Personally, I know quite a few people who use sticks or wheelchairs to get around, three within my own family. I have seen how delicately and how awkwardly the abled community can treat them. Maybe by writing about their quick wits, high skill levels or rare talents I could convince employers to give them a chance. Having been asked to delve deeper into disability I’ve tried to convey real experiences in the hope of educating more employers to actively encourage flexible working policies, for the benefit of their business and the less abled.
Top Ten Routes to Work, With a Wheelchair.
- Commute by taxi but avoid re-booking those who pull in then speed off when they see the chair.
- Commute by taxi, if you can find one which won’t charge you double fare.
- Find a job close enough to home to make the journey viable.
- Work in an office with a proper, wide disabled parking bay and an outside ramp.
- Work in an office with a lift to your floor and a disabled toilet.
- Have a desk near the door, printer to hand and no dangling leads.
- Have a boss who understands your need for regular sick days, hospital visits and check-ups.
- Work for the government.
- Work for yourself.
- Find an employer who will allow you to work from home.
“Government departments are pretty good at arranging things properly since they are more than happy to spend tax payers’ money to make necessary changes, but with private sector employers things can be very tricky, despite certain laws being put into place. It seems that private sector employers just don’t want the hassle. Having a garden office at home is certainly a blessing. It is good to have somewhere of your own to go and use your computer in peace … to work.” Christine is now 40 years old and has lived with congenital spina bifida. “When you have had a disability for 40 years and not known anything else, sometimes you become guilty of not noticing that you are ‘different’ and it is only others that really notice those differences”.
There’s a wealth of qualifications, experience and talent out there which will adequately fulfill the desk-orientated skills gaps. Many people are willing to work from home to help increase productivity and efficiency in business. If business owners, for whatever reason, cannot accommodate employee needs at work – let them work from home.