Friday, 23 February 2007

Disability Carnival on Employment

David's post on Chris and a typical day at work was simple and very effective at getting the message across that yes, disabled people may have obstacles to overcome in accessing work, but we do not need a special pat on the back having got there. This was just the pure experience of reading about someone going about their work and everyday life written from an everyday perspective. “I’m proud of myself. I love my job,” Chris says with a smile.
Wheelchair Dancer made me think and smile with her account of turning down some nude work. She is always so acerbic and wry and this is no exception. She questions why the ad asks for a gorgeous wheelchair woman. What is gorgeous? Who sets the standard?
I was horrified to read about the prejudice experienced by Emma at a job interview. No one should have to put up with that sort of behaviour and yet I expect it goes on all the time. Being quizzed over your condition rather than the job you are applying for is just wrong. But I've experienced it, as have many others who have a history of mental ill health, although Emma wasn't writing in this context. It's just that when it's something you have an option to conceal, you are tempted to miss out periods of illness from your CV. But now I have to be more honest as I'm physically disabled too. Not that I'm working at the moment, but why should I hide anything anyway? She got me thinking about how to 'fit in' and how to 'not fit in' and it not be an issue.
Disgruntled Ladye has an arthritic illness that is invisible. She is therefore subject to the very specific and unpleasant daily ignorances that come with having an invisible illness. She sums up very well what that feels like and offers the following advice to people in the workplace who find a colleague odd, or different or snappy when they look,well, so 'normal'.
"Maybe that person is dealing with a chronic illness or invisible disability. None of us have a right to judge. And, as long as that person is getting their work done, what does it matter to you?" Well said.
Also well said to Wheelie Catholic who had to endure an outrageous incident involving negative labelling, but tried to turn it around into a positive learning experience. Very brave, and very necessary.
I'd love to write more on these excellent posts but my son needs some calamine lotion. He has chicken pox. More later if I can.
Back after an interlude of three hours, watching Black Beauty (depressing) and applying lotion (fun but tricky).
Blind writers at Blind Confidential and Stephen Kuusisto ponder the limitations of internet access and incompatability of voice software. This leads to people with visual impairment being excluded from certain activities or work tasks that are web based.
Manxome writes with great feeling for the loss of her great uncle, who had a huge heart. This post moved me, and she shares with us everything she learned from him.
All this, and the few I haven't shared here, got me thinking. I will post some thoughts when it's all settled down.


David said...

I hope your son feels better soon.

seahorse said...

Thanks David. From what friends say, chicken pox always seems to strike during tough times. I feel bad, like he was so shocked when we told him we are splitting up that his immune system dipped and, hey presto, chicken pox. But that's just motherly guilt nonsense talking. It's doing the rounds at school. It's catching. I think that explains it just as well.