If you have a disability then finding appropriate employment is challenging on many levels, the Moving Up project led by Muscular Dystrophy UK’s Isabel Baylis aims to improve employability skills so that you increase your chances of gaining employment.
At the beginning of December I attended MDUK’s Employability Booster Day, we had a few speakers, plenty of lively discussions & the added benefit of meeting up with fellow friends & new Trailblazers:
- Mik Scarlet (Broadcaster, journalist, actor & musician),
- Nathaniel Hawley (Project coordinator for youth media at the Media trust)
- Hannah Lou-Blackhall (Careers adviser at Treloars College
The speakers expressed their own perspectives regarding the barriers disabled people face at work, what we are entitled to as employees and also how psychological issues such as a lack of confidence limits us. Disabled people have a harder time finding appropriate work due to their physical limitations but being open to possibilities is important.
Mik Scarlet has about a 20+ year image of employment as a disabled person, how he managed to challenge society’s view of the working disabled. His top tip was to stay confident throughout your working life; even with the setbacks you’ll face & also to know your rights. Mik proves how versatile disabled people can be and there are many sectors that we can work in or even try to make inaccessible sectors accessible.
The Moving Up project employability booster day is a vital part of MDUK’s work as it provides motivational advice, which is indispensable for anyone with a disability. Disabled people can have the same skills at work as non-disabled people but need more support.
We just need to be provided with equal opportunities & with flexible work disabled employees can be as productive as someone working full time. If MDUK up-skills more people with MD then we can spread awareness to challenge society’s negative expectations of disabled people in the workplace.
The Government set up Access to Work to ensure that disabled people can get the right support to enable them to work and contribute to society. Legally employers have to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate access needs in the workplace, provide flexibility in working hours, the option of working from home or even to change certain working tasks.
Access to Work is not always perfect especially in certain industries that are notoriously difficult to infiltrate. In discussion, large businesses find it easier to accommodate disabled people because they have the capital to make expensive reasonable adjustments whereas small businesses are less able to.
Recently I’ve begun to work with different organizations other than MDUK: I’m a trustee of DMD Pathfinders, co-editor of the Muscle Owl & Ambassador for Limitless Travel. I’ve slowly built up the confidence in my abilities as a blogger, public speaking or working as a team. The CEO of Limitless Travel Angus Drummond has really encouraged me too work closely with them and hopefully in the New Year I’ll be on a paid apprenticeship. It has motivated me to up-skill myself on how to effectively use social media & I want to learn more about the administration or business side of Limitless Travel.
Merry Christmas & see you in the New Year.