ADDE is committed to highlighting the individual and collective experience of people with disabilities around employment.
“If you have a disability in our country you are more likely to be unemployed, more likely to be living in poverty and more likely to be less educated than if you don't have a disability. Too easily we're overlooked and ignored. Too often the story of disability is told through unemployment and poverty. Our system is broken. We aren't doing enough”.
Kurt Fearnley, Australia Day Address 2013
The unemployment statistics continue to deteriorate at a greater rate for people with disabilities than those without. We must ensure the politicians are accountable.
I spoke at a careers forum this week for university students with disabilities. I shared my story, and some of the wisdom I have gained about employment. In this blog, I will share it with you.
What are the lessons I have learned? Following the Buzzfeed model, here are my Ten Top Tips for getting a job as a person with a disability.
One, it will be harder for you to get a job than your peers without disabilities. That’s the reality, supported by the statistics. So suck it up. And as Sara Henderson famously said – don’t wait to see the light at the end of the tunnel – get down there and turn the bloody thing on yourself. Your opportunities are in your hands. Be proactive, and keep being proactive.
Two, think hard about whether or not you disclose your disability. It’s a bit hard for me not to disclose mine when I walk into a job interview with my guide dog. But some people with hidden disabilities have that option. I learned quickly that when I disclosed my disability during a phone conversation with an employer, that was usually the last interaction I had with them. So I just turned up, and surprised them at the interview.