Disabled kids career prospects are cut short at school

Disabled young in classroom

Survey finds more encouragement at a young age would endow young disabled with more confidence

25th September 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Disabled young people’s future careers are being held back because they fail to get support at an early age.

A survey of disabled people in the UK who were disabled at school, said barriers to gaining employment, education and training existed even then.

Opportunities to improve confidence, gain workplace skills or get a taste of different types of work appear to have been lacking for many.

Half of the 18 to 30-year-old adults surveyed said their teachers may have had lower expectations of them because of their disability.

Around half (47%) also said they were not encouraged to go on to a course or pursue their chosen career.

At the age of 26, disabled people are nearly four times more likely to be unemployed.

Leonard Cheshire Disability, which commissioned the report, is now launching a campaign to ensure all people who want to work have the opportunity to do so.

Glasgow university graduate Matthew Clark, 24, from Surrey is registered blind and taking part in Leonard Cheshire's Change100 programme. He said: "Despite all efforts, I have never been able to secure paid work through a mainstream internship or job application process that was not run for the benefit of or concerned with equal opportunities for people with disabilities.

"I even felt the part time or seasonal jobs associated with students were inaccessible and off limits to me."

The charity’s Untapped Talent campaign is calling on the government to do more to ensure disabled people have the same chances to fulfil their potential as everyone else.

It believes a government pledge to close the employment gap between disabled people and others of working age is being undermined by a lack of vital help at critical stages in people's lives.

Leonard Cheshire Disability chief executive Neil Heslop said: "With the right support we know that disabled people can thrive in workplaces, bringing a wealth of talent and experience that businesses and other organisations benefit from enormously.

“Often this only requires relatively small changes to equipment or adaptations, or some support getting to and from work.

"Sadly, all too often disabled people are being unnecessarily locked out of opportunities because this is not there or being cut. This is a huge loss to the economy and has massive impact on people's lives.”