Today (3rd December) is International Day of Persons with Disabilities - and the theme for this year is inclusion, access and empowerment. We've asked four bloggers to share one thing they would like to change. Here, Whizz-Kidz staff member Chris talks about access to work for disabled people.
One thing I would change: There should be better access to work for disabled people
I have been a full time wheelchair user since I was around 10 years old, I was diagnosed with Spina Bifida at birth and later on Hydrocephalus. This was the start of a journey and like so many others I have been lucky to lead a wonderful life both sporting now working for a great charity.
Like many other wheelchair users, I wanted to get into employment, however I faced many barriers with buildings not being accessible, and unable to physically do some jobs, it seemed tightrope walker was unavailable to me!
Joking aside, sadly one of the biggest barriers I found was people's attitudes towards people with a disability. Having been told on phone interviews I was through to the next round or could have a position to then be told the job had gone when I needed wheelchair access.
That was all before I came to work for Whizz-Kidz where they were exceptionally supportive and I have gone on to move into the Work Placement team co-ordinating placements for young wheelchair users in the North of England. This job allows me to work with both, companies (large and small) and also young people wanting work experiences and opportunities. I am continually working on breaking down these barriers and have had feedback from companies about how surprised they were on the lack of things they had to change.
The general feeling of the young people is they WANT to work, they just need an opportunity, so with that in mind, all I want is equality in accessing work for everybody, regardless of physical abilities.