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There should be more job vacancies targeted at people with a disability

There should be more job vacancies targeted at people with a disability

It’s not just the disability that can sometimes make the world seem like too big a challenge to handle, it’s the thoughts that come with living with one. Not only does extra energy now have to be put into something that may come naturally to someone else, but extra energy goes into encouraging yourself that this disability is somehow a gift. Sound familiar? Then there’s this added pressure to deal with other people’s thoughts and behaviour because you have a disability. Through no fault of theirs either, the world simply doesn’t always know the right things to say and do when we’re faced with something different. 

Having a disability means your needs, thoughts and the way you function take another route as compared to those around you. Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean you don’t share crossroads with people around, it just means the way you thread upon them is different- and neither path is wrong. It’s hard enough to adapt day to day in a world that wasn’t really designed to include all disabilities. This is mainly because the world is still learning, as you are. More and more disabilities seem to be surfacing through time. Evidence of the first ramp ever discovered was back in 1913, but it took the world a heck of a time to realise it could be used to aid people in wheelchairs. It took lesser time for people to realise they could slide down a ramp- that’s just the way our brains work sometimes. 

Now when it comes to having a job- that’s a whole other ball game. Naturally, there are many things you might wish were different. Also knowing there exists a certain disability and having to interact with that someone are two completely different things – the latter comes with experience. How can we expect people to have this experience if parts of the world like schools and job industries have separated people with a disability and without teaching convenience and resource management? However, this little separation may be reflecting a growing gap in the community. 

Inclusion is Key 

Recently, there have been a lot of initiatives by the community to set up businesses that employ staff that have a disability. One such cafe is the All Things Equal, right here in Melbourne. There are also services that help people with a disability find employment. Kudos to the people who recognise the need to change the designs upon which our society functions and make new ones. However, the growing number of people with a disability is way higher than the little initiatives around the place and it can be quite hard and narrow to find employment if you’re one of them. You’re also destined to look for a job through a set channel- in a way told your options.  

But sometimes, it’s not about having a separate disability-friendly bus; it’s about having buses that cater for people with a disability too (as they rightly do in most of Australia). It shouldn’t be just a dream for this to exist in the job industry as well. Most of the organisations and event environments around have really tried to make their environments disability friendly- they’ve installed ramps, people make way for you and are always willing to help. However, this doesn’t mean that any of these are disability employment friendly. 

For many places set in their ways, it does become harder to reimagine the way it functions- especially if the business is doing well. However, is doing well good enough for the business industry to overlook a whole sector of the community? This doesn’t implicate starting to hire people with a disability into the systems, but to try and redesign specific roles within an organisation to include them. With any change, we got to start small.  

Start Small 

Making positions disability-friendly doesn’t mean opening a position where the job is competed for by people with and without a disability. It means allocating a position specifically for people with a disability in the organisation and side by side redesigning the position through the experience of the person with the organisation; and the organisation with the person. 

Here’s Why 

  • You are creating opportunities on different levels. for people with a disability, for the organisation to experience what it feels like to work together and for the world to experience this as well.
  • With opportunity comes possibility. Possibility to reduce and eventually remove the barriers between people with and without a disability – in the world and in the minds of people.
  • Creating employment. You are broadening the market and spaces available for people with a disability to work in.
  • You never know how great your skill is at something till you discover it. Likewise, someone in a wheelchair might be great with numbers, better than anyone you’ve met but doesn’t know it yet because they haven’t been given the opportunity. You are creating this path for that someone.
  • Creating equality. Don’t wait for the change to become a trend for acting upon it, be it.
  • Inclusion also gives new insight and understanding into a world there isn’t enough research done yet.

Here’s how: 

  • Designing a position available specifically for people with a disability.
  • Providing training specifically for that role. Many organisations and venues provide training to people without experience. This should be an option for people with a disability as well. On the job training could also open possibility of feedback and insight that was otherwise overlooked.
  • Be realistic with the position available. Studying the role and interviewing the person applying for the position well can help set the position’s requirements better without any over or under expectations.

To Cosy Home and Community Care, your disability is one of the many parts of you. We believe in supporting all the other parts to shine, just as we want to support you with your disability.