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It's Learning Disabilities Week! Share your experiences of looking for work

LiamO_DellLiamO_Dell Member Posts: 1,114 Pioneering
edited June 2017 in Learning difficulties
Monday 19 June to Sunday 25 June 2017 is Learning Disabilities Week!

Every year, the event raises awareness of people with learning disabilities and touches upon a different topic. For 2017, the theme is 'employment'.

It's an important theme too, because at the moment, fewer than 2 in 10 working age people with learning disabilities are in work!

Laptop on desk

So how can you get involved? Well, you can find out more about Learning Disabilities Week on Mencap's website, as well as via the Twitter hashtag, #LDWeek17.

As this year's theme is employment, we'd like to know: What are your experiences of finding a job as someone with learning disabilities? Do you have any advice, hints or tips? What can employers do to help?

Leave a comment with your thoughts below... 
Liam

Replies

  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Member Posts: 7,732 Disability Gamechanger
    @steph1 @luketrenaman  @Brighton117 @john_yate @Michaelturtle @BSmallwood  @Traceypsb @Rene @johnho82 - do you have anything to add to this post? We'd love to hear your experiences.




    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • NystagmiteNystagmite Member Posts: 609 Pioneering
    I was on the work programme when I was diagnosed with Autism; as well as other things. There was no support at all. Because I was diagnosed as an adult, they informed me it wasn't that bad and they won't be making any reasonable adjustments.

    They even went as far as breaking the law as well. (Equalities Act 2010, reasonable adjustments)
  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Member Posts: 7,732 Disability Gamechanger
    That is terrible @Nystagmite - did this get resolved at all?
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • NystagmiteNystagmite Member Posts: 609 Pioneering
    No it didn't. I spoke to my GP who said that they'd write a letter explaining my situation. They wouldn't even allow me to view their complaints procedure and made me out to be awkward. 

    In the end I got signed off sick and put on to ESA. On the day that I received a letter telling me I was put into the support group, they (work programme) phoned me to ask if I wanted "help" getting back into work. I declined their offer. I then had to ask the job centre to politely ask the work programme to leave me alone.


  • NSAblueNSAblue Member Posts: 6 Listener
    I was on the work programme when I was diagnosed with Autism; as well as other things. There was no support at all. Because I was diagnosed as an adult, they informed me it wasn't that bad and they won't be making any reasonable adjustments.

    They even went as far as breaking the law as well. (Equalities Act 2010, reasonable adjustments)
    I've come across the same sort of rubbish, too!
  • NystagmiteNystagmite Member Posts: 609 Pioneering
    They knew from the start I was partially sighted and would send me on courses where I couldn't read the materials. When asked why no-one had bothered to inform the course leader, (I couldn't because I had no way of contacting them) I was "because I didn't think it was relevant".

    I tried to involve my MP. He happened to be an ambassador for them!
  • WindblowsWindblows Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Well if the MP is half decent and wants to be an ambassador for anyone it should include you. What are these courses for if not the benefit of those who go on them?
  • NystagmiteNystagmite Member Posts: 609 Pioneering
    CV writing, how to do job searching and interviews.

    He is, from everything that happened with PIP, generally useless.
  • Kathy_BramleyKathy_Bramley Member Posts: 132 Courageous
    Because I was financially supported by my husband's IT officer wage, I was kind of invisible to the system. A family centre worker helped me to apply for DLA for myself and my daughter and said I would have been eligible for all the time I was out of work since I failed uni. But partly because I didn't like insisting how cr*p I was for money and the thing with getting carers allowance as well didn't sit right and I had a huge chorus of Daily Mail voices going at me in my head and the form filling stressed my relationship with my husband when it had passed to us and that didn't need any more stress, I decided to let my DLA lapse. I felt frustrating guilt/discomfort that friends who seemed more disabled/deserving  than I was , and maybe that hung on things like being reminded to take medication I didn't want to take but also would struggle remembering anyway, a part of the form that stuck with me - as particularly difficult to swallow? For me. 

    I accept that medication can be useful and indeed lifesaving, across a very broad field of illness and wellness, but for me its psychiatric value has been overplayed because of financial and social expediency and thus forms part of an oppressive threat potentially. Literally am the Looney Left, and does it qualify for DLA?  Though I might also ask rhetorically, does refraining from claiming help me with the Daily Mail/Sun reading and ultra conservatism types? 

    There's been job courses available as family support service user and carer and I know of things locally that are available. Inam afraid they won't fit. That it's full of prejudices about intelligence and coping and the struggling and full of an engrained make do type sensibility because I might have to shoot the moon or find an alternative lifrstyle path but theyre looking atbconvrntional job roles and trying to avoid conflict or disappointmenylt. And that's seemingly hard for me.
    My aunty who works in voluntary sector at a MH focussed CVS and (she was a Community Transport manager as I was growing up) recommended Remploy. I still haven't got in touch. 

    Support services were difficult because I kinda knew the people, not personally before but there's a sensibility I am familiar with. But they didn't know how to help me. I think I'm an unfamiliar awkward combination of things, and a socially concerned rebel who knows the ropes though not thoroughly and lacks muscle and coordination and perhaps gumption to climb them consistently though if you do get me you should be able to help me. And it doesn't feel like its entirely impossible. But I am (cheesy cliche to often said though it is) not a usual kind of client. Were a mostly undiagnosed mostly "high functioning" (this is some misnomer because problems are similar whatever level of verbal and "IQ" skill you have),  autistic polymath politicised family, plus a child with a brain injury and cortical VI from GBS neonatal sepsis who does very well considering.
     
    Another reason I struggle with the idea of employment is not wanting to be a cog in the machine. And also having done the "sensible" thing and picked up a job in a supermarket for a while anyway I didn't cope.

    Not with the intensity and the combo of coordination, mental skills and people. And not with the thing where they asked for feedback about safety and environment things but didn't listen at all, to stuff that seemed frightening, crucial and basic to me. Meanwhile pressured managers slapped you down for worrying about customers' health and if you were sick and taking time off. Struggling single mums that needed to be well were bullied into not resting when they needed to. The "soft touch" people that were ill came in feeling bad, one person had lost their voice and sat on checkouts with a sign round their necks. Meanwhile others did throw sickies.  Survival of the thickest-skinned. Nothing meritorious about it. 

    It was all together pretty traumatic and off putting. I got quite poorly. 

    Can't have access to work without workplaces that are decent to everybody. 

    Lucky unlucky
    Guess my diagnosis,
    It may help, but
    Don't guess my kids's
  • Kathy_BramleyKathy_Bramley Member Posts: 132 Courageous
    Sorry. Perhaps I shouldn't have posted. And it was too long. Under some definitions I don't qualify as having a learning disability, a 'severe learning disability.' My daughter does. And she wants to work though she's not near that age yet, yr 7. Although do people with learning disability do paper rounds and traditional teenage Saturday job things? Could I use personalisation for someone to accompany her on paper rounds? Probably not but there's reason it might be good.  I'm really interested in hearing those kinds of stories. 
    Lucky unlucky
    Guess my diagnosis,
    It may help, but
    Don't guess my kids's
  • NystagmiteNystagmite Member Posts: 609 Pioneering
    I was actually told by my so-called "support worker" (the one who doesn't believe I have a diagnosis of Autism) that I need to find a job. But there's a severe lack of support for finding a job in my area. Let alone for a disabled adult.
  • Kathy_BramleyKathy_Bramley Member Posts: 132 Courageous
    Sorry that happened. 
    Lucky unlucky
    Guess my diagnosis,
    It may help, but
    Don't guess my kids's
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