Since the disability cuts earlier last year have come into effect, it seems that the overall livelihood and commitment to making disabled people’s voices heard have become ever more prominent.
The BBC have started a Disability Works hashtag focusing on the benefits of hiring disabled workers and giving them a role in the first place.
So what exactly do companies and businesses want out of an employee? Someone who is committed to the role, experience, sociable. All these skills anyone can offer, including disabled people. Of course there are challenges that they face but doesn’t everyone? There are certain things that we are good at and certain things that we are not.
Personally speaking, as someone with a stammer, I have sometimes faced challenges when applying for work. Past experiences have been one particular recruitment agency saying that I need to “work on” not having a stammer otherwise I wouldn’t get into PR or Marketing. I have relevant experience, a relevant degree and relevant skills for the job. It made me angry and upset yet it ended up being a blessing in disguise as it just made me more determined to get a job in the sector that I wanted.
Norbert Lieckfeldt, Chief Executive of The British Stammering Association said, “There are about 360,000 adults who stammer of working age in the UK. Research shows that most will still face overt discrimination and often struggle to find work. This is because of a lot of stigma and misconceptions surround stammering. People who stammer often have strengths much valued by employers, such as resilience, creativity and empathy. People who stammer can and do thrive in all types of jobs from teaching to call centres. With some minor workplace adjustment, and an accepting attitude to stammering, employers can not only ensure they do not miss out on the talents of people who stammer – these adjustments, often concerned with ensuring good communication at work, will benefit everyone, whether or not they themselves stammer.”
In an article published on the BBC website, the Minister for Disabled People, Work and Health, Penny Mourdant said, “These industries must become fully inclusive. Not being able to access the high street, products and services, transport or simply to access a loo jars with our national values: it must change.”