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Have you faced discrimination at work?

Antonia_AlumniAntonia_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,781 Pioneering
edited August 2019 in News and opportunities

Hi all,

We’ve been approached by a journalist who is looking to hear from people who have faced discrimination at work, because of their disability.

The work is still in the planning stage but the journalist would be very keen to hear your story. We are unable to name the title yet but it is a highly reputable organisation that the press office is supporting. If you’d like to be involved please contact [email protected]

Many thanks.


  • dolfrogdolfrog Member Posts: 440 Pioneering
    I went through years of disability discrimination in the work place, and later even more disability discrimination when trying to find work. I still have the same disability discrimination when trying to volunteer. Society is full ogdisability bigots, even in the voluntary sector which claims to want to help those who may have a disabiliity
  • Wondermum54Wondermum54 Member Posts: 12 Connected
    I have had discrimination at work, they have backed off a bit for now, mainly as I think they saw I was well read, researched etc on my rights, and fought an uneasy truce of sorts at the moment.
    But since becoming disabled two years ago it has been a real eye opener.  I mobilise either by wheelchair for distances over 10m and crutches for shorter distances, and wow - if in a wheelchair you become invisible and seem to be incapable of anything....and crutches have their own limitations...
    My doctors would prefer I had more flexibility at work as in being able to work more flexible hours, and/or work from home on bad pain days...but that is not a possibility at all in my current job.  I am trying to find more suitable work but hmmm my disability is clearly visible and my options are slim to none. Statistically 1 in 5 people are disabled but finding and fitting into society is a nightmare, so few options so many barriers.  I am not usually a negative person, more of 'ok, I need to get on with this, how can I do it approach', but more understanding and acceptance by society as a whole would be welcomed.
  • RachelSBRachelSB Member Posts: 34 Connected
    Yes, I’d be interested.  I think a lot is ignorance, but trying to educate folk is hard work.  I ended up sat in a meeting with HR while my boss harassed me.  They didn’t realise it was harassment even.  They wrote letter to my doctor to advise my GP how to treat me.  All sorts of stuff.
  • dolfrogdolfrog Member Posts: 440 Pioneering
    An important part of the problem is the lack of understanding and support from the so called medical professionals who fail explain the many complex issues realted to multiple types of disabilities, especially psychologists, speech and language, and audiologists. They only want to hide their ignorance and incompetence, and blame us for our disabilities which thye do not want to learn about and understand. 
  • WilliamHWilliamH Member Posts: 3 Listener
    I think we have a major problem in that the Disability Discrimination Act and Equal Opportunities legislation is just not working for us. The evidence is in the large numbers of disabled people who are unemployed and living in poverty. I am partially sighted and hard of hearing. I think the DDA needs to be reformed so that the statutory duty is placed upon employers to proactively make adjustments to the workplace to support disabled people in work, including the right to work at home if this is needed. I have written to the DWP about these issues with the help of my MP and I am waiting for a response from Amber Rudd. It seems clear that the DWP and Government does not have a clue how to help disabled people which is why workplaces initiatives like those launched by Scope and Virgin Media are so important. If we can create a network of ethical employers who are prepared to go further than so called 'reasonable adjustments' we can start to change the culture of disability discrimination in the workplace.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Sorry to hear you all have experienced this! I hope by highlighting things within the media it can improve things!

  • Antonia_AlumniAntonia_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,781 Pioneering
    Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. I am sorry to hear what you have all been through. We do have some advice on discrimination at work. Please do not forget to email Amy if you are interested. 
  • Wondermum54Wondermum54 Member Posts: 12 Connected
    My workplace is supposed to be a "Disability Confident Employer -  Stonewall Diversity Champion Organisation " It's a joke - anyone can put that on a website. Very few employers actually carry the ethos out in reality.  The same at interviews - interview because they have to - but crutches = ohh she will be a burden and how many appointments/time off will she need type questions.  

     It took a year for my employer to agree for Access to Work to be involved.  Sent me to HR's Occupational Health - and when I asked for a copy of the  request/report that they had sent to OH - loads of stone-walling etc. eventually got the copy of the referral and as I suspected it was full of lies etc - making out I wasn't doing my work - which I was ...tried to say I had been off sick on dates I hadn't been etc etc. This was after I had been with them for 17 years - only two of which as a disabled person.  I was honest when I became disabled and made an appointment with my Manager to discuss my role and return to work etc.  Was forced into OH appointment without any preceding steps taking place such as you have too many hospital appointments type meetings ...I arranged my appointments around work wherever possible and had even arranged operations during holidays; work had never had any meetings with me on returns to work etc, or nor voiced any concerns - it was a complete slap in the face.  Report opened with -"Mrs XXXX has XXXX disease - is she really considered disabled". - seriously - as if occupational health is more qualified than the top professor in the county for my illness, and I have been on crutches/ wheelchair for two years. Disease is progressive with no cure.  Luckily I had kept a diary and had loads of proof of discrimination.  And OH ended up on my side and refused to answer any of my work's questions due to issues between what they claimed and the evidence I had to refute it.  OH recommended that work, and HR should have a meeting with me - to date this has  not happened! Then when Access to Work recommended a different desk, chair, and other changes to be made I have been made to feel like a burden, and only the bare minimum of the recommendations have been done, i.e. there are still no door releases on the doors etc.  By law I do not have to share the full report from access2work with work and they have tried so very hard to get a copy of it.  

    Health wise - my consultants would like me to work less and/or have the option of flexi working and working from home if needed. But in my current job that is not possible.  I have been trying for another job for 2 years - no luck so far.  Even tried local job centre to see if they had anything - but there was nothing.  So frustrating.

    So as I said before - they have backed off for now.  But as far as I am concerned my trust and confidence in my workplace is broken. I go to work, act cheerful (I would hate to be accused of being difficult or sulking ) and do my work and then home and repeat the next day.  And I will continue to keep notes etc Just In Case. 

    Sorry to sound so negative re work - just so unfair.  We want to work - just need some understanding and empathy. 
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    This is why as a dyscalculic person I am self employed as a childcare provider. Since there is very little information on this SpLD, I think this is the best option in terms of finding meaningful work. As a self employed person I can dictate how many hours I can work. Have you tried the Access to Work scheme? What about Remploy? 
  • Wondermum54Wondermum54 Member Posts: 12 Connected
    Access to Work have been good and have done what they can...I still have to look into redeployment - unsure if it would be a viable option or not at this stage.  
  • dolfrogdolfrog Member Posts: 440 Pioneering
    I went through years of disability discrimination in the work place, especially after i was identified as being dyslexic, which was really unexpected as I was working in a company owned and run by a world famous dyslexic. However although the owner was getting the support he needed from their inner circle of colleagues the same did not apply to others who shared their disability working in their company. And things only became worse when I was clinically diagnosed as having auditory processing disorder which is the underlying cause of my dyslexic symptom. the discrimination and victimisation just got worse. And I was made redundant was they closed our local branch just to avoid any claims of disability discrimination i may have had under what ws then new to be legislation. since then I have been experiencing a great deal of Post Traumatic  Stress, including high levels of blood pressure which is made worse by the lack of support form the so called medical professionals who only want to hide their ignorance and professional incompetence. 

  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    edited May 2019
    Thank you guys for continuing to share these stories! I think @Wondermum54 hit the nail on the head!

    Wondermum54 said:
    We want to work - just need some understanding and empathy. 

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