Ongoing support for people with a disability

For Ryland Bell, are-able is much more than just an Disability Employment Services agency.  They’ve become an important source of support for Ryland, helping him find out what he can achieve, rather than focussing on what’s not possible.

A self-confessed ‘quiet achiever’, Ryland doesn’t like being in the spotlight, but a strong sense of empathy has given him a driving need to help people, though he shies from the attention he receives as a result. Despite a range of issues, including some cognitive and mobility difficulties, Ryland chooses to fundraise by distance running, raising money for various cancer charities.

Prior to coming to are-able, Ryland had witnessed a traumatic event and struggled with mental illness. His previous provider had shuffled him from consultant to consultant, and failed to work with Ryland- trying to squeeze him into a one-size-fits-all model.

Ryland’s Employment Consultant Kaitlin Smith says it took around 6 to 12 months to build rapport and gain Ryland’s trust.


are-able facilitates counselling sessions for Ryland, and continues to help him in a range of ways, including helping him with fundraising, supporting him when he’s been nervous in engaging with other services and even throwing him a birthday party! Kaitlin is very conscious of the trust Ryland has placed in them, and works hard to support him, including supplying an are-able running kit for his latest marathon and being there to cheer him as he crossed the finish line.

are-able Employment Consultant Kaitlin, supporting Ryland at the Bendigo Fun Run

are-able fulfils the role of family for Ryland. After an initial period of personal resistance, he found it to be a safe and supportive environment, reflecting that they created an environment where he was able to work with them, rather than battle against them. An investment of time and thought into his situation has proved to be an effective and flexible approach, with Ryland feeling the benefits.

To find out how are-able can help support you, call your local office on 1800 566 066 or drop in for a chat.