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When you are abled finding a job is not always easy but it is not nearly as hard as it is for disabled people because abled people do not face the discrimination in job interviews that we do. As a disabled person looking for a job is stressful because employers often see your disability before they see your skills and base their decision on that. Disabled people need to make money like abled people because we have bills to pay and medical expenses that an abled person may not have to consider. Insurance sometimes covers necessary medical equipment but sometimes they don’t and we end up paying for medical equipment that should be covered. If your insurance doesn’t cover necessary medical equipment it can be bad for disabled people because we need it to live and it’s not going to cost you way more than twenty dollars! Disabled people are not necessary in buisnesses for less abelism and discriminination but unfornately most business owners don’t see that and won’t disabled people because they think their abled employees are more skilled and capable than we are. I looked for a job for about ten years until I finally got sick of being rejected and only being seen for my disabilty not my skills. Businesses often won’t hire disabled people because they aren’t knowledable in our disability or any and don’t see what value we can bring. In this post I am going to talk about why you should hire disabled people and how it can help you grow as a buisness.
We probably can do the job you think we can’t- One of the most frustrating myths about hiring disabled people is that we can’t do the job that is required well. I have been questioned in job interviews and asked if I was able to answer the phone and type of the computer. Are you sure you can type because this job requires a lot of computer work? Yes, I am positive I can type because if typing on the computer was difficult for me I would not be able to blog! Potential employers often act like they are experts in our disabilities and think they know more about someone’s abilities than they do but you can’t be an expert in someone’s disability by talking to them for ten minutes. Some jobs may be difficult for disabled people and you probably shouldn’t apply to them but a majority of the jobs that you claim I can’t do well I am able to do just as well as an abled person if not better.
We may not need as much time off as you think- Disabled people with weaker immune systems that get sick more easily may require more sick days and time off but not all disabilities are constantly at the doctor. As a disabled person job interviews are hard because you spend half the time trying to convince employers that not all disabilities experience a lot of pain and will always be out of the office. I have a lot specialists because a lot of my muscles do not work properly and sometimes when people know that they assume I am always at the doctor. I have a lot of health challenges but I don’t go to the doctor any more than an abled person would with the exception of my yearly appointments I have been asked in job interviews if my doctor’s appointments were going to interfere with my work and I don’t think it would matter what I said a majority of people don’t believe I don’t go to the doctor often. When did it become okay to ask disabled people about their health in job interviews and not abled people? Disabled people can’t control their poor health and unless someone is never showing up to work you shouldn’t base you hiring decision on how many doctor appointments we attend because that is out of our control. Some disabled people may not be taking as much time off as you think they would be and be out just as much as an abled person would be. A disability that has a lot of challenges does not equal being sick and poor health but a lot of disabilities are perfectly healthy and would not require a lot of time off!
Accessibility is cheaper than you think- Most all businesses are inaccessible to some extent and that is mostly because business owners often think accessibilty is crazy expensive and won’t hire disabled people to help improve their accessibility to avoid the extra cost. Abled people may know some things about accessibility but I don’t know a single abled person who has better understanding on what it means to be accessible than disabled people themselves who have to work through these barriers. Disabled people need accessibility to function but unfortunately most abled people don’t see it that way and think it’s something that is optional and can do only if they want to. Some employers are afraid to hire disabled people because they think accessibility is going to cost them thousands but very is that true. Every disabled person has different abilities and sometimes all a disabled person needs to excel at their job is the ability to work from home or a larger desk to better accommodate their wheelchair. When a disabled person asks for more accessibility in the workplace we aren’t asking that you do a complete renovation of the entire building but only need our workspace to be accessible.
We can connect with people in ways abled people can’t- I would love it if I could go to the doctor and see more disabled receptionists, medical assistants, and office managers because it would make doctors’ appointments a lot less stressful if more disabled people were helping run doctors’ offices. It’s not to say that there are never disabled receptionists because I have seen it a few times but more often than doctors’ offices are run by abled people. Disabled people face a lot of discrimination and ableism at their doctor’s office and although sometimes I think doctors don’t realize they are being ableist it’s still not okay. Disabled people need to work in medical offices because we can connect with people in ways abled people may not be able to and can call out a doctor’s ableism to improve the relationship they have with their disabled patients. I wish doctors would see the value that disabled people have in medical settings and why it’s necessary to have people who truly do understand the struggles. It would be amazing if I could go to my specialist appointments and be able to talk to another disabled person about surgeries I may be considering and get information that my doctor may not be able to tell me because surgeries are cause enough anxiety as it is but not knowing makes it even more stressful! There is something about being able to talk to someone who has experienced what you are considering that is more reassuring than anything anyone else would say.
We can teach you how to talk to disabled people– Most abled people don’t know how to talk to disabled people and they will talk very slow or use terms that they shouldn’t be. Healthcare providers and people that work with disabled people that you would think would know all these things often are the worst at it! I hear doctors and nurses use terms like wheelchair bound when talking about patients in a wheelchair when they should be referring to them as a wheelchair-user because no one is chained to their chairs and we just use them. The terms you use when referring to a disability abled people often don’t think twice about because it does not affect them but if you use the wrong terms it can hugely affect your disabled patients. I don’t expect doctors to know every single correct term because I am still learning but you should know the most common ones and if you don’t know them you should hire a disabled person to help you learn what they are because it will improve the connection you have with your disabled customers.
As a disabled person it is frustrating looking for a job because you can be pretty sure that most of the time abled people will get the job that you were more qualified for. Disabled people can bring a lot of value in businesses because we can connect with people in ways that abled people will never be able to but we are never given a chance because business owners are so focused on our chairs and think we are incapable . The employment rate is much higher amongst disabled people than it is for abled people and it’s not because abled people are better but employers think that their abled applicants are always the better choices. Disabled people are not always going to be the better choice but sometimes we are the obvious better choice and abled people are hired. Hire disabled people and treat them in the same way as you would your abled employees because there are so job disabled people are naturally better at and the only way we will end ablelism is by hiring disabled people. Abled people can be good receptionists but disabled people make better ones because we understand pain and often are more understanding when someone is struggling than abled people. Abled people try to understand but at the end of the day you can’t understand something What do you think disabled people should be represented in business?
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If I were ever to start a business I’d definitely strive to make sure I hire people with disabilities. As I sit here in the waiting room of an animal shelter clinic, I see there are employees of all abilities, so don’t be too discouraged if change is happening too slowly where you are!
My Rockin Disabled Life
Yeah, disabled people are needed in businesses because we can help business owners be less ableist and provide different prospectives that abled people cannot. ! I sometimes see disabled people in doctors’ offices and am starting to see some change but we still have a long way to go.