My advice about employment
My name is Nana Marfo and I’m 35 years old. You might have guessed, a 1980’s baby who was born with a disability and a breathing condition didn’t have a hope of living, especially if there were born 6 months premature. My internal organs were not fully developed and caused me to live in an incubator for 2 years so that my body could grow, this had a massive impact on my airway. This resulted in me having emergency surgery and living my childhood with a tracheostomy. Unfortunately, things didn’t go to plan and my condition is lifelong, but it has made me uniquely gifted with a voice for change towards attitude concerning disability.
Living with a tracheostomy has put strain on my educational and working life, which leads me to speak about employment and the struggles that people with disabilities face, just to be an employee. Employment is a fundamental step in society for everybody of working age and it is extremely difficult for people with disabilities to get their foot on the ladder, society hasn’t got the hang of being open and honest when employing people with disabilities. Employers find it really difficult understanding how to include people with disabilities. In my role as an employment support officer for Croydon Council and through my own recruitment experience I get to see first-hand how employers are apprehensive about employing disabled people.
Inclusion is what we want to achieve, employers need to embrace people with disabilities by starting to talk with disabled applicants from the application stage. A lot of employers may be worried by the possible implications of employing a person of disability. With understanding and willingness to give a person with disability a chance things can be put in place to give them a fairer chance of success.
Everyone is entitled to, and should feel included in the employment sector. If we really want to make the world of work and employers understand disability we must work and breakdown barrier faced by disabled people and get reasonable adjustments within the work force.
My tips on gaining employment
- Person with a disability should be honest about their barrier when applying for a role admitting your health condition is not something an employer shall use against you.
- Always get extra support and be open to help
- Gaining employment takes time and patience
- Be yourself when talking to an employer
- Do a lot of research on a company you have applied for.
- Always dress professionally as first impressions count
- Have faith in yourself
- Remember your disability doesn’t define your position in a company it’s all about you and what you can do.
- Be willing to learn and be flexible
- If you need reasonable adjustments make sure you discuss this with your employer in advance and let your employer keep you updated.
- Use Access to Work to support the additional requirements that you may need. More often than not, these adaptions cost as little as £75, but Access to Work may be able to fund it.
If I was to ask, what would be your solution to inclusion and acceptance in the work place as a person with a disability?