Diversity and Disability

Disability is the last taboo!


I was invited to London to present alongside with speakers: Alexandra O’Dwyer, Director of Communications and Marketing, Scope and Kirsty Monk, Accessibility Manager, Southern Railways and Cheryl Campsie, Forster PR.


This innovative business debate was evolved around on businesses interested in changing practice and thus build a society in which disabled people have the same opportunities as those without – critical in an era of financial cutback.


How can companies, charities and policy makers address the imbalance between the number of disabled people in our society – and representation in work, in the media, and everyday life? We discussed the attitude change – which in an era of austerity costs nothing.


To see through change it will require understanding, team work and communication from all businesses, charities and policy makers to work together to address the prejudice face by disabled people and their preconceived capabilities of securing their career in the job markets.

Together, we must adopt the ‘right’ attitudes and behaviours and embracing talents of a diverse workforce with disabled people making a contribution by working alongside business professionals. Business leaders need to take a collaborative and creative approach on recruiting people with disability and ethic population in the workplace.

The future must be on building an inclusive business development for everyone. The ethos of the business community to address of mis-preconception of disabled people to work alongside business professionals, it would help improve business performance related to talent management, productivity, customer access, technology and embrace new developments.


Everyone and disabled people too must be readily committed to make a clear commitment to ensure that businesses recruit the very best disabled leaders for the future but we are too often we hear that the talent doesn’t exist externally.

Time for empowerment, motivation, active engagement, communication and interaction among businesses, charities and policy makers.

Real accessibility, real visibility!

One reply on “Disability is the last taboo!”

I think to say disability is the last taboo is a bit dramatic, don’t you think? I mean, yes, people like us have trouble finding work but that’s not our fault, and it’s certainly not an employers fault. If an employer says that we don’t have the skills to do a job, don’t begrudge them. The real reason behind people like us not having jobs is simply because of the lack of support from the Government to employers. Before employing a person with a disability, an employer typically must think of the following things:

1. Accessibility
2. Health and Safety at work
3. Special equipment a disabled person needs to enable them to do their job
4. Hiring of Personal Assistant to the disabled person
5. If needed – to help the person to/from work
6. Disability awareness training for current staff

My whole point there is before we get employed, a company could be out of pocket financially before a disabled person is given a job. Use common-sense and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see why there are very few people with disabilities that are of working age that are working.

It is, in my opinion, the Government’s fault. It is THEM who have pushed us back and they keep pushing us back.

At 28 years old, I have saw many changes come into effect. I have noticed society is changing their attitudes towards disability. They are more tolerant and understand that we don’t want to be treated differently, yet we still are in the workplace but like I said, that’s down to the Government more than society itself.

At the moment if an employer has to spend £25,000, for example, on adapting things, doing training and hiring a Personal Assistant before a person with a disability is given a contract of (again as an example) £20,000 a year, then to an employer that means that they’ve spent £45,000 already on just one person – when the money could be used to employ two people.

So in my opinion, if you want change, it should be the Government you should be criticising for the lack of financial support to employers.

DISCLAIMER – All words above are © Bernadette Leslie. My ideas/views are solely my own and if you want to use them, you MUST seek permission.

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