Finding a job with a disability doesn’t have to be tough, and I’m living proof!
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Guest blogger, Phil Evans, is a 26-year-old with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism that is classed as a learning disability. Here he shares his story on how great it feels to be employed.
Only 15% of all autistic adults in Great Britain have found employment of any nature as The National Autistic Society, the leading support charity for Brits with autism, revealed in The Way We Are: Autism in 2012, while a further 79% are missing out.
These surprising statistics are something that I want to change, and a chance to talk about my journey with you ahead of Learning Disability Awareness Week 2013, a celebration of the positive aspects of learning disabilities which is being created by Mencap as the leading learning disability support charity in Britain, is one that I cannot pass up!
It can be tough to know what to say, or know what to do, but I’ve never had a problem with presenting my positive and negative qualities and because of this, I have faired well in employment as I have been a Residence Assistant at Southampton Solent University and a Retail Assistant at Iceland Foods.
I’ve been confident, I’ve had faith in myself and since finishing the latter of those two jobs, I’ve moved into self-employment as I want to help those who haven’t been quite so lucky.
Autistic Achievers, a specialist online recruitment portal that will look to work with small, medium and large employers in Great Britain to develop or adapt job vacancies which can be tailored to the needs of people specifically with autism, is a project of mine that keeps me busy and at the same time, will hopefully give likeminded people a sense of belonging which I’ve already felt.
Knowing it isn’t always possible to find a job, because of issues that may be beyond your control, is something I’ve encountered and because I have managed to be successful, I want others to know how good it is to be employed.
Wanting to work should be applauded and not ignored!
Through social networking on both Facebook and Twitter, and by creating opportunities for autistic people and employers to meet in informal surroundings as a result of Introducing Autistic Achievers, a series of events which will launch on Tuesday 17th September 2013 with a meeting in Lichfield, Staffordshire, I want to find as many ways as possible for everybody to have a fair chance in life to succeed.
Honesty, clarity, passion, alertness and precision are all key traits of autism, and surely these qualities would all be fantastic assets for anybody to work with?
All that is needed is a little bit of faith and guidance.
These are the building blocks of success, and knowing that there is support in the workplace could be the greatest gift that you could ever give to somebody who just wants to defy a learning disability and let a dream come true.
You can follow Phil Evans on twitter @AutismAchieve