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Monday, October 4, 2010
Job Searching with a Disability
"In general, people with disabilities have difficulty finding jobs, with less than one in five (19.2%) in the labor force compared to 64.5 percent participation among able-bodied folks."
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I've said it before and I'll say it again -- when a person works right up until death, it is not necessarily the person who deserves kudos, but their employer. Many of us who are unemployed would LOVE to be working, but were let go by employers when we could no longer produce at 100%.
We want to work, we have the training to work, but as soon as we say "ADA Accommodations", the employer comes up with a reason not to hire us.
In my case, I'm medically prohibited from driving; the first thing that comes to most people's mind is "epilepsy", though in my case it's simple fainting spells -- no danger of injury to myself if I am able to lie down on the floor when I feel one coming on.
When I admitted to one potential employer that I could not perform the less than 1% of the job relating to driving, and offered to pay from my own pocket for any messenger service, they chose not to hire me. Since driving was not a major job function, I could've sued, so they changed the job description, adding a skill that another candidate had and I didn't. The legal community is a small world, it wasn't too long till I had reason to talk to the successful candidate, who admitted that she had not yet had reason to use that supposedly crucial skill, and didn't foresee using it in the future. But by adding it to the job description, they were no longer discriminating against me due to the disability. Problem solved.