Employable Me, premiering on Tuesday 3 April at 8.30pm, ABC & ABC iview, follows people with neuro diverse conditions such as autism and Tourette Syndrome as they search for meaningful employment.
This uplifting, warm and insightful series draws on experts to uncover people’s hidden skills and to match jobseekers to roles that can harness their strengths. We all deserve a role in society. That’s what this show is about: striving to belong and play your part. The series looks beyond first impressions to reveal there’s always more than meets the eye.
Produced by Northern Pictures (Changing Minds, Ice Wars), Employable Me was commissioned by the ABC as part of its commitment to bring diverse stories, including those about people with disabilities, into focus. This three-part factual series was financed by the NSW Department of Family and Community Services and Screen Australia, in association with Create NSW and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Employable Me follows nine participants as their job searches unfold. From the fun-loving Marty, who just wants people to treat him the same as other people regardless of his Fragile X Syndrome, to the socially withdrawn Tim, who suffers extreme anxiety every time he leaves his home. As a result, he’s never had a job. We meet Kayla, a 21-year old woman burdened with a complex and rare form of Tourette Syndrome where she suffers uncontrollable movement tics and profane swearing outbursts. Despite these challenges, she is determined to find an employer who will give her a chance. Participants are warm, funny, and generously open. Each story is told from their own perspective. Neuro-psych testing by experts substantiates their skill sets, revealing an astounding cognitive brilliance in some. The job searching results in some truly surprising results.
ABC Managing Director, Michelle Guthrie said: “Employable Me shines a light on the incredibly important issue of disability and diversity in our community and workplaces.
We are honoured to bring this remarkable series to the Australian public and we encourage a National debate and steps towards positive change.”
Minister for Disability Services, Ray Williams MP, said: “The NSW Government is committed to ensuring people with disability are empowered to fully participate in their communities, including through gaining employment.
The Employable Me series shows the benefit of hiring people with disability, including the new skills and perspectives each individual brings to the workplace. We have seen some great outcomes for people with disability who are successfully contributing to a workplace and living a life that provides them with independence.”
Screen Australia’s Senior Manager of Documentary, Liz Stevens said: “We are tremendously proud to have supported Northern Pictures to create Employable Me – an inspiring rethink on the value of employing people with disabilities in the workplace. This series does an incredible job of challenging perceptions and we are confident it will have a lasting impact on viewers.”
Sophia Zachariou, Create NSW Director of Sector Investment, said: “We are delighted to be involved with the ABC’s Employable Me and congratulate the Northern Pictures team on creating such a warm, emotional and entertaining series. Create NSW is committed to expanding opportunities and support for underrepresented groups, and the authentic storytelling in this series shines through to deliver more diverse storytelling for Australian audiences.”