Finding work is a lot tougher than it used to be. If you are disabled and unemployed, the challenge can become even greater. Not necessarily because of the disability, but sometimes because of the assumption that a disabled applicant may not offer the same level of skills, knowledge, experience or commitment. But so often this is not true, do not ignore the disabled workforce.
Two ticks for benefits of employing the ‘disabled’
Gone are the days when you could walk out of one job in the morning and into another that same afternoon. Finding work is a lot tougher than it used to be, with more people applying for fewer positions.
The disability tag
Being labelled as disabled can often put highly-skilled workers at an unfair disadvantage. Someone who is partially deaf may have lost some of their hearing ability but this doesn’t impact on their 80wpm touch typing skills or their desire to be a committed and motivated member of a workforce.
A more extreme but inspirational example is BBC journalist and correspondent Frank Gardner OBE. Frank is often seen commenting on top stories in the BBC studio from his wheelchair or with the aid of his frame but he also occasionally reports from the field, in areas such as Afghanistan or Columbia, where even the most able-bodied person may struggle.
Ticked the ‘disabled’ box
Disabled workers undergo the same level of training and education in their chosen field as their able-bodied colleagues. Some, like Frank, even aspire to excel in a bid to prove their worth. But many are left frustrated as they continually fail to secure an interview, despite meeting all the criteria for a vacancy, simply because they have ticked the ‘disabled’ box on an application form.
While it may be illegal to discriminate on the grounds of disability, some would argue that not all employers realise that they may be doing just that, simply by just not giving someone the chance.
Employers who fail to realise the benefits of employing disabled people may well be missing out on a wealth of talented workers, keen to join their workforce.
Jobcentre Disability Employment Advisors (DEAs) will often point out these very willing and able candidates towards ‘positive’ employers who are part of the Government’s two ticks scheme. Employers who display the ‘two ticks, positive about disabled people’ symbol on adverts and application forms not only stand to benefit from a wider choice of skilled applicants; they are also sending a very positive message about themselves to clients, contacts and the wider community.
Two ticks symbol
The symbol is a public declaration of a commitment to recognise the abilities and potential of disabled people and of the value your organisation puts on making the most of its staff.
Companies involved in the scheme are offered continued advice and support from DEAs and programes such as Workchoice and Access to Work can assist with grants for specialist equipment and adaptations if and when they are needed.
If you are not already reaping the benefits of the scheme then you may well be placing yourself at an unfair disadvantage.
Find out more at The Two Ticks Scheme – Positive for Disabled People