Finding a job is no fun for anyone but having a disability can make it almost impossible to find quality employment. I have friends who have gone to college and some who even have their graduate degrees in their chosen field of study, but they can’t find a job to save their lives.
Some have said that the employer says they don’t have experience but how could they; they’ve been in school all this time. Some employers say that they just don’t have any more spots available even though they still have their ad in the paper or online wanting someone to fill the position they are applying for.
It’s a form of discrimination based on physical appearance not lack of skill or knowledge. My friends who went to grad school and who are NOT disabled are getting jobs but my disabled friends who graduated college/grad schools school aren’t. I don’t know what you would call it except discrimination based on disability & appearance.
A friend of mine who is brilliant but profoundly disabled despite his brilliant mind, and skills had to settle for a job in the basement of a building in the middle of the night harassing poor people as a telemarketer. He hated doing such a job that barely paid anything and when on the verge of losing his medical he had to leave that job a few years later. He tried to get a job at the bus station helping people learn how to ride the bus, but they said no. He had excellent qualifications and used the bus every day, but they had no use for him and later that month he noticed they hired someone else to fill the position he wanted so desperately.
I wonder is it because he’s profoundly disabled using a power wheelchair? He would have been an asset to that company and would have done his job and wouldn’t complain about the job because he knew how lucky he would have been to have the job in the first place.
On the flip side, I have friends who are “Para’s” and they have jobs but despite being in a wheelchair or use crutches they seem to have the “look” people want when hiring someone for a job. Disabled people want to work and need jobs. Just give them half a chance, and you’ll get a quality employee. Most people who are physically disabled are not mentally challenged.
It’s hard enough trying to juggle PCA’s bus schedule & a job, which I’m quite sure most people would find too much trouble to bother with but for those with physical limitations this is the harsh reality they live through every day. If someone is willing to do what it takes to get to work, then they should be given every consideration.
I say bus schedule because the fact is even if you can drive you will never be able to afford an accessible van because they are really expensive so most disabled people need the bus or para-transit in order to get around.
Do you feel that you were discriminated against? If so, let us know.
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.