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Employment for People with Disabilities

Written by mybeckersstory
on Nov-12-10 10:57am

First let’s start with the facts, when it come to those of us living with disabilities, most of us want to work and find suitable jobs so that we can provide
for ourselves and our families. And yes not everyone who has a disability is able to work, but for those of who can or want to we still face many barriers.

Sadly some employers are not interested in hiring people with disabilities, now none of them will come out and say this, but some are reluctant due to
the fact that they really don’t know how to handle some of the issue’s we face. And sure some employer’s are better than others, but unfortunately some
even today are not open to creating jobs or employing people with disabilities.

For me my biggest problem living with Becker’s Muscular Dystrophy has been finding suitable employment. The thing that frustrates me the most is that a lot of the jobs I can do are not available to me, since these jobs are only reserved for those with job seniority. Unfortunately, we do live in a world
where nobody wants to see someone jump ahead of them, for any reason, especially when they have put in many years of hard work, and I understand where they are coming from. Truth is most people work pretty hard at what they do and deserve to be rewarded for it, and the reality is that most people work hard with the goal of one day being promoted. But sadly some of us with disabilities can’t work our way up from the bottom, what we need is that somewhat simple job right away, and I am not saying we need to be treated different from other employees, but when it comes to employment more companies need to be open to provide us suitable employment that addresses our specific needs. At time’s I really wish I could be employed as a security guard, but one that only watch’s the security camera’s, many large store such as Wal-Mart have people who do this all day. Unfortunately they have other duties as well, so the frustrating thing me is that full requirements of this position take away any possibility of me ever getting that job. And I have looked into it an no security company sets aside jobs that people with disabilities can do. To me it seems like I am always thinking of employment that might work for me, but when I look into it I find the physical requirements of the job ruin everything. Now I could go on and on listing job’s that I think I can do, but most times there seems to be a physical aspect of the job I can’t do, and that is very frustrating.

Most days I spend wishing more jobs were available to those of us with physical disabilities. When it comes down to it I really believe the biggest thing
that is lacking in my country is job creation for those of us with disabilities. To be honest some people living with disabilities have no choice but to
be on social assistance, simply because they can’t find suitable employment. Here in the Province on Ontario, Canada our current Government has the mind set that all people with disabilities should find some sort of employment. But at the same time they refuse to set aside jobs with-in the Government for people with disabilities. When I start to think about some of the Government jobs that are available, I get really frustrated because I know there are
many jobs they could offer me. Now I am not saying that it is just the Government who needs to reserve job’s for people with disabilities, but every large
size company out there needs to be more open to the idea. But the truth is some companies are getting away with discrimination against people with disabilities.

You see in the past year I applied for a job, and at one point while filling out their online application they go on to ask do you belong to one of these
groups, and of the one selections was a person with a disability. I couldn’t believe it, but I checked this box anyways, and I believe that this is why
I was never offered the position, even though I was fully qualified for it. I really don’t know how they are able to get away with asking such a question,
but I believe that they might be doing this to discriminate against people with disabilities. As you can see in some cases people with disabilities who
want to find employment are facing some major barriers thanks to inconsiderate and closed-minded employers.

When it comes to my struggle I honestly never thought that finding suitable employment would be so hard, but the truth is the employment world is not set up to deal with the those of us with disabilities. Here in Ontario our Government offers employment programs for people with disabilities, but all they
do is teach you how to search for a job, while offering no help in finding employment. You see most people with disabilities who are looking for a job
for the first time usually have resumes with little to no work experience. This is the first barrier we face, and sadly most employer’s over look people
with disabilities and tend to hire those with work experience. Ask anyone and they will tell you that interviews can be pretty tough, and if you don’t
answer the questions properly you don’t get the job, that just reality. But for those of us who are lucky enough to find employment, we can still run into
problems related to our disabilities, it happened to me when I had to deal with Ontario’s Workers’ Compensation Board which is known a WSIB.

You see over time I developed tendonitis in my shoulders and it ended up taking away my ability to do my job. Long story short due to this injury over the next few months I missed more than a few days of work and the WSIB refused to cover my loss of earnings, putting me in a bad place financially.

Now for a while they did cover the cost of physiotherapy but eventually choose to cut me off blaming my injury on my disability. As you can see some things truly need to change, look at me I was employed, then I got tendinitis in my shoulders, and the system in place set up to help me, really let me down. So now I am not only living with the issue’s related to having Becker’s Muscular Dystrophy, but also facing major issue’s related to the tendonitis that mainly affecting my right arm.

When it comes to the issue’s some of us face I believe that most people would agree that when it comes to employment and those living with disabilities, some things need to change. And that the programs that are currently in place need to be set up to deal with the unique needs of those of us working who have disabilities. And that some employer’s need to be better educated
when it comes to employing people with physical disabilities. I really hope thing change soon making employment accessible to all.

If you haven’t already please read: My personal story about growing up with Beckers Muscular Dystropy

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