What do these successful people have in common other than being well known? Beethoven, Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein, Christopher Reeve (Superman), David Blunkett and Admiral Lord Nelson....they all are/were disabled.
In today’s society many young people see ‘success’ as what is seen on TV, social media sites and magazines, as we are bombarded with these images, articles and adverts every day. This measure of success shows us people who usually have loads of money, expensive cars, perfect bodies or even their own reality TV show, but is this success?
Another measure of success may be to think and say to yourself, ‘’am I happy?’’ as statistically people who are happy are often successful in other ways too! For example, the Beatles were refused a label deal when they were starting out, when a record company said they didn’t like their sound, but their music motivated them to carry on.
Here are some facts facing young disabled people today;
1.3 million unemployed disabled people are available for work and want to work
50% of disabled people at working age are in work compared with 80% of non-disabled people of working age
£1 an hour is the average difference disabled people are paid compared to their non-disabled workmates
27% of 16-19 year olds who are disabled are NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) compared to 9% of non-disabled 16-19 year olds.
Doesn’t look great does it? So what can you do to beat the statistics and get into a job you enjoy, or learn or train to be what you want to be in life?
Here are some tips you may find useful:
Don’t give up - Keep going, seek help, talk to friends, family and organisations that can help you, be honest about what you want and what you are looking for.
Volunteer- This is a great way to show your skills and develop in a real working environment. You can get a good reference and demonstrate your motivation and readiness to work on your CV.
Know your rights – You should not be discriminated against because you are disabled! Challenge discrimination and know your rights - look up the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and Equalities Act 2010 to find out more.
Aspire – In London this year we saw 4,200 disabled people from 147 nations take part in the Paralympics. These were tough physical pursuits that most non-disabled people wouldn’t have the skill, fitness or strength to even attempt.
Just remember that being disabled does not mean you have to be unemployed forever. You have a chance of success as much as anyone else.
You are welcome to talk to our TCHC advisers about any of these issues. We are happy to help and discuss with you ways to achieve success!
‘’I have a Disability. Yes, that’s true, but all that really means is I may have to take a slightly different path than you.’’
- Robert Hensel, disabled fundraiser and Guinness World Record Holder.