Kyal participated in the NDIA School to Work transition pilot in Western Australia through Rocky Bay disability service. Rocky Bay staff were trained and mentored in the use of customised employment techniques through Ticket to Work network coordinator National Disability Services (NDS).
The School to Work transition pilot is funded by the NDIA to provide customised employment supports to students from Years 10-13 with disability. Customised employment is a process-driven concept to support people with disabilities gain employment and can include self-employment. Customised employment has four essential components, Discovery, Job Search Planning, Job Development and Negotiation and Post-Employment Support.
During the Discovery Phase, it was determined that Kyal prefers hands-on practical activities. Kyal does woodwork and also has made beautiful jewellery for his sister. Kyal is a meticulous worker and does everything to a high standard.
Alison, Anna and Kirstie from Rocky Bay worked with Kyal through the Discovery process. They supported him to explore his love of cooking, which Kyal has embraced, regularly cooking delicious meals for the family. Kyal was keen to combine his interest for cooking and his love of animals.
Kyal felt that Apollo, the family husky, deserved some healthy home-made treats, after doing online research on recipes, his first batch of cookies was a huge success. As Apollo firmly chose Kyal’s home made biscuit over a commercial treat. Anna offered to find a café that would be prepared to trial Kyal’s dog biscuits with their customers. Bolt Coffee in Hazelemere is a dog friendly café, was approached.
Steve, owner of Bolt Coffee was happy to give Kyal’s biscuits a one week trial. Kyal delivered a sample batch, accompanied by his Mum and Anna. It was a successful trial as every single biscuit was sold and Steve ordered a further 60 packets of biscuits. Bolt Coffee is now a regular customer placing a regular weekly order. In addition, there has been a boost in sales. The family’s dog groomer has made more orders since ordering their first batch.
Kyal has set up a Facebook page, for his new business, Doggy Delight @kyalsDoggyDelights which already has 80 Likes. There are even international requests that have come from as far as Oregon USA! (Unfortunately, Kyal can only ship to WA).
Kyal is currently producing about 400 biscuits a week, all made by hand. He uses healthy ingredients such as wholemeal flour and eggs.
Kyal and his family live in the Perth Hills, they will be sourcing eggs from local free range chickens. Kyal continually modifies his recipe, so that he gets the best possible taste and texture for his canine customers. He currently produces two varieties, chicken and beef, and will soon be branching out to include peanut butter into his recipe, as well as a lactose free variety, and smaller biscuits for the more petite dog.
The business is a family affair, Kyal’s twin brother Benji has designed the labels. Kyal’s mum, Amanda-Jane, states “I am so proud of Kyal and this has finally made him feel worthwhile and shows he can achieve something with his disability.”
Amanda-Jane adds, that she has noticed that his confidence has greatly improved “Kyal’s confidence has gone through the roof”. Indeed, you can visibly see how relaxed Kyle looks now (see photos) when delivering an order compared to when he dropped off his first order at Bolt.”