She ticked the ‘disabled’ box

She ticked the disabled box The following extract is from ‘ Friday 20 December 2013’  In Europe 50% of MSers are unemployed within 10 years of diagnosis when they are unlikely to be physically disabled. There are so many other similar stories from people who have a progressive physical disability.

Think outside the box

Are you one of the 50%?  Unfair treatment undermines your confidence, it leaves you doubting your ability. Lack of confidence makes getting back into employment more difficult. You have to learn to think out side the box, try to approach the problem from a different angle.

Find a new path

You need to find people who will help you back into employment . Here is an example, the applicant is doing the same job as before the disability box was ticked but only by taking a different path.

Wanting to work

In 2013 Lisa, a fully qualified, award-winning journalist, found herself in a position where she struggled to find a job.

“It was incredibly frustrating,” she said. “My experience and skills had led to me being headhunted in the past, so it was a bit of a shock to suddenly find myself unable to secure employment.

“Nothing had changed – that is except for my diagnosis with multiple sclerosis in 2008.

Same person, same skills

“At the time of my diagnosis I was the production editor for a large group of newspapers, overseeing 48 weekly deadlines across the south east of England. My MS wasn’t an issue or hindrance to me, or to my company and colleagues. I was still the same driven, ambitious person with all the same skills, experience and qualifications.

“I reduced my hours in 2011, when I found I was in a position financially to do so. It also helped me reduce my tiredness and stress and kept me as healthy, productive and dynamic as I’d ever been.

Secndary progressive multiple sclerosis

she ticked the disabled box 1“My knowledge of media law and my experience and contacts proved vital to the effective running of that newsroom until the company changed hands and I was made redundant in December 2012. (At this pont Lisa had secondary progressive multiple sclerosis).

“To be honest, that was the first point that I had ever begun to consider myself as ‘disabled’. I began to realise that perhaps potential employers viewed me that way. I could see no other reason why I was not even being invited for interviews for the same kind of roles I had successfully applied for in the past. If anything, I now had even more experience and knowledge than I had when I had previously looked for work.

Success of Work Choice Scheme

“Fortunately my Disability Employment Advisor (DEA) put me in touch with a colleague at the Salvation Army who was involved with a Work Choice scheme. She immediately acknowledged my skills and strong desire to work and circulated my CV to ‘positive’ employers’.

“A few days later I received a call from a local company and was invited to attend an interview for the role of media manager. I’m delighted to say the interview was a success and I began my new role the following week.

Many thanks to Lisa for this story. I hope it helps those of you who are looking for work.

Associated articles

Benfits of employing the disabled

Opening doors for disabled workers

Life with Rheumatoid Arthritis

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