Disabled Man Flooded with Job Offers After Photo Spreads Like Fire of Him with Sign


Mathew Magrath, 33, isn’t looking for a handout. He’s seeking a job.

He’s also fighting to remove the stigma that surrounds hiring a person with disabilities. Magrath broke his neck 14 years ago after a nasty fall from a 6-foot balcony, and he now uses a wheelchair to access life.

Magrath understands workforce rejection, as potential employers look at the wheelchair and make assumptions about his capabilities. But Magrath refused to give up the hunt, taking to a busy street in Mackay, Australia, in search of a job.

“It’s a tough time for everybody, but especially when you’re disabled,” Magrath told The Daily Mail. “I find some workplaces are not prepared to take you on because they don’t have the right layout or accessibility for wheelchair users.”

For several days, Magrath sat alongside the road, holding a handmade “Work Wanted” sign. The sign listed his phone number and job experience in sales, purchasing, and administration.

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At first, Magrath had no response. But things changed when a woman named Katelyn Neal drove by and snapped a photo of Magrath, posting it to a local job search Facebook group.

“I’ve seen this person two days in a row down on Lagoon street at around 7:30AM yesterday and today,” Neal wrote. “Thought it might be worth a share and in turn this might help them out.”

“I know what it’s like to try to find work and constantly get knocked back,” Neal continued. “It takes courage to do what he is doing.”

On April 18, just days after Neal posted the photo, Magrath was happy to report he had eight potential job offers. He has interviews lined up and expects to “have employment by the end of next week.”

“I know I can work, I like working — I don’t want to be on the dole or anything,” Magrath told the Daily Mercury. “It’s easier to give up, it is a little bit daunting watching everyone go past but at the end of the day it’s working.”

Magrath is hopeful his story will help change the way employers look at people who have disabilities. “People also sort of look at disability as an inconvenience in some sense,” Magrath explained.

“There is a stigma against disabled people, but they’re often very loyal and hard-working,” Magrath continued.

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Hopefully, within a week or so, Magrath will have the opportunity to prove just how capable he is.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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