All parents want to support their child to succeed in their career, but Bright Skies director Debbie Yip went the extra mile - she built a company from the ground up, designed to help her son and other young people with disabilities.
Founded in 2017, Bright Skies is a courier service that provides meaningful employment to young people, primarily with intellectual disabilities. When other services failed to provide employment for Ben that accurately supported his needs and interests, Debbie knew it was time to step in and get involved herself. Bright Skies has a variety of clients, including nine companies that regularly use their services for the delivery and pick up of medical supplies, laundry, recycling materials, technology, and documents.
Indigo is one of these regular clients, like Identity WA, SKG Radiology, and Guardian Safety Pendants, and was one of the very first clients that Debbie approached. Ben worked with the Occupational Therapy team at Indigo in his childhood to receive support and assistive technology, and so we have been very lucky to have been able to support Debbie, Ben, and Bright Skies over the years.
Ben is an extremely sociable and good-natured person. He enjoys sports, watching movies, and spending time with his friends and family. He is always on the go, always has a calendar full of work and social events, and loves getting to chat with the clients he interacts with.
He was also diagnosed with a chromosome disorder and intellectual disability when he was five months old. Debbie and her family were surprised by this news, and in a show of support, Debbie’s husband gave her a card, with a rainy-day scene on the front, and bright sunny skies within. She says this was the inspiration behind the name of her company, not only as a sign of hope for her own family, but for all young people with disabilities who might be feeling isolated, and who might find connection, purpose, and independence through a career with Bright Skies.
Debbie says that being able to work as a courier at Bright Skies, and getting to engage with clients like Indigo, has greatly benefitted her son. His speech and social skills have improved greatly, not only because he gets to engage with the three NDIS support workers who accompany him on his trips, but also with the clients themselves – like visiting the elderly at Guardian Safety Pendants, or the Customer Service Officers at Indigo. Having a flexible career also allows Ben to develop his own financial independence, get involved in the community, and gives him a sense of value, pride, and confidence in his ability to connect and feel capable in his job.
The balance between routine and variety also gives Ben both predictability and the freedom to step out of his comfort zone, and while Bright Skies primarily focuses on courier services at the moment, Debbie hopes to branch out to more document shredding or even gardening services, to be able to offer different kinds of jobs for other young adults with disabilities. They are working on becoming an official service provider to achieve these goals and expand their services and support, but for now, the team at Bright Skies is focused on supporting their clients and staff, and delivering their packages with a smile.