said he understood employers' hesitancy in hiring someone with a disability but urged them to have an open mind.
"If you're an employer and see me come into the shop wanting a go, they'd think, 'I've got a family to feed and a business to run and pay for'," he said.
"They look at me and think, 'he is a bit of a risk', and I understand that, everyone has to make money.
"I think people need to be bring more of an open mind and say, 'let's try it'."
Since reaching out online Mr Watt said he had been overwhelmed by support and job offers at a time when he had just a few dollars left in his pocket.
He said his phone had not stopped and his post was shared more than 800 times.
"I'm really confident I'll get a job. A lot of people have offered me something or an interview," he said.
The job offers ranged from working in a call centre, to excavation and programming for cars.
"A bloke up the Coast, who does programming for cars, he's gotten on to me and said he wants to put me on, but needs to check if he can afford it.
"I need to thank everyone who has messaged me or commented on my post.
"It's overwhelming how much response it has gotten and I feel bad I can't reply to everyone and I can't take everyone's job offer.
"That's the heartbreaking thing about having so much support and offers, but I can only work for one person and I don't want anyone to feel insignificant because of that."